Thursday, September 18, 2008

And still there is more

My son is just a total crack up - he makes me laugh all the time, in part because he has inherited my love for the crazy, the immautre and the just plain silly!!

It was off to the audiologists again today to see how he is going with the new Freedom processor. Seeing as though he blitzed the sentence level test last time his audie told him he had to make it harder, just because he could : - )

So this time it was single words only, so there are no other words like in a sentence where you can help guess the word or the meaning by hearing all the rest of the information - just a word on its own. The words are on a pre-recorded CD and have been made with much time and care so that each word has the same volume across the entirety of the word and each word is at the same volume as the last.

So in quiet he scores 90 something percent about 93 I think it was.

But the best was yet to come, he turns in his seat looks at the audie and says "you know I'm not that sure about this CD you know?"

The poor audie knows he is about to commit mental hari kari but goes for it anyway and asks A to explain.

"....well you is kind of like when the person says it they say the word all at the one level. That is not what it is like when people talk in real life is it? When people talk there are like accents on certain consonants and stuff when they say the word. When she says them on the CD there isn't any of that? Why is that? Why didn't they make it right so it is like listening to normal speech then?"

The audiologist had the very briefest glint of a passing "deer in the headlights look" then grins wildly at A and says "for goodness sake you are profoundly deaf you are not supposed to even know about accents on consonants, let alone hear them" which point they both just cracked up laughing!

I am actually really impressed with his audiologist, we have only just started seeing him as his other one retired. He treats him like the young man he is and empowers him to be involved in his hearing management. He talked at length with A today about using his FM and how kids at his age sometimes reject them. He made the comparison between a friend who kept making up reasons why he needed a new car, when in fact he just wanted to buy a new car. The audie put that right back on A, if you decide not to wear it then don't kid yourself or anyone else that it is because you can hear better, because that is not the case. If you are too lazy to wear it or embarassed to wear it then be up front and say it, don't pretend it is because you can hear fine without your FM.

I think that message plus the test results were just what boy wonder needed to hear, and that he will make the right choices with regard to his FM.

Friday, September 5, 2008

He has no damn right to be that bright

Lovin this title and it came from a really good friend of mine and was made in reference to A.

yeah he is a bright cookie, in spite of my parenting....afterall grown up mature responsible adults don't go around mimicking the voices of the Lego Darth Vader in the cafeteria video off the net, now do they??? well at least one does : - )

So the senior years of high school would be hard enough for any student without a hearing loss. A never does anything by halves, let's just make it even more interesting, let's see if we can have a go at the International Baccelaureate program (IB). The IB has as a component a foreign language and it is a compulsory requirement for the program.

Fortunately the language that A would be doing starts midway through year 10 and finishes midway through year 12, so he gets half of this year to see how he goes with the language before making the IB or SACE choice of stream for year 11 and 12.

He started Italian (yeah Jodi - Italian!!!) about 9 weeks ago. Last week was his first oral assessment. In true A fashion he put the time in preparing for it and wrote it all out. With spaces between lines it was about a page of writing. He had to introduce himself, his address, who is in the family, pets in the family and something about each member of the family - me he chose the word "bizarro" - yep and I love him too!!!

He cruises into my office at the end of the day and I asked him how the Italian oral went. He gets this flustered look on his face, runs his hands through his hair - at which point I am about to hyperventilate worrying about him - just as I am about to tip over the edge, this huge grin crosses his face and he jumps in the air, arms thrown upwards and a "Mum I aced it!"

In reality he scored 15/15 with only two minor pronunciation corrections - helllllloooo - did no-one tell you that you have a profound hearing loss??? Well yeah, but it sure hasn't made any difference to what this kid is capable of.

And if that wasn't bad enough!!! (well good enough really : - ) he was fitted with his Freedom processor for the N22 two weeks ago. We were visiting the audiologist to see how he was going etc and the audiologist decided to see just how well he was going with some sentence level testing.

He scored 94% in quiet and 86% with the background noise being equal to that of the speaker - pretty impressive. After he finishes he smiles at the audiologist and says, I was going to give you a really good answer for one of those sentences but I thought you would score me wrong and that would pull my results down. At which point the audiologist and I know we should know better than to ask, but can't resist the urge to do just that.

"Well" he says "one of the sentences was the house had nine rooms and I have just done all that for my Italian oral. So I was going to say the sentence in Italian not English just for fun" He then went on to say it in Italian for us. The audiologist was impressed but clearly was enjoying the banter with A, and made comments about how sometimes you really like people until you find out just how capable they are then you really go off them. He then told A what he wanted in feedback from him about his new maps when he goes back in two weeks time...when A did his "yeah yeah no problems" response, the audi quipped back with "oh and in Italian too please".

It was all great fun, but not a day goes by, now even 13 years post implant when I am not astounded by just what this young man can do!