As I get ready to call AB and spend another $400 to replace another headpiece that my son has lost (this time in our own house!), I figured I would do a bit of a recap of where Danny’s at with his cochlear implants to help justify all this expenditure. There are days when I get weighed down in the lacks, the lack of understanding, the lack of listening, the lack of words. Danny wasn’t saying the 20, 50, 100 words at his first hearing birthday like so, so many CI toddlers I read about. He isn’t putting 2 words together at 15 months post-activation. He isn’t stopping when I shout after him to stop as he’s trying to run into the street, or even hesitating. Of course, there are many things he is doing that are amazing, and not just related to language. He just loves life so much, is so full of joy. (Usually.)

Danny shows these glimmers of ability that get my hopes up, and then nothing happens for weeks. I told John yesterday that I’m torn between believing he will one day just suddenly speak in sentences and believing he will never talk.

So, what is he doing? Don’t look now, it’s list time!

Danny is saying appropriately, and without vocal prompting:
“uh oh”
“a-a-ah” (banana)
“oh-eh” (open)
“mmm” / “ow-k” (milk)
“oik” (oink)
“ah oo ee” (one, two, three – before doing something fun like sliding, crashing, flying, etc)
“mama” (we think, at least; I’m on the fence about this one.)

Danny is understanding:
Danny, milk, banana, come here, down, up, eat, go to the car/time to go, upstairs, downstairs, no, bye bye, peek-a-boo, stomp, jump, kiss, bang, give me the ___ (whatever’s in his hands), high five, open, close, feet, tummy, mouth, nose, eyes, sit down, stand up, outside, chase, slide, clap, in, all done, walk together (meaning, hold my hand and stick close!), Patty Cake song, Thumbs Go Up song, Open Shut Them song, Twinkle Twinkle song, Who Came to School Today song

There are probably more receptive words he understands in a school setting that I don’t run into, but those are the ones I see often at home.

That’s pretty darn good for a deaf kid.

He’s not gaining ground and making leaps and bounds like many CI toddlers, however, he’s at the language development of a 15 month old: says 3-6 words, has his own language of babbles, uses gestures and the “toddler grunt,” knows a handful of body parts. Slow and steady, right? I remember thinking, around the time Eric turned 3, how awesome his language was…so that means I only have another 21 months to slog through before I can breathe a sigh of relief. Of course, at this age Eric had a lot more consonants.

No comparing allowed!

These are two very different children, no matter how attached at the hip they are. They both keep life oh so interesting with their own unique challenges. (The more I pay attention, the more it’s quite obvious Eric’s going to be a lefty. What am I going to do with a left handed child??) And even when I’ve spent the whole day turning our house upside down and inside out searching for a tiny circle of electronics, one of them climbs in my lap and I start to tickle, and everything is lost in toddler belly laughs.




rebecca on 2 June, 2010 at 11:09 am #

Kel, I think that it sounds like Danny is doing just awesome. I didn’t say my first word until the week before my brother was born which would have been 17 months.
As for Eric being a lefty, I think you are over thinking things. You do exactly the same things with a lefty that you do with any child. Well, maybe you’ll have to buy different sissors or take a little longer to teach him to use a manual can opener but really the differences are not that significant and most people accept left-handedness as a normal variation.

We actually suspect that Eli is going to be left-handed because he uses his left hand almost exclusively and when he does pick something up with his right hand he almost always forgets about it. I’ve seen him eat dinner where he picked up a piece of food with the right hand and then proceeded to eat everything else with his left hand before he noticed the piece of food in his right hand. Then he took the piece of food out of his right hand to put it in his mouth with his left.
We’re actually excited to see if the left-handedness sticks around and if it does how him being right-brain dominate plays out with regards to creativity, problem solving, and artistic expression.

Miss Ka'ts mom on 2 June, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

Why on earth do you have to pay for your headpieces?? We have gone through 8 in the last 18 months and we haven’t had to pay for any!

Kel on 2 June, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

We have to pay because they are lost, not malfunctioning. AB will provide them for free/under warranty only if you can send the old one back.

Kathy on 4 June, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

He also tries to do “and snapped that monkey right out of that tree!” He does the vowel sounds for the words and does the right amount of syllables to match!! :) He’s an impressive little boy!! :) I love him. :)

Kathy on 4 June, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

OH! And I forgot to say, I LOVE reading your blog about him! It helps me understand him a whole lot more!

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