This was really a very touching thing. The family was so excited. As sent from Thursday night, they were waiting for us with flowers when we arrived. Everyone was there early on Thursday and eager with anticipation. We were fortunate to work in the office of Anneli Ahlers Cuadra, M.A. She was graduate of UF, had done a CFY at the Mailman Center in Miami, and we knew a number of people. She also uses Oticon as her hearing aid of choice in her practice so this really made things easier.
Luckily, The initial fitting we did prior to arrival appeared to work very well and needed little change. Soundfield results showed significant improvement and speech awareness came up to 30dB for one and 35dB for the other. Listening to their voices, it was obvious they had not been hearing as well as they might have been. As expected based on the audiogram, there were no responses after 2kHz. The girls were instructed to wear their hearing aids until they went to bed. Try to observe sound and see if they wanted any changes. We wanted to let them get used to sound before further testing.
The next day, Friday, June 27th, we met once more. I don’t have pictures but Changelle will be post pics from that visit. At that time she tested them with the ling sounds and tried some simple words without lipreading. Speech production remained poor. their mother, Ivania, told us they were excited because they never realized that the airplanes flying over their homes made a sound and this was the first time they were able to hear them. We discussed strategies for learning to listen and to use their voices. For fun, I took everyone to lunch. Who knew that in Managua, Nicaragua they prefer to go out to eat Papa John’s Pizza. They were hearing many sounds they were not accustomed to hearing and at lunch we practiced using our ears and voices. We also discussed with Ivania the benefits of using FM in school or possibly, in the future, obtaining connectline accessories to better listen in school and at home to the television.
Actually, I did not think we would see them again but in the next email you will see what happened.
I am still on a high from this experience.