Today we had speech again. Miss Kat is doing ridiculously well. Each session the therapist makes things more difficult, and each time Miss Kat does perfectly. She acts like she has been doing this for years and that it isn't even a challenge!
Today's auditory discrimination was "boo", "bee", "bow", and "bye". Miss Kat had no trouble at all. She didn't talk very much, but she understood very well. She is also OBSESSED with covering her mouth when she responds. Argh, I don't know what to do about that. It is frustrating, because she uses whatever she can find to use, sometimes even just pressing her hand against her mouth. So the result is that you can't hear or understand what she is saying! But on the other hand, I don't blame her for wanting to cover her mouth, everyone around her is always doing it!
Our newest adventure together is reading orally. 6 months ago, Miss Kat would throw a royal fit if you even attempted to use your voice when reading a book. Daddy and I would try tons of different ways; one person reads the book aloud and the other one signs ASL, Sim-Com, signing and then reading the words....she hated all of them. But in the last two weeks, Miss Kat is letting us read the books VOICE ONLY! (We still have ASL time too) I don't know if this means she is understanding enough to follow the books, or maybe she just likes the stimulation, I don't know, and I don't care as long as she keeps it up! This week we read 4 dinosaur books, "The Giving Tree", and an "Olivia" book, all voice only.
Wow is all I can say. I really never believed she would get to the point where she could rely on spoken language alone. I always assumed she would need the ASL support. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to drop the signs, but she is already able to follow simple sentences, it is amazing! I thought that she would learn to understand some common phrases, but I never thought she would freely converse in speech....I think I might have been wrong! We always said that all we wanted from the CI was for her to be able to hear us call her name, for safety and convenience (so she would turn and look and we could sign to her) and we knew with the progressive loss we would eventually lose that. That is why we implanted her, and anything on top of that was just bonus. We want Miss Kat to continue with ASL because she will still need it. When she is older and in big classes or meetings or whatever, we want her to be able to still use an interpreter well, but it is looking like Miss Kat could become oral.....I really never thought I would say that! Her AV therapist would say things like that, and "I never aim low with a CI" and I kind of thought she was crazy, but look who was right! I remember the first few sessions of AVT and the frustration of thinking about having to sit in therapy and try to teach every single word in the English language, and feeling so overwhelmed. I thought it was impossible (and THAT is!) but now I see that Miss Kat is going to actually be able to learn words from just hearing me talk, from a book I read, and from everyday life. We don't have to teach her, she will HEAR it and UNDERSTAND!
(On a separate note, Miss Kat wanted to know why Mommy kept crying during "The Giving Tree" and all I could come up with was "Mommy is like the tree and you are like the boy. Mommy wants you to be happy always". She'll understand someday!)