Wonderboy got his new ear molds last week, but he came home with only one hearing aid. The FM attachment on the other one wasn’t working right and the whole thing had to be sent in for repair. His FM system is a super-nifty piece of technology: a little silver doohickey (to use the technical term) attaches to the bottom of each hearing aid and picks up whatever is spoken into the little clip-on microphone that is the other half of the system. See, if I’m wearing the mic, my voice gets piped directly into Wonderboy’s hearing aid, louder and clearer than all the other sounds the aid is amplifying.
Hard-of-hearing kids in school use FM systems to help the teacher’s voice reach their ears above all the ambient noise. Here at home, we use Wonderboy’s FM to help him hear the soft speech sounds that otherwise elude him. The mic has a decent range, and it is extremely amusing to switch his hearing aids to FM and have someone in another room start talking into the microphone. The boy’s face will light up and he’ll trot off to locate the speaker, pouncing with a triumphant yell when he is successful in his quest.
"AIR!" he’ll shout, which of course means "Aha, THERE you are!" (As if I needed to explain that.)
But right now he’s only got the one aid. And when Scott switches on the FM and sneaks to the next room to murmur "I’m gonna get you…" into the microphone, Wonderboy is like a dog chasing his tail. He pivots to the right, because that’s the ear with the hearing aid in it. Daddy isn’t there, so the boy just keeps on turning. At about 180 degrees he starts to laugh, knowing the joke is on him again, but he can’t help it, he just has to keep on looking right and right and right.
Scott will be peeking from the other room, and the whirling boy will be too much for him. When he laughs his booming laugh, he gives himself away. Wonderboy’s spin is arrested and he books through the door to attack his daddy. Air he goes.
Newborn Hearing Screen: A Piece of Advice
He’s Talking in My Sleep
The IEP Meeting
Resources for Learning American Sign Language (ASL)
The Wait and the Wonder