Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Ava!

Ava turned 3 today! We had a small celebration at home with most of her brothers and sisters since I unfortunately had to get strep throat of all days! I had to cancel Ava's little party we were going to have with her friends from the neighbourhood. However, we are having a family BBQ for Ava's out of town grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins on Sunday so at least we can celebrate properly then.


NOW: (she scraped her chin and lip yesterday :(

Ava's Sibs (almost all of them!)

Clarissa - almost 18!

Lauren - 6 1/2

Anthony - 16 on Monday

Adrian - 14 next month

Good Night! zzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Ava is toilet trained. Yay! Still wears pull-ups at night. That's okay with me!

2. Since Ava is toilet trained, I was able to sign her up for some good ole summer camp. YES! I have her in two weeks of half-day camps at community centres only 3 minutes away. They are called "Half-Pints" and "Tiny Tots" . How cute is that. Her older sister is also attending camp at the same location. It will be a great dry run to prepare for pre-school in the fall. Not too worried about CI issues. I will use a critter clip and send some extra wigtape for the camp counsellors. And sprinklers for water days? Bring it on! We've got Nucleus 5's baby!

3. Speaking of wig tape, Phonak has invented a clever product called "Stick 'n Stay". They are individual packages consisting of two pieces of double sided wig tape in a perfect contour shape. This is great for travelling. I now stick a couple packs in my purse instead of carrying scissors and a wigtape roll around. They work pretty well. They cost more than a roll of wigtape but it's still not that expensive if you only use it when you're out on the road (our hearing dispenser charged us $12 for a pack of 30 pairs) And of course but you can't beat the convenience.

4. Ava is a complete little stinker. She now REFUSES to wear her aloksak bag and swim cap for the pool. GRRRRR! Guess we'll just have to wait it out until she passes that "I want to be in control of everything" stage. I had major waterpark plans for this summer and she is ruining them. GRRRRR!

5. Ava has decided it is quite amusing to scream at the top of her lungs within close earshot. Not funny unless you're 5 months old and discovering your voice. Needless to say she has "time-out's" quite freqently these days.

6. Getting dressed continues to be a battle. I've tried everything. She simply will not wear anything you even look at, much less choose for her out of an array of 3 outfits. Sorry, sweetie but you can't wear Dora pyjama bottoms to church.

7. Ava LOVES to "read". She spends a lot of time looking at books on her own. She reads to herself having memorized her books. She will spend an hour sometimes doing this.

8. The other day I asked Ava: What do we use to see? She said, "eyes". What do we use to touch? "fingers" What do we use to taste? "mouth" What do we use to hear? She caught me completely off guard when she replied, "CI's". She's a smarty pants that one.

9. Growing up I used to wonder why I was the only one in my family who wore hearing aids. How grateful I am that I do have a hearing loss. I notice Ava looking at my hearing aids all the time. No doubt because of this Ava feels that wearing hearing devices are natural and normal because mommy and older sister Lauren wear them too. It kinda feels like this was God's plan for me, so I can better advocate and be a role model for my daughters. We are in it together.

10. Another observation - Ava has to have both CI's on all - the - time. Sometimes, for example, I'll put just one CI back on after the bath or if I can't right at that instant refresh Ava's wigtape on a CI that has fallen off, she goes nuts. She demands both CI's every time.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Up until now, almost all of my posts have been fairly positive. Ava has been doing very well with her CI's, but perhaps not as well as we thought. Ever since Ava was discharged from AVT (and actually before she was discharged), I was a tad unconvinced that Ava could talk as well as her hearing peers. The testing (PLS-4) clearly indicated that her expressive language was a few months ahead of her hearing peers. But testing or not, I had reservations. I have 5 children. I know that children develop at different rates. I also know from experience that Ava just simply was not talking as well as her peers, despite the testing indicating that she was. For the last 6 months, Ava has been working with her Teacher of the Deaf (TOD); basically working on material from more of an educational perspective as well as incorporating the goals suggested by her AV therapist. Her TOD just administered a test called the Cottage Acquisition Scales for Listening, Language & Speech (CASLLS). With this test, Ava scored more in the range of a two year old (which makes sense since she has only heard sound for two years) rather than a three year old (her 3rd birthday is in a couple weeks). I was so upset, shocked and disheartened that I couldn't even blog about it. All this time I've been tooting the "my deaf kid has surpassed her hearing peers" horn only to learn that that may not be the case at all. Why did she score so high on one test and not do so well on the other? What's worse is the services provided by the school board for our TOD end at the end of June (just like school does) and break for the summer. I immediately called Ava's AV therapist who agreed to see us for another assessment on June 24 and we may resume AVT for the summer. While there is still time for Ava to catch up before she starts kindergarten next year, I feel really, really discouraged. All I want is for Ava to be caught up. We certainly have our work cut out for us for the next year and I'm so thankful I don't have to work so I can be home with her to work with her one on one. She will also get speech services at her preschool this fall. As for that CASLLS test, I'm also a bit skeptical. Some of the questions it posed, we hadn't yet taught certain concepts to Ava; such as "child states first and last name". I hadn't taught her what her last name was yet. Another item "child is able to tell simple stories". Ava can go into a diatribe about a Dora episode she watched quoting lines she hears from the show but can a nearly three year old tell simple stories - as in stories with a beginning, middle and end? Does reciting nursery rhymes count? (she has a few under her belt completely memorized). She can open up the "Green Eggs and Ham" book and has almost every page memorized. She regularly speaks in 6-8 word sentences. She is progressing everyday. We see a difference in her speech I am so anxious to see Ava's AV therapist and hear what she has to say in all this. I will be sure to keep you all posted.