Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yearly Cochlear Implant Tune-up

On Wednesday, we made our yearly pilgrimage to Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Each year before school starts, Isabella goes in to make sure her implants are working well and to also have her speech evaluated and check for any issues. Becca didn't come, but Harry, Bella, and I try to make it a fun excursion. It is about two hours away so for the drive down, Bella got to watch the Hannah Montana Movie. With no headphone splitter to be found, Harry was told he could use the DVD player on the trip home and also during Bella's appointments at Mayo.

Well, Mom had not done a good job of planning the trip and waited until the early morning to print out directions. Granted I've gone there every year for the last 3 years, but I forget the details of how to get there. Running late as usual, we pull into Mayo Clinic from a different direction than usual due to the fact that I had typed the wrong address into mapquest. Our appointment now starts in 5 minutes and I am still looking for somewhere to park. Only place I can find is a parking ramp that has a 2 hour time limit. A 2 hour time limit for a parking ramp? Insane. So we get out, go to Bella's first appointment with audiology and I have to leave her there so I can go get the car and find a different ramp that will allow us to stay all day. STRESSFULL!!

So the results of the appointments. The audiologists were impressed, as always, with Isabella's ability to hear. With both of her implants together she scored:

CNC list 10 (word list)-96% on words and 98% on phonemes

AzBio List 24(has to repeat full sentences back)- 90% correct

She was the youngest to ever have been given the Sentence Test because it is very challenging and usually for older children and adults.

Right implant only:
LNT Hard List 2 (word list): 76% words 82% phonemes

Left implant only:
LNT Hard List 2: 68% words 84% phonemes

As you can see, the above scores are yet another testament to the importance of bilateral implants.

After the implant check we went to see the speech pathologist at Mayo who Isabella sees on a yearly basis. She told me after seeing Isabella that she was scoring low in areas that other kids with hearing loss score low. These main areas are idioms (knowing what "it's raining cats and dogs means) and inferences (The man's shoes are wet, why do you think they are wet?). She explained that her research is showing that even with kids implanted very early they miss some of these things that other hearing kids pick up much more naturally. She also said that the emphasis on early learning is all about basic language (teaching directions, basic vocab, etc) and the things leading to higher level language get missed. Now we are searching for where to help Isabella gain this higher language. I wish we lived closer to Mayo and could go there every few weeks, but that is just not possible. Hopefully the SLP will have good recommendations for someone to see locally.

Well the highlight for the day was a lunch visit to a Pannekoeken restaurant. Harry thought it was kind of weird that the servers yell "pannekoeken" when they deliver one to someone who ordered it. If you have never been there before, a pannekoeken is a dutch pancake. Isabella loved it and had to order one so they would yell when it came to her.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! I hope you'll consider adding it to the aggregator at Deaf Village ( -- we'd love to have you as part of our community!