And then you get the equipment and there is more learning about how to take care of it and treat them and clean them and keep them dry...oh, and in her ears:)
All that stuff was easy...what is really hard...is learning a new language. We are learning Signed Exact English. Every word that is spoken, has a sign. American Sign Language, which is more what I'm comfortable with, is one sign can mean a phrase or sentence. But S.E.E. is what they use in the public school down here, so when she heads to school next year, she will need to be learning S.E.E. like everyone else. We are taking baby steps, but they are slow and you need two hands to do it and who has 4 almost 5 kids and two hands to do any one thing. Apparently, the people who came up with this language, don't multitask:)
Aubrey has a sensorineural hearing loss. (from web) Sensorineural hearing loss results from inner ear or auditory nerve dysfunction. The sensory component may be from damage to the organ of Corti or an inability of the hair cells to stimulate the nerves of hearing. The neural component can be the result of severe damage to the organ of Corti that causes the nerves of hearing to degenerate or it can be an inability of the hearing nerves themselves to convey neurochemical information through the central auditory pathways. (did you get all that:) The reason for sensorineural hearing loss sometimes cannot be determined, it does not typically respond favorably to medical treatment, and it is typically described as an irreversible, permanent condition. Like conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss reduces the intensity of sound, but it might also introduce an element of distortion into what is heard resulting in sounds being unclear even when they are loud enough. Once any medically treatable conditions have been ruled out, the treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is amplification through hearing aids.
So she has hearing aids and she will always need them. It is a part of who she is now. We have a wonderful auditory impairment teacher coming now. She gave me a great site for hearing loss simulation and I wanted to share that tonight. You can go and hear what a normal person hears and then if you click on mild, Aubrey's hearing, then you will hear what she does when she doesn't have her aids in.
I can only imagine that she pulls out the hearing aids sometimes, because the world around her just suddenly got louder and that must be strange to her...even though it is better and she can learn so much more now. But we are taking baby steps and maybe at the end of the month they will put them at full strength and maybe they won't. If there is anything that I have learned about Down syndrome, it's that every child is different and they do things on there own time table. And some days...it just isn't gonna be fun...but we'll get through it.