One of the things us CI families have to come to terms with is, no matter how fantastically your child performs with their CI, the technology has limitations; after all, it is just technology. Remarkable as CIs are, the microphones, batteries and wires all have their own little bugs.

What we all have in common is that these limitations bring about predictable problems. One of these is vocabulary. CI children tend to be poorer at overhearing than other children. They don’t hear new words in context as well and hence their vocabulary can develop more slowly. Whilst a typical, hearing, child picks up new words from conversations they’re not even involved in, this can be more difficult for CI children. This isn’t a major problem. Alice’s language is above age appropriate; her use of language is fantastic (see how far we have come in four short years!) but she may not have a full Eskimo vocabulary of words for snow or understand colloquialisms as well as her friends. It’s a small problem, but one we are acutely aware of and we spend hours shoving new words her way. Reading has made a huge difference in this respect.

Alice swore for the first time today. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

She had overheard me shouting at a particularly noisy toy of Ollie’s (which was driving me particularly mad yesterday morning) and decided to demonstrate her new-found knowledge of expletives to the world. Hallelujah.

Every step is hard-fought, but every win feels oh so very special.

In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a little video of Alice reading; we couldn’t be more proud of how far she has come and how well she is doing at school. For any families just starting on this journey, your dreams for your children are still possible and, just to warn you, they will swear too…


Ready, Steady, Gooooooooooo

So it’s now just shy of seven months since Ollie was implanted; six since he was switched on. In that time we have worked daily with him to give him the best access to spoken language that we can. Ollie attends AVuk every fortnight and, despite our experience with Alice, we are still learning all the time. In part, this is because Ollie is that bit younger than Alice was at the same stage; he’s still a bit young for structured AV-type games (as Ollie’s AVTs have found to their cost!). Frustrating doesn’t begin to cover it, but his progress makes it all worth it.

At six months post switch-on, we reckon Ollie has around 15 words (expressively) and about twice that receptively. Ollie can say: Look, Hot, More, Ali, Yum Yum, Brmm Brmm, Choo Choo, Bye Bye, Quack, Open, Pop, Up Up Up, Down, Uh-Oh…they are all consistent but if you weren’t looking for them, you’d probably miss them.

We couldn’t be more thrilled with his process. You always hope for the best and, as parents, we know we will never miss the opportunity to give him the best possible access to spoken language. Miss the opportunity and you might never get it again.

For now, I hope you enjoy Ollie playing “Ready, Steady, Go…..” (an old AV favorite)



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