Alice has now been back for 2 sets of mapping since switch on. We went back the following day to add increasing programmes to her map. Essentially the game is to expand the distance between Alice’s threshold and comfort levels, thereby essentially increasing her access to all sounds and frequencies. This involves incrementally increasing her map and thereby increasing the sounds she should be able to hear. So we have spent the last couple of weeks keeping the implant on her head and gradually jumping her up.
Keeping the implant on is easier said than done, we have the choice between a huggie or a snugfit. Snugfit is essentially a plastic casing for the behind the ear (BTE) bit, that has plastic wrapped wire to fold round the front of her ear. As Grandma will agree, this usually involved squishing Alice’s ear into an awful shape to keep it on. When I snapped it after only 10 days, we looked at the alternative. Huggies – these are essentially a plastic stretchy cord that comes down round the front of Alice’s ear hugging the BTE to her ear. Its smaller and neater and seems to stay on better.
Getting her to wear it can be a moment of stubbornness, Alice is very stubborn about many things (order in her universe is very important). However a threat of going into her cot or a stern word from Daddy and she complies. Thereafter she happily wears it all day, often pointing out if its fallen off or switched off for some reason.
Therapy starts again, its all about encouraging discrimination of sounds and we have been introduced to the Ling sounds (essentially, oo, aah, sh, ee, sss, mmm) which show the therapist that Alice can hear all the speech frequencies. We now look sillier than ever, every time a plane goes past, its aaaaaaaaaaaah, Alice responds with her sign for plane and we smile full of hope.
“uma” and “mu” are Alice’s 2 words, the first is very definitely mummy, the second is mouse, Mrs Mouse