Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

JTC Week 1 Day 5


Fridays are short days, we get done with class at noon, so we only had one class and our support group meeting (have I talked about support group yet? Almost everyday we have a group meeting with psychologists and we air our issues and talk about our feelings and struggles as parents of children with a hearing loss. It is a really great element of the program and very helpful....at least for me!)

Our lesson was about self-regulation. Our children (and ourselves!) need to be in an appropriate emotional state to be able to learn and their job, throughout life, is to learn how to maintain that level. If one goes too far one side, they get "too hot" and get angry and that is when tantrums happen (adult tantrums too!) But if one gets too far on the other side they become "too cold" and start getting tired and zone out. Often people get disregulated and are unable to stay at "just right". We need to watch our kids and make sure they are not too stressed and becoming disregulated. The key is to look for patterns and see how we can best support our kids.

Before school started, Miss Kat and I had an appointment with Miss Kat's SLT. We talked about language samples. With a language sample, you choose a period of time and write down every utterance that comes out of your child's mouth (it is helpful to have two people very familiar with the child to do this activity, that way one can interact and one can write). DO NOT FILL IN THE BLANKS!!! If Miss Kat said "Go car", I wrote "Go car", not "Go to the car", even though that is what she meant. First the SLT had me read Miss Kat a story and she wrote what she heard. Then we switched and she read to Miss Kat and I wrote. I wrote a lot more because I could understand her signs and therefore I could understand whether "buh" meant "boat" "ball" or "boy". It was very interesting. I am supposed to do them every month or so, so that I can see what kinds of words she is using, her semantics (grammar above 3 word combinations) and her "average length of utterance".

After the language sample the SLT gave me a booklet with a list of common words. I am supposed to make one with Miss Kat's signs and another with her spoken language. They highlight the average words that a child has in the first five years but it also lists a ton of different ones. It is organized by category so you just systematically go through and look at the list and mark both receptive and expressive vocabulary. I'm still making my way through the booklets.

After school was finished, Miss Kat and I headed over and took a tour of the Advanced Bionics factory. It only took about an hour, but it was very interesting.First the rep sat us down and showed us the internal chip and the old versions of the internal device. Then he showed us step by step how the pieces come together to become the 90k. The rep also took our questions!
1. We asked about waterproofing. He said that they are very cognisant of the fact that CI users want to be able to hear in the water so they are working on adapting the technology that is out there to waterproof microphones into a usable form for CI's.
2. He also mentioned that something will be coming along very soon to "get that (huge processor and battery) off her ear". He didn't get into it any more than that, just to watch for something new.
3. I also complained that there is no pink option for headpieces! He says he hears that a lot and that hopefully that will be changing soon too.

As we got to walk around and see the factory itself I learned some very interesting things. First, all the air systems (AC and heating) blow out. They blow out of the rooms so that dust and debris are getting blown out of the room every time the door opens. Also, they have sticky squares outside the doors. You step on them and it pulls the dirt off the bottom of your shoes. Also, any time a person is working with an internal device, they must wear a coat, booties, gloves, and a hairnet. They also take certain precautions against electrostatic discharge. The guide told us that there are only 3 people in the whole world who are qualified to work on the electrodes themselves. The electrodes are threaded and welded completely by hand. They also seal the internal device and then try to force helium inside it to make sure the seal is complete. Since helium is atomically the smallest element, if helium can't get in, neither can air or water or anything else. He also said that each internal device is signed off by an individual each step of the way. They certify that they have checked all the previous work and that is up to standards, as is their own. And that paper is kept forever, so if we pull up Miss Kat's serial number we could meet all the people who worked on and inspected her implant. The last thing he mentioned was that it takes 30 days to complete ONE internal device.....how amazing! That is a lot of work, but look at what it does!


Anonymous said...

You must learn ASL since you
asked Kat to be born.

Remmy she didn't ask to be born.

Don't be selfish!

Go learn ASL.

MB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MB said...

That is sooo cool! I didn't realize the AB factory was so close to LA. How do you set up a tour? Marielle will be getting an AB device this fall; I would love to take the tour.

leah said...

Gotta love the short days! What a cool day, seeing the factory where AB implants are made. I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy all the "fun stuff" in LA!

Dianrez said...

What was the purpose of writing the language samples? Spoken and ASL grammar are different; but both are languages in themselves. If the purpose is to measure growth in both, good.

If the purpose is to compare one with the other, not too meaningful.

Frequently one will grow faster than the other at different times, and may lead to the temptation to tinker with a natural process.

melissa said...

Anonymous is stupid. They cannot obviously read

Li-Li's Mom said...

I'm going to try that language sample exercise. I have a feeling we tend to fill in the blanks an awful lot w/Li-Li -- will be interesting to see what the little one's language looks and sounds like from a more objective perspective.

I may have to run the sign version of this by a native signer: I think Li-Li has better command of ASL grammar than I do.

I need one of those sticky squares at home :)

PS, sshhhh poor lost troll: read first, then comment