Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

1. Ava is starting school in a couple weeks! Oh, pardon me, as Ava would correct me, "I'm going to PRE school!" She is very excited and points out her school everytime we walk by "that's MY school"). She will be attending 3 mornings/week.

2. We have had such a good, enjoyable and fun summer. She spent a lot of time swimming. She has no fear. She swims the shallow end, deep end, dives for pool sticks...all by the age of 3 and nary a swimming lesson (other than by mom). Wow.

3. Ava is speaking so well! We couldn't be more pleased. She continues to show noticeable progress all summer. She is becoming more accurate with her tenses (using "ing" and "ed" endings). She frequently will repeat phrases she hears us say at random times - such as "what are you talking about?" (in the sarcastic context - a phrase I use with my teenage children).

4. The pre-school Ava is attending is Silver Creek Preschool. It serves children with all kinds of special needs together with typically developing children. They do use a total communication approach, which incorporates oral, sign and visual aids (for the non verbal children or those with communication disorders). I didn't choose the school because Ava is deaf. I chose it because it is also an excellent nursery school for typically developing neighbourhood children. There will be other kids with no issues who will be good language models for Ava. Ava's older sister Lauren also attended the school and had a wonderful fulfilling year doing all the regular pre-school stuff. They also provide speech therapy (if needed) and music therapy. The school will work with Ava's itinerant TOD in preparing a list of goals for her. Also, the school is literally a 3 minute walk from our home.

5. Ava will resume her weekly sessions with her TOD (Teacher of the Deaf) in September. The role of the TOD is to act as a link between Ava's school and her family. She will make sure all of Ava's needs are met at school and also will continue to monitor Ava's speech and language development. She will also continue to work with Ava on academic concepts thus giving Ava a head start for kindergarten next year.

6. Ava is finally in a bed and is sharing a room with her sister. The girls love being roommates. Ava also decided she wasn't going to wear pull-ups anymore at night. Pro: She has been accident free since. Con: she gets up every night around 3am to pee and will sometimes roam around (she is the heaviest walker and thumps around like an elephant) before she goes back to bed.

7. Ava has a Mapping next month. Looking forward to having her processors tweaked.

8. Ava's oldest sisters are leaving this weekend to move into their dorms at university. It's an emotional time for me. Try to imagine your kid leaving home and living somewhere else. Yeah they'll be back some weekends, yeah, they'll be home for the summer. But its not the same. They are living somewhere else. When its your firstborn, it is such a huge adjustment. At home, you know they're safe and snug in their own beds for the most part. You still have some control over their well being. That is all changing now. They have to make their own decisions as to safety and judgment in certain situations. I'm so excited for them, but inside, I'm mourning a loss.

9. Sometimes Ava likes to leave her CI's off for a while. Such as after swimming, she doesn't want them back right away and likes to play around deaf (and naked too lol). She loves exerting her independence!

10. Our life with Ava couldn't really be any more "normal". I continue to stress this because with her CI's, Ava is a hearing child. We are so grateful for her CI's and her ability to hear so well with them. I grew up with hearing loss. My honest to God opinion? Right now? It is no.big.deal. It's life. Our life. Life is what you make it. Don't look the other way. Don't look for what ifs or whys. Just live the life you are given and accept it. Strive to do all things possible to help your child maximize his or her potential and believe you, as his or her parent, ARE doing EVERYTHING possible. Then just ......be. Life truly is precious.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just chilling and enjoying the summer!

It's been a month since I last posted. Ava is enjoying her summer so much. She has done two weeks of half day summer day camp. No CI issues whatsoever. She would come home and eagerly recall the days' activities. She loved wearing a big girl backpack and would proudly march off to camp with her sister.

We visited Ava's AV therapist last month to check in. You may recall that Ava finished her AV therapy last December. However, we were having some concerns based on some new speech and language testing Ava had done. While we thought Ava was doing well up to that point, it was the testing that indicated she was not doing as well as we thought. In the end, we surmised that the testing simply indicated that there were some concepts she had not yet achieved, such as stating her last name. These are things we can simply teach her. Ava's AV therapist reassured us that Ava is still doing very, very well. Sometimes, you cannot get too caught up in "test results". To this day, Ava is progressing wonderfully. She has become very inquisitive, constantly asking me "what are you doing?" She is very VERY excitable and oh so full of zest and life.

Tomorrow we are headed for the annual summer Voice Camp weekend for kids who are deaf/hard of hearing. So excited for the girls to spend a weekend with other kids their age with hearing aids and cochlear implants. It is such an interesting mix of families. Some families are completely oral, such as ours. And some families use sign language, mainly those families where the parents are deaf and chose to have their deaf children implanted and learn to listen and speak. The weekend is full of activities for the kids and workshops for the parents. I look forward to meeting the families we met the last couple years and also to making new friends as well. I will be sure to post pictures.