Wednesday, November 01, 2006

He Hears! He Hears!

Yesterday we went back to Cincinnati to see the audiologist and get a new map for Ethan’s implant. The map is a specially designed set of instructions that tells each electrode how to stimulate the nerve endings in the cochlea. The audiologist connects his implant to a computer that programs his speech processor. The computer also performed an NRT test, or a neural response telemetry test. This just makes sure that all of the electrodes (there are 22) in the implant are correctly stimulating the auditory nerve. He passed that test with flying colors!

So the big news is that Ethan reacted to sound! The audi played a very annoying wood instrument behind him and he immediately started to scream and cry. I was able to calm him down and several minutes later she played the noise again. He reacted the same way, cried real tears and was very upset. You would think I’d be all smiles seeing first hand that he was hearing and responding, but I was too consumed with his unhappiness to really appreciate what was happening.

Ethan cried this morning when Rich put his processor on, not a good sign. I think we needed to give him more time to wake up because we tried again one hour later during therapy and he did really well. His therapist played all kinds of sounds and called his name from across the room and he turned several times to see what the sounds were. I’d say that he detected 90% of what she did during the session. Tomorrow she’s putting him in a sound booth so we can get more quantitative information since what we have so far is fairly subjective.

So now we are just going to have to remind ourselves to keep his environment free of too much background noise so that he can really learn to detect and distinguish sounds. We’ll have to “take him to sound” and really focus on teaching him to listen. Lots of work ahead of us, but the rewards are going to be fantastic!!


Audrey said...

That's the best news ever! After witnessing his long and difficult journey from the beginning, it's wonderful to be a part of this major mile stone.
I've got my eye on some really noisy toys for Xmas.
Aunt Aud

Barbara said...

HI Heather! Such exciting news about your cutie, Ethan. My boys both have "morning maps" programmed into their processors (it's set on #1). It's a little quieter so they can "ease" into the day - they both love it! I know it's easier for them since they're older but wondering if that might work for Ethan?

Sam has a blue processor too!

I love your blog!

Barbara in NH
Tom and Sam's mom

Anonymous said...

That is great news! I am so glad to hear it.

Thanks for sending the link to the blog!

Cousin Tim

Finn & May said...

We are excited that Ethan is starting to hear! We like the pictures.

Your pals,
Finn and May

heather said...

Hi guys! That's really really great about Ethan reacting to sounds. That must be a huge load off your mind. He's just going to go crazy forward from here I'm sure. It's going to be a big job to work on the teaching where sounds is thing, but I know Heather(and Rich) is putting maximum priority and energy towards this. Love! and if you want to talk or get together although we would probably be a confusing environment
love, heather reese

Fuller said...

God Bless all of you! This news brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face!!!


rb said...

Great news ladymamma ! I will be interested to hear what sounds he likes and the process itself. Very good news ! I think the public needs more pics of you guys as well..

Anonymous said...

Oh Heather! I whooped when I read your post about Ethan hearing things. Pam and Allison ran into the room to see what got Mom so excited.... I guess I rarely get to say "whoopie" in front of the computer. I love your site and will continue to check it for further stories about Ethan and his world.

Hugs and kisses,
Cousin Joan

Anonymous said...

mrs snedeker thats cool about how he can ear so well now dose he actually say any words or just make noises