While we were at AVT therapy this morning, our therapist Julie, who was reviewing the latest report on Mac's progress, noticed that he as been attending AVT for almost 2 years now. I was totally blown away. 2 years already. She remembered when we used to bring him in his infant car seat, and how little he was. It suddenly brought back all of those memories of when he was diagnosed with his hearing loss. We recieved that diagnosis even before his CP diagnosis. He was only 8 months, or 5 1/2 months corrected when he started going to AVT. All we knew at that point was that he had auditory neuropathy and was severly affected. We thought his delays in reaching his milestones were purely because of his prematurity. I think back to those early days and realize that if a hearing loss was all we were dealing with, life would have been a piece of cake! But at the time it was just one more blow in a serious of blows that started on August 2, 2007.
I started to think in the car about whether or not he had made that many gains in AVT over the last 2 years. He isn't talking yet right? But then I shook my head and focused on what he has accomplished. His receptive language as an example is fantastic. He is right where he should be for a 12 month old, which is what he is for his "hearing age" His implant has been activated for almost a year now. He understands his name, and the names of certain things, he listens to everything that goes on around him, he can localize sounds and he can associate certain objects with their learn to listen sounds. His cognition has improved leaps and bounds because he can now hear books being read, and listen to cartoons on tv, and hear songs playing. His latest mapping of his implant was incredible, They said it was the most accurate to date, and he gave the most consitent responses, so we know that this map is even better than his last ones, which will make it even easier for him to decipher speech and other sounds. This is incredible considering we were initally told that children with AN would not receive any benefit from an implant. Fighting for his CI was probably the single most important thing that I have done for him to date. It has opened up the world to him and made it possible for him to learn to read and speak, and learn. I am also confident given how much he babbles, and the new sounds he is constantly making, that he will one day have speech. My biggest goal was for him to have access to sound, and now he has it.
I also figure that with a mom and brother who don't shut up, he is genetically disposed to being a blabber mouth.
Here is a pic from his surgery over a year ago.