I’m not really sure any of us knew what to expect after Alice was switched on. You can read every blog, paper, book and website you like to get a feel for the progress your child might make when they are activated, but in reality, it is a classic case of idiosyncrasy. Add to that the natural anxiety of being a parent and the minute-by-minute examination of the minutiae of Alice’s behaviour – is she hearing me or is she just lip reading? – and the whole process becomes very confusing.
All this said, I cannot believe the progress Alice has made in the 1 month she has been switched on. She is already consistently responding to sounds and is showing first signs of being able to differentiate between different noises. I have been absolutely blown away. Equally, the ease with which she wears her ‘new ear, and the rapidity with which she has moved up through her maps – she is now basically up at ‘full volume’ (a dynamic range of 44) after 4 weeks – is more than we could ever have hoped for.
I have no doubt that this whole process will be a case of two steps forward and one back, but that still means we are moving in the right direction.
Alice has had some remarkable and staggering assessments from her various SLTs so far, one even saying that she had ‘never seen a child implanted at Alice’s age who had progressed so rapidly’ – this from one of the SLTs at Christopher Place who, you would imagine, has seen quite a few CI users!
Best of all, Alice has developed the ability to say Ma-Ma. Something we both dreamed of, but had not expected for anything up to 12 months from now, if she ever said it all. When she first said it clearly in the car on the way back from Devon last weekend, I have to say there was not a dry eye.
I think we are winning…..