Anything else?

When Alice was assessed for her CI, she was subjected to a whole battery of tests to check that all else was well. Everything seemed ok, although her eye tests showed she had a slight astigmatism in both her eyes. This is not, we were told, uncommon for children of her age and she would most likely outgrow it, but we should get it checked in six months time.

Six months was up today.

To cut a long story short, the testing and subsequent converstation did not go well. Alice still has her astigmatism and she is allegedly, and on the basis of some fairly rudimentary testing, slightly long- sighted.

“So if you’d like to go and wait outside we will get her some glasses made up”

Excuse me? A simultaneous and rather terse No! was the response from Mummy and I. Does anyone else want to clamp anything to poor Alice’s head for God’s sake?

The ensuing converstion with the optometrist was, shall we say, rather lively. She clearly did not understand the implications of a CI for Alice or anyone for that matter and, more importantly, the pressures it puts on her already, particularly at this key time.  I have nothing against Alice wearing glasses and, if it proves necessary in due course, she will no doubt do so, but not now. She has enough on her plate already.

In an effort to convince us, the optometrist set out to contradict herself on every point as to whether glasses were actually necessary or not. We were particularly impressed when told that if we didn’t do anything now, Alice would not be able to drive and might not be able to pursue certain careers. For Christ’s sake – Alice is two and a quarter and until four months ago couldn’t hear anything – have you never heard of perspective and priorities?

Anyhow, we will be going back in three months to no doubt tell them where to stick their glasses again. I shall make sure I have had a good breakfast that day.

On a more positive note, Alice continues to progress well. She was at AV again this afternoon with the wonderful Catherine. Catherine seems pleased with Alice’s progress and Alice seems to love her sessions there. More importantly, the messages and exercises we take home have brought the best out in Alice and, I am convinced, are reponsible for her amazing progress thus far. Sadly, Catherine is off on maternity leave for 12 months as of tomorrow, but Alice had the honour of being her last session before she leaves. We will both really miss her, but look forward to wowing her next year when she gets back. Thank you so much for all you have done for us and we wish you and your new baby all the best. We couldn’t have got this far without you.

Alice – Who wants one ? – “Meeeeee”

Sometimes it’s important to draw a line in the sand.  Alice’s speech and language are delayed.  Not a surprising comment, but how much is something less tangible. According to her most recent testing, Alice is currently about 1 year behind.  Oh god she’s a year behind! but actually its more of she’s only a year behind.  With everything that has happened since we discovered a year ago, I couldn’t be more pleased.  We have a target, albeit one that keeps moving but we can see “age appropriate” on the horizon.  The game is now to narrow the gap as quickly as we can. As parents we are now firmly AV, as confirmed by our continual use of “Good Job” to every spoken response. I think we may be slowly driving ourselves mad.

Alice is targeted to have 30 words in 6 months, her pace is picking up and we hope she does better than that.  We can count around 20 approximations.  One of the common misconceptions is that you should think of implantees in terms of hearing age.  But Alice has the brain of a toddler not an infant hence the increased expectation.  Normal 2 year olds have many more than that, so we have to up our game.

Daddy is sitting at home delighted that Alice can finally say something that sounds like Daddy. The joy the small things bring is difficult to put into words. x

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