February 07, 2009

This is why !!

Alyssa has been wearing her Freedom speech processor on her shoulder now since January. Since this change we have seen a number of positive improvements with her and the processor. The most important and most drastic change is with Alyssas speech.
In only a month she has begun to develop her sentences all by herself, without prompting and pushing from me. The processor is always with her. It never falls off and if the coil comes off it doesn't go far and Alyssa will just pop it back on. When the processor was on her ear it would continuously fall off. Not just the coil but the whole unit. Because of this I would find Alyssa playing without her 'ear' on. This was so frequent that I believe it could be a contributing factor in Alyssas delayed speech development.
Alyssa has small soft ears and her processor doesn't seem to want to stay there. Even her hearing aid has to be taped back so it isn't flapping around. When she is running about or playing rough and her processor comes off, she doesn't bother picking it up and putting it back.
There are too many other fun things keeping her occupied that she forgets about it. Hearing or not. She loves jumping on the tramopline but could never wear her processor, for obvious reasons. Now it stays put even while on the tramp. In the pouch the processor is well protected and won't get scratched or damaged. It won't fall off, thus removing the worry of losing or breaking the unit.
In the two years Alyssa has had the freedom she has had to have it repaired or replaced numerous times, most recently at christmas time. Alyssa has gone through three new processors and several repairs of damaged units. Using the shoulder worn approach is going to diminish, if not eliminate, this disaster. The only regret that subsides in me now is that we didn't know about this earlier. Since hearing of the profound improvements, Alyssas therapist is very happy for her and that we have found a solution that works for us. We are now able to recieve the 28cm cables without being questioned about wanting such a long cable.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter also wears her processors on her shoulders. Lotte was our inspiration very early on in our CI journey. We use a different method, though - We wrap small hairbands around the processor and run a large diaper pin through them before pinning to her shirt. It isn't as attractive as your pouches, but my sewing skills are lacking. ;) I may need to place an order!

    I honestly can't imagine Erin wearing the bulky processors on her ears, or having to struggle with multiple parts of the CI system as children with the Babyworn System do. As you mentioned, she can run and jump and wrestle with Daddy and we never have to worry about her equipment. She is in a daycare setting during the day, and I do not have to be concerned about her losing her processor or having another child grab it from her ear and do damage (as children can do at times). No wig tape. No skin irritation. No ears sticking out, causing discomfort.

    Many audiologists are not in favor of wearing processors this way, but Erin's audi was very supportive. She feels that the most important thing with young children is to make sure they are in sound. She actually ordered a set of longer cables for us as part of Erin's first package.

    Most importantly, you can't argue with the results. Erin received her first CI at 14 months of age, her second at 26 months... and she had caught up to her peers in spoken language by age 3. I can't imagine she would have done any better by having her processors two inches higher.

    The only thing I have noticed is that she still has some problems localizing sound. Her audi said that wearing the processors on her shoulders may be delaying the process of learning to localize sound, because the processors aren't on the side of the head - so they are not being turned as her head turns.

    She feels that although it may be causing her to take a little longer to develop this skill, it won't prevent her from developing it. And the benefits of having her comfortable outweigh that small negative.

    Your daughter is gorgeous! And your pouches are lovely. I'll be adding this link to my blog with a post. Thank you for sharing this!