SJ is about to be 5 months in terms of her hearing age. Her first therapist drilled that idea into my head before we got the implant “hearing age, hearing age, hearing age”. So many parents get discouraged if they don’t have realistic expectations. I can now see how easily that could happen. When I feel like she should be able to talk or understand more I remind myself of her hearing age. One easy way to think about it is by comparing her to baby Ezie. He was born almost two months before SJ was activated. A little side note, you start hearing In Utero and the neural pathways begin forming before you are even born so he has that much more of a lead just from the work he did listening in the womb! That puts Ezie and SJ neck and neck when it comes to hearing and speech. Granted SJ has tons more cognitive experience and abilities that will allow her to learn faster than Ezie, but they are going to start learning language at approximately the same time.
This makes our family dynamics interesting. Even though I have 3 kids that are all 2.5 years apart I’ve been listening to ONE kid talk our ears off for the past 4 years. He more than makes up for the lack of communication from the other two. Believe me, Z is a talker! It will be interesting to go from one talker to three next year. On top of that I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old that jabber to each other with grunts and basically “oohs and ahs” It’s hard to tell their voices apart.
People get them mixed up all the time when I’m on the phone or the kids are in another room. I took this video that gives a little glimpse of what I am talking about. SJ is the squeaky high pitched (that’s her way of singing) and the other squawker is Ezie. These are just some of the sounds they make.
It’s like their ears are twins. It’s a little heartbreaking in a way. I watch Ezie take in the world around him. He turns to sounds, he bangs on things, and blows bubbles with his mouth. We are all giving him an earful to listen to and he is taking it all in without even knowing how it’s stimulating his brain. He will learn our language naturally and effortlessly. For SJ she has to go to school full time and have daily therapy sessions. We have spent the past 4 months just getting her to detect sound and she has taken off with this skill and is doing great. But you can see how much work it is. I know God will be glorified through this and he has a plan for SJ. I look forward to seeing it play out.