Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Owen Update

Ok, I know this is overdue. Things have been a little busy around here :)

Owen has had all of his evaluations. The results of his hearing test revealed that he has a moderately-severe to severe hearing loss. With this degree of hearing loss, normal conversational speech is inaudible to him. No wonder he has no speech! Can't hear it, can't say it. He is scheduled to see an ENT this Thursday. He has a little bit of wax in his ears that we need to have removed before we can take impressions of his ears for new hearing aids. He will be wearing two, behind the ear style, hearing aids. I've been researching several brands and haven't yet decided what we'll go with. Things have changed a lot in the four years that I haven't been practicing, and hearing aid technology has evolved greatly. So much to think about! Then there's the little decisions like do I get beige to match his skin, or do we make it a little fun and go with a set of blue HA's????

All of Owen's evaluations for services through the school district have been completed. Everyone was very impressed with how appropriately he plays, how smart he is, and how friendly he is. He will mostly likely be attending a full time preschool program for hearing impaired children. I had the chance to tour the school and meet many staff members. Everyone seemed wonderful. The school is very nice and in addition to the classrooms has a full gymnasium, full kitchen, and computer lab with brand new computers, all of which the preschool children have use of. The classes are very small, about 7 kids, with two teachers in each class. The school uses an Auditory Verbal approach in which the children are taught spoken language auditorily. I CAN NOT WAIT to see how Owen does once he's properly aided and getting the help he needs. We are waiting for state approval for school placement and his CPSE meeting is probably going to be next week. He can start school immediately after that.

As excited as I am that he will be getting the help that he otherwise never would have received, I am so worried about him adjusting once again to a new situation. I know it will only take him a few days to realize that he goes to school and then comes home, but it makes me sad to think about how worried he'll be in the beginning. I see it every time we do something that's not quite our regular routine. For example yesterday I took him and Jason for haircuts. Well, we have never left the house with just the three of us. When he realized that just the three of us were leaving he went and sat at his little table, looked at me and shook his head "no". I kept waving for him to come and he started to pout :( Poor little guy was so scared and confused. Leaving with just me and Jason was unpredictable, and he couldn't predict what would happen next.

Things still continue to get easier and easier everyday as we get to know each other better and he learns whats expected and acceptable. We have had far less whining, and no tantrums. He no longer cries at bedtime, but instead fully participates in the routine. He helps pick up the toys in the living room, and shuts off the television. When we get upstairs I usually let Ella watch a little television while I sit with Owen until he falls asleep. He now turns the T.V on for her when we get upstairs! When we're all washed up and ready for bed they both sit on Owen's bed and I read a book or two. He then kisses Ella goodnight and takes his hearing aid out. The other night he even tried to open the battery door like I do each night! No more crying, no more pouting, no more self soothing behaviors while he falls asleep.

What amazes me most is that he's only been here about a month! Most people can't believe how very little time he's been home. I can't wait to see what the next few months bring!!


Lynn said...

So glad to hear that Owen is doing so well. Not to be gross, but you should have seen the wax that came out of Thomas' ears. Our Ped. said it was three year's worth and I believe him. His language has taken off just since having that done.

I'm sure Owen will do great in school!

Alison Hawkins said...

Hi Melissa, read my blog about preparing Bo for school. He just completed his first full week and is doing great. I see amazing changes in him every day as he seems more at ease with the teachers and classmates. I use a lot of sketching out what we are going to do each day and showing it to him so he is prepared. I'm no artist but stick figures do the trick. Maybe a whiteboard near the door would help you tell Owen where you are going and who is coming along? Keep trying new things, you're doing a great job!

Joanne said...

Great update! He is such an amazing little boy !