Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympic Spirit

Elizabeth has really been enjoying the Olympics and we have been having some Olmypics events here at home. Elizabeth loves watching the skeleton race so we have devised a skeleton run with the board that Daddy uses to work on his car. Elizabeth has perfected the pose that the riders do with their head up and legs straight and squeals with delight as Daddy pushes her around the house. Using Ramon's CME boxes we devised a bobsled run with organza and a rubbermaid box, I am not sure what Ramon would say of his use of the boxes but at least we got the dust off them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Helping Out

Elizabeth loves to help around the house. I think partly this is because she likes to be by my side but she really is a big help. I don't mind her helping with laundry as it us a great way for her to work on getting up on her toes which is really difficult for her. She is also getting good at putting away her clothes, folding and she LOVES to help me bake (or snitch a couple of chocolate chips).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cupcakes and Candlelight

We had a quiet Valentine dinner together with Elizabeth. Dinner consisted of overdone burgers, salad and cupcakes which of course was consumed by candlelight. Elizabeth had helped make cupcakes and both her and her Dad took great pleasure in consuming them. Elizabeth and Ivan have a love for sweets that I will never fully comprehend, the way their eyes glaze over and the silence that fills the air as they enter pure bliss is something they have inherited from Grandma Ellie. Elizabeth was very happy Valentines morning to wake up to a new Webkinz; of course sticking with her girly theme it was a dragon which she named Valentine. We could not have had a better day together as a family she has comes so far since Valentines Day day 5 years ago.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

FM Unit

After much discussion with Elizabeth's audiologist and her ENT we have decided to try an FM unit to help Elizabeth hear in noisy environments. The FM unit is comprised of a small hearing aid/tube that is placed in her ear and a microphone that the main speaker wears around their neck. The FM unit allows Elizabeth to only hear the speaker not the environmental noises or her peers. Elizabeth's hearing impairment is quite unique, Auditory Neuropathy is a difficult diagnosis as no type of hearing test can really determine how much she hears or does not hear, the difficulty with AN is related to the static/distortion that interferes with hearing (think a static radio signal) and this also fluctuates day by day. The use of hearing aids is not helpful because they amplify the distortion/static.
Elizabeth has very acute hearing at home but when we are in a noisy environment her hearing is limited. Most often in a noisy environment we touch her to get her attention and then speak to her close face to face.
We have been using her FM unit for the past couple of months and do notice her being more attentive and not needing a physical reminder. Her teacher at school notices she is more attentive at circle time and during gross motor time she will follow directions without being asked again. I have used it when we go out grocery shopping and it is amazing, normally I have stop, yell her name or go and get her when she wanders off but with the FM unit she comes immediately and follows directions to get items with me only whispering.
The FM unit still is a bit fiddly as it falls out a lot and just recently she lost the ear piece. We are very thankful our insurance approved this as it very costly and we even were approved for damage/loss which I think we may need to use more than once. Hopefully one day they can find other ways to treat and test AN that do not include a cochlear implant because at the present that is the only way to remove the distortion.

Monday, February 01, 2010


We are totally excited Elizabeth is taking ballet and she is loving it. Through one of Elizabeth's teachers I had learned about an adaptive dance class that is in a town next to us. I took Elizabeth for a preview class and automatically knew this was a great class for her. The class is run by the owner of the dance studio and is aided with girls who are in the dance class prior. Each child is paired with a volunteer who guides them through all the movements. The class is no cost and the parents watch the class from another room. The fact that I sit for 1/2 hr is a bit odd to me as every program Elizabeth is in I am usually running around with her in a full sweat but I think I can get used to it.
The class is quite challenging for Elizabeth as it requires balance and stability and most of the exercises cause her to lose balance but with the help of her assistant she can follow the group. Elizabeth was so excited to be dressed in her ballet suit and once dressed proudly declared 'I think Jake will like this', Jake is a little boy in her class who is just as spunky as her. At the end of the year the class will put on a recital which I will be there beaming.