Six Weeks of Auditory Verbal Therapy: Progress Report

Wow… Is all I can really say. The toughest part of doing this, has been getting practice in with my two coaches. Time is everything, and when you’re waiting for your toddler to sleep, and find your coach asleep as well, one can only just laugh and move on. Despite this hurdle, I have been consistently using the apps I have found for the iPad daily, at least an hour a day. My therapist says that I am progressing well, and indeed, I got my own proof in the past week.

My toddler has been developing his vocabulary and it has been exploding lately. I have been in awe, in tears, and overwhelmed with happiness as I have begun catching new words. His clarity of speech with the words he knows is becoming evident. He is learning to associate these speech sounds with the words we are using and hearing. Like my son, I am learning to hear them, make sense of them, and apply to vocabulary I already know. He is one step behind as we have to teach him those words, but I am now better able to reinforce those words than I was even two months ago.

I have even watched a favourite show, The Big Bang Theory without captions. Now, if you’re a fan of this show as I am, you know there is loads of science-speak and the actors quite often rapid fire their lines. The episode I watched was a repeat,which aided me in following the episode. I realized when it was over, I was able to catch about 65% of the dialogue and even repeat back some of it. That is pretty amazing to me. I have not watched anything without captions, except in a movie theatre since I was about nine years of age. Some day I won’t be irritated when the captions are crap or non existent, and that will be a blessing.

My older two children are enthusiastically practicing with me on the weekends, which thrills me, as I know they will benefit in the end. They want an effortless conversation as much as I do, and having two parents that are deaf, has got to be difficult for them. Their father and I are lucky to have such good kids, who are willing to put that effort in. **

My oldest is learning the violin at school, and this past weekend practiced diligently. She asked me which sound i liked best, and it turned out to be the higher frequency note. I even picked it up and played it myself, inspired by her practice. I once played the flute, and this has me wondering whether I should resume playing, or explore a new instrument in the future. I look forward to hearing her play more, as it will certainly enhance my auditory training and appreciation for music.

My husband has said there has been improvement in our conversations, that he is repeating less often. I believe he is understanding more and more the work it takes for me every day to comprehend those around me. His patience is increasing, and to me, he seems less frustrated with me.

I am quite pleased with my progress in this short time, and so excited to see where I will be at six weeks from now.

** An aside:I had told their father about what we were doing, that our daughter had been working with me on my training. He seemed interested, and it appeared he was going to think about taking advantage of her coaching me, and seeing what he could do himself. To my surprise, I learned that her father has asked her to coach him a little. She said her father has started using his processor again to listen to the violin as she plays. (She takes copies home, so that we can try them via FaceTime and so she can work with her father as well.) I was stunned, as he had been very resistant over the years, and I hope, that his hearing about my progress, and receiving the information I send about the processors, that he will consider undergoing the process and re-implant soon. In any case, clearly the fact that I have done this, and how I am doing has sparked his interest.

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