Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Big Huge Update

I was reminded that I needed an update post when I received an award from Kristina. That in itself gets it own post next. For now, a long overdue update.

1. Two weeks prior to my wedding (which seems like years ago at this point, but was not even two months ago!), Emmi had the failed implant removed and replaced. While I was on my honeymoon, my dad took Emmi to her activation appointment. While we toured Jamaica, I made frantic calls back and forth until I was sure that sucker had fired up! All had gone smoothly. After months of fighting Med-El, Emmi finally had a working left ear!

2. Emmi started Kindergarten in a mainstream classroom this year. It has gone both better and worse than expected. She had been wearing the FM on her right ear, and suddenly it wasn't working (more on that in #3). For the first three weeks, Emmi was without an FM system in an open concept classroom. A classroom she was NOT supposed to be in. Emmi was supposed to be in one of the two enclosed classrooms, however three of the deaf ed kiddos were put in open concept classrooms. I was mad. I questioned it, and learned that they chose the three highest functioning children to go in these classes. Great. Punish my kid because she is doing well? I would have thrown a bigger fit, except we are moving (see #4). As a result, Emmi's behavior has been greatly affected. She tends to shut down when she feels like she is fending for herself. Easier to just do what she wants than attempt to communicate! Plus, it has been quite a shock moving from PPCD to Kinder. To say she has been naughty would be an understatement. However, she is blowing everyone away with her academic abilities. She is above level on almost everything. Pretty amazing for a kid who only has a hearing age of 3 years!

3. The problems with the FM system were only the beginnings of the right ear issues. Apparently, Emmi was getting feedback from an electrode that was running high. Emmi is now loosing electrodes on the right side. Awesome. Note the sarcasm. We at least, have had some light shed on why this keeps happening. Med-El has a MUCH higher failure rate than the other brands. However, almost all the Med-El kids at our clinic are preforming MUCH better when their internal devices are working than others. The issue? Med-El's electrode array is too delicate. A slight shift causes major damage. The other brands don't have this issue. This means, a hard fall could shift the array enough to do major damage. It seems to be a Catch-22. The best is also the worst!

4. We are moving. I could list a million reasons why. But the real reason is simply because we want to. Kenny and I both grew up in this area. We both desperately want a change. We did our homework. We found a good district with enclosed classrooms and sound field systems in all classes that doesn't spend the whole year reviewing TAKS. We searched neighborhoods and towns, and we fell in love with a neighborhood about 45 minutes from here. It is in a small town. The neighborhood is wonderful. We are really excited about the move.

I am sure there is so much more that I missed. More posts soon!


Kristina said...

What a great update! Go, Emmi (academically, that is)! I hope the right side issue doesn't turn out to be anything major and that she makes the transition to the new school pretty well.

leah said...

Wow- that's a pretty major update! I'm glad that Emmi's re-implant went well (crossed fingers that the left side stabilizes and doesn't slip more)! I went to an elementary school with open concept design and it was a pain- even for hearing kids. Hard to focus and we couldn't do a lot of reading aloud, etc. I'm definitely a fan of closed classrooms, lol! Good luck on the big move!