Madison turned 2 years old this past June. We celebrated the same way we did a year ago, with a party on our building's rooftop. We invited several of Madison’s friends, as well as her favorite character – ELMO!!!
Madison, a fun-loving 2 year old, loves to play with her friends. She enjoys the sandbox, and even though the NYC heat is unbearable, Madison isn’t too crazy about the water park, she says “swing is better.”
We love that Madison has a few really good friends in the neighborhood. She enjoys playing with this group, as well as going to the park everyday. However, when little kids get together, their germs spread. In early July, we had to take Madison to the ER with a 105 fever. Yes, this is a high fever, but children with cochlear implants are more susceptible to getting meningitis. When speaking with the on-call surgeon at NYU Otolarynology department, the doctor said, “If it was my child, I’d take her to the ER…now.” Luckily, it was just a virus and she was fine a few days later, but as much as we try to treat Madison like every other kid, there will always be situations that arise in which we need to be careful.
Madison's speech and understanding has by far surpassed our expectations. She amazes us every day. She is talking up a storm. Yes, she is even using sentences! She absolutely loves Sesame Street. She knows all the characters…and this is just from reading books (and an occasional iPad application – still no television). Madison sings the alphabet song when she brushes her teeth, and it’s so cute when she sometimes also sings the ABC’s when she’s laying in her crib. She’ll just start singing random songs all over the place. She enjoys playing with her “other” friends too– Catie the baby doll, Buddy the dog & Poe the monkey – and even has conversations with them, “Catie, would you like some tea?” Always saying “please” and “thank you”, she’s a little chatterbox, as well as repeats so many things she hears. She still has to work on her pronunciation, but she’s still just a 2-year old, and such a loveable 2-year old.
Madison is still receiving 6 hours of speech therapy a week. Twice a week Michelle comes to our home for an hour for individual therapy. Twice a week Madison goes to CHC – individual therapy followed by group session. This will continue through the end of the summer. The feedback we have received from all of her therapists has been extremely positive. In fact, she no longer has any delays. This is great news to receive, but it doesn’t mean we can toss everything aside. It is extremely important to continue to push Madison (and ourselves) – this will set the foundation for her success once she begins school.
Starting in September, Madison will attend a 2’s program in the neighborhood - four mornings a week. The Downtown Little School, is a mainstream nursery school located about a 10 minute walk from our apartment. Madison will be in the classroom with 9 other children. The school has never had a child with a hearing loss or cochlear implants. The staff at CHC will be giving a brief presentation on hearing loss in the classroom prior to school starting. We feel the 2’s program will help Madison socialize and become more independent. During the school year, she will no longer attend group sessions at CHC, but will still receive 5 hours of individual speech therapy 5 times a week in the afternoons.
Madison’s language has been blossoming and we look forward to the strides she will continue to make over the upcoming year.