at the Please Touch Museum today after our appointments...
We had a good day at CHOP. Lucas was cooperative, although he showed a bit of resistance with his new ear, when asked to wear it alone (not surprising). In terms of Lucas's access to sound, he's testing between 20 and 30 dB. The lower frequencies were testing closer to 30 dB, so he got a new program to help adjust that a bit. So, we know that he can hear well with that ear. The question is what he is processing.
During our speech session, Lucas showed great awareness to sound, including to all ling sounds. He is certainly trained to do conditioned responses! Next, she tried to see whether he could discriminate between long and short sounds (quack, quack, quack & boooaat). His appropriate responses were debatable. Even if he couldn't discriminate the two different words, he should have heard the length and rhythm of the sounds: "uh, uh, uh" vs. "uhhhhhhh". She moved on to see if he could differentiate even further between "up, up, up, weeeee," "it's bathtime; wash, wash, wash" & "night-night, shhhhh" (in coordination with appropriate objects). He was unable to do that at all.
We concluded that what he is hearing still sounds like "garbage" to him. He can hear it, but his brain is not making appropriate connections yet. There are a variety of factors that could be affecting its performance, including the ones that I mentioned previously. Again, I don't expect him to be hearing like he does with the other ear, but I would expect to see a glimpse of what he's hearing. He just shuts down and seems to not want to try.
It's only been a month, so we're just going to give him more time to adjust, and continue to provide him with opportunities to listen with his new ear alone. I left with some ideas for mommy auditory therapy, and hope for a better 2nd month. We meet again with speech in February, so I'm really hoping that he shows some progress by then, or else I will start to worry. Now all I need is a cooperative Lucas who is as excited about learning to listen with his new ear as I am.