Monday, July 7, 2008

Amanda - July 6, 2008 - INTRO

Just bought this little Flip Video Mino because my stepdaughter, Amanda wanted to have her activation taped.  So this is our first attempt at videotaping and editing.  So excuse the jerkiness, lack of flow and all the other oddities.  I'm assuming (hoping) we'll improve with time.  

In any case here is a live introduction to Amanda and me 8 days before her cochlear implant surgery which will be July 14, 2008.  I wanted to show her natural language, ASL and how well she can speak now.  She's only been speaking spontaneously for about a year....and has improved steadily especially in the last 6 months.

With the continued input of terrific speech teachers ever since she was three, her solid ability to communicate using American Sign Language and the use of Visual Phonics, Amanda's intelligibility has improved and her and willingness to use her voice has increased.  She still doesn't like to speak for strangers and is just starting to venture out and use spoken English to extended family members and friends.   In the last month she has "spoken with" a few people on the phone....meaning she's said a few words to them and I've made sure the communication was understood.

Amanda hears absolutely nothing.  She wants the CI so she can hear her dog, Goldy bark, listen to her dog tags jingling and hearing people calling her.  Oh, and she has a pink iPod all picked out.  She has wanted a CI since she was 10, and after a loooooonnnnngggg battle with insurance and ultimately changing insurance companies,  she's finally having the surgery 11 days before her 14th birthday.  

We fully understand that a cochlear implant is not a's an opportunity.  As with any CI surgery done at the ripe old age of almost 14, we have no idea what she will hear.  She has no auditory memory, but we're hoping that with her strong phonemic awareness, that connections in her brain will be made and she'll be able to use her CI to continue making progress communicating expressively, and now receptively with hearing people that don't sign.

We are anxious to see how Amanda will incorporate sound into her life and thrilled she will have the opportunity.


*Tasha* said...

Great! :)

Well, at first TRUST ME, it will be TERRIBLE. Everything will sound crazily high pitched. Make sure to never put the implant on without having the volume turned all the way down, then have her adjust it up.

I slapped my implant on only 40 mins after activation, and had been fiddling with it. The volume was WAY up and it hurt because it was so loud!

It IS discouraging at first.... still kind of is for me, and I'm on my first week of hearing. I don't hear cars and I could hear that with my hearing aid. The activation and first few mappings is just about introducing electricity/sound to the brain. Nevertheless... she SHOULD be able to hear Goldie's tags jingling the first day or clapping :)

I look forward to more updates.

Tell Amanda good job talking. I'm shy about talking too, especially with a video camera on me! Her speech should definitely improve with the implant. I can already hear the subtleties in speech and that helps.

jenniferbrunoconde said...

Thanks Tasha! We are following in your lead!