JTC, day 7

This morning at the John Tracy Clinic we started with an appointment with Lucas's speech & language teacher, Ms. M. It was not the best session. Lucas has not been working for long periods of time for her, and seems to get off task pretty quickly. It's very strange, considering how well he works for his teachers at home. But again, he's in a new environment, so we take what we can get. We did get to talk to her alone about some of the testing that she has been conducting with him, and the results were pretty great. Expressively, he's testing at 2 years 6 months. And guess what, he's 2 years 6 months. This test is normed on hearing peers, so we're very pleased with those results. In terms of his receptive language, he only scored at 1 year 9 months according to the test, but we all believe that he must not have tested well, because there's no way for his expressive to be so far ahead of his receptive. It just doesn't work that way. After our meeting, we excitedly went to listen to a local CI surgeon and audiologist. It was really wonderful that they were willing to lend their time to educate us.

We were able to send questions in ahead of time, and I prepped them with my question about implanting Lucas's left ear. If you'd like to read about why Lucas doesn't have a second implant, you can read about it here. Basically, his CI surgeon believes there is too great a risk of complication with a second implant for him, because of a complication from the first surgery. But, I wanted a second/third opinion. The surgeon took the time to draw us a diagram explaining Lucas's cochlear malformation (which heightens the risk), and explained exactly how he would go about the procedure to minimize complications. He then told us that in his professional opinion that he would still implant. That was exactly the kind of information I was looking for. This man was so humble, yet so confident. I wish he could implant Lucas. He was kind enough to give us some guidance on how to proceed from here, so that's what we'll do when we return.  

This afternoon we had a talk on auditory learning, and ways to increase acquisition of language through auditory-only means. Then we finished the day with support group. We have begun to change the format of our support group meetings to a bit of an idea sharing time, and it got a lot more people talking, including me. I was able to share with the group how I waterproof Lucas's CI for swimming. Many other families were very interested in the setup. Like I explained here, it has been a most beneficial experience for Lucas to be able to wear his ear in the water.

This afternoon, most of the families headed to that amazing playground I mentioned yesterday. There's a water area that the kids really enjoyed. Lucas was especially happy to play in the water! Here are a few pictures:

Then one of the families organized a take-out meal for everyone and we all gathered in the 3rd floor lounge. Afterwards many families played on the lawn next to the apartments. It was a great afternoon with all of the families and kids.