We were planning on posting a "six-month hearing” update documenting the progress of Madison last August, but the summer kept us busier than ever. Here are some photos from our travels.
Maryland - Baltimore National Aquarium
Delaware - Madison & Tessa BFF <3
Illinois - Shedd Aquarium
Our former home in Chicago
Lincoln Park, Chicago
It’s truly amazing how quickly time goes by. Last week, we had our annual meeting with New York Early Intervention. It was definitely weird being back there, not to mention the meeting was held in the same conference room as last September – Brian and I sat in the very same seats – and surprisingly enough we were assigned the same agent! However, while we were seated, about to get started I just started to reminisce about the past year. My throat began to get heavy and my eyes began to tear up. As I thought back to that day, goose bumps ran down my spine. I didn’t expect to have these feelings…. Twelve months ago, we were sitting in this same room in a completely different state of mind. I don’t think Brian or I had any idea of what would transpire over the next year. Madison had her surgery in January, and was activated in February. Now, seven months post-activation we were discussing the goals that we had set for her back in September of 2011. Has Madison reached these goals? How does she compare to her hearing peers? What are our new goals? Reflecting back, it is pretty darn impressive how far she has come and how much she has progressed. Madison is such a determined little girl and she continues to amaze Brian and I every day. But before we go into detail about her progress, the best part of the meeting was that Madison was approved for an increase in home-based service to twice a week with Michelle (speech therapist through Center for Hearing and Communications). We are so happy about this!
six seven months into hearing, Madison has a
vocabulary of approximately 14 words:
- Al (Alan…all dogs are called “Al” )
- Up (by far and away her favorite word)
- Bubb (Bubbles)
- Buh Buh (Bye Bye)
- Babe (baby)
- Muh (more)
- Miiik (milk)
- Umm-Pa (Grandpa)
- App-uh (apple)
- Ba-ba (the name she gave her Paci)
- Eeeey (Yes)
- Yeahoo (Yellow)
She’s definitely doing a great job of listening and following directions. For example, “Madison can you pick up the block and give it to Daddy.” That statement has multiple commands and she is easily able to comprehend that.
We’ve also been working on body parts with her. She does very well with some, but many of them involve movements (i.e. wash your ‘hands’, kick your ‘feet’, brush your ‘teeth’). She knows her head, ears, eyes, nose (although sometimes this is confused with the word “NO”), teeth, mouth, tongue, bellybutton, hands, fingers, knees, feet, toes. She also needs to learn where her ‘shoulder’ is, as she’s always touching her knee, but hopefully if we sing the song enough to her, she’ll get the hang of it.
Madison is also doing very well discriminating her sounds – “Moo” for cow and “Quack Quack” for duck. She even will pick up the cow and go “Moo” or pick up a horse and make the tongue-clicking sound. We brought Madison to the American Museum of Natural History a few weeks ago and she was so excited to see the elephants. She kept making the noise while she pointed them to us. So cute! There is a fire station around the block from our apartment, so every now and then a fire truck passes by the street. Madison will point to her ears and let us know she hears the sound. She has just started imitating the sound, making a “oooh oohhhhh ooooohhh oohhh” noise, when she plays with her toy fire truck.
As well as Madison is doing in therapy, one of the suggestions we received from her therapists was to expose her to children outside of the hearing-loss community. In the past, this was difficult to do. I had always wanted to enroll Madison in a play-class, but her schedule never really allowed it. The first year of her life, we were busy running around taking Madison to doctor appointments, audiology visits, therapy sessions, sound booth visits, etc The list was endless. Starting this fall, Madison’s schedule will finally allow for some FUN! Every Monday, Madison will go to CHC from 9-11 and see Kaitlyn for speech therapy followed by a group session run by Farah. On Tuesdays, Madison has story time at BPC Library in the morning and in the afternoon she has her private speech therapy with Michelle in our home. Wednesday rolls around and Madison heads back to CHC from 9-11, in the afternoon she has a Gymboree class at 3pm. This is convenient because the location is right outside our building and will not have to travel far come winter months. Thursday begins with story time at Tribeca library and Michelle in the home for a speech session. On Fridays, Madison has Clarke group therapy in the morning, followed by two play groups with babies in the neighborhood that afternoon. Oh and if her schedule isn’t busy enough… On Saturdays Madison has music class with Brian and I. We are glad that Madison will be able to finally balance her time between work and play.
Madison is quite distracted with the video camera, but here is a quick snip... Enjoy!