Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day Two - Speech Eval in Birminham.

Well, what a crazy day. I had to get all the kids up, fed, dressed and out the door by 6:45 so that I could jump on the road to Birmingham by 9am. Those who have ever seen Jack, my five year old, in the morning know that is is not an easy task. However, we managed to get it done and I arrived for our speech evaluation 5 minutes before our appointment. I wont even mention the number of laws I broke in order to get there on time.

The speech eval was mostly questions about her development in all areas...speech included. Both Speech Therapists thought that Molly was exceptionally bright and cognitively right on track. Any delays she had in other areas were solely due to her not being able to hear. They hold out great hope for what the implant will do for her and while they cant assure me of the level of success she will have, they feel that shooting for mainstream kindergarten is not something that is too far fetched.

So we left knowing that the next step was a few months ( three to four ) of pre implant therapy. That means we have to agree to bring Molly to Birmingham once a week until the parents know everything that the therapists and doctors want them to know. This process usually takes three or four months. However, due to the number of hurdles and struggles we faced in trying to get her in and tested I had already studied the different types of hearing loss, am well versed in reading an audiogram... ( at least good enough for someone who isnt a speech therapist or audiologist), know the type of hearing loss Molly has and how to describe how a person hears complete with drawing a diagram of the outer, middle and inner ear. I guess I figure if I had to know enough to do eye surgery in order to fly nights in flight school I may as well become an expert on the anatomy and function of the ear. All of this information is what they are looking for the parents to know prior to surgery and I think I proved that today. I've also reasearched the two different types of implants that Childrens South offers and what makes an implant different than a hearing aide. So after throwing all of that out there, the therapist I spoke to said that she thought I would probably be able to go through their checklist in 6 weeks. I am determined to do it faster than that!

Once I got home, the therapist called to let me know that all the slots for therapists were full and that they thought that based on the information I already had that I would be able to wrap up pre implant therapy in about three weeks. So we went from three to four months to three weeks and I couldn't be happier. Finally the system is working for us...not against us. Im thrilled. But I will be studying like crazy for the next three weeks in order to learn and commit to memory everything I need to know in order to speed this process along. Once the therapy is complete, we will get a CT scan of Molly's ears, and then meet with the Doctor doing the surgery. We are attempting to get the insurance to approve a bilateral implantation... basically meaning an implant on both sides. Because our doctor doesn't like doing both at the same time, we will have to actually have TWO surgeries to get this done.

Im hoping that we will spend the next month in pre- implant therapy, than another two or three weeks getting CT scans and meeting with the doctor, than another two or three weeks for the insurance three months before her first surgery. In the meantime we will travel to Birmingham for therapy and continue our therapy here with our local AV therapist as well. If things go as planned, Molly should have both implants in, turned on, and mapped before school starts in August!

Our first therapy session is next Thursday. Here we go! Another step closer to the Implant process.

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