February 13, 2005 @ 11:12 am | Filed under: Hearing Loss, Special Needs Children, Speech Delay, Wonderboy
Wonderboy had new ear molds made last week. Ear molds are little custom-fitted silicone doohickeys that fit a person’s ear canal exactly and attach to behind-the-ear hearing aids. The actual hearing aids last for years, but a growing baby needs new ear molds every three to six months. Wonderboy’s current pair have started to fall out occasionally, so it was time to get new ones made.
Jane brought a friend along to the audiologist’s office to watch the procedure. The girls enjoyed watching the audi shoot goo into Wonderboy’s ears, one at a time—pleasantly blue goo which looked like gaudy swirls of cake frosting when she was finished. Wonderboy was less amused. But he’s a good sport and allowed himself to be distracted by our beloved infant hearing loss specialist, C., during the short wait for the goo to firm up. Then pop!, out it came, a perfect impression of his ear canal.
The impressions are sent to a lab, where they are used to make the new molds. Jane and her pal were dazzled by the choice of colors…didn’t I think he’d like purple molds, or maybe lime green? I opted for the faintly blue transparent kind–but they glow in the dark, so there was satisfaction all around.
I was unprepared for how much I would adore Wonderboy’s hearing aids. I love that he likes wearing them, fusses if I don’t put them in first thing each morning, tips his head expectantly while I check the batteries. They are officially my favorite form of technology, surpassing even this computer (gasp) and my propane fireplace (which is saying something—that thing draws me like a magnet).
I love that when I turned down the volume of the CD player in the car yesterday to field a question from the back seat, Wonderboy started calling out “Mah! Mah! Mah!” This is his all-purpose syllable; it means, depending on context: “Mom,” “More,” “Dad,” “Jane,” “Could you hurry up with those peas, please!” In this case, I understood it to mean, “Turn the music back on.” We were listening to the CD that came with our Signing Time videos. He knows the songs and wiggles his fingers while he listens, watching his own hand intently—his way of singing along.
“Mah!” he insisted, and I had to laugh at myself, because in my last Charlotte book I wrote a scene in which young Charlotte is inordinately proud of her baby brother for packing so much meaning into the word “Buh.” Well, maybe Charlotte was overreaching, but Wonderboy really is working to pack content into the few sounds he can currently shape. And he’s succeeding: that “Mah” speaks volumes. Driving down the road, I cranked up the volume, singing my own internal ode to hearing aids and ear molds.
Related post: Making ear molds
The IEP Story
It Must Be a Sign
Fun with Audiology: Making Ear Molds
Discipline and the Special-Needs Toddler