Since Maggie has had her hearing aid for almost four months now, I thought I would update everyone with how her speech is going. Most people ask me if she is talking yet and that is a reasonable question. Before we found out about Maggie's severe hearing loss, I did not know anything about hearing loss. I had no relative or friends that were deaf and I had never researched about this special need either. These last four months I have had to have a crash course about hearing loss in children and I can say that I am starting to understand it all a little better, but I am certainly no expert.
Children must pass through all the normal stages of language development. This is important for Maggie because the day she got her hearing aid was day one for her. So, she is like a four month old baby in language development since she has had her hearing aid four months. For a child that is 3-6 months old you can expect:babbling with vowels and consonants, some repetition, and experimenting with loud and soft sounds. This is exactly what Maggie is doing ! She is saying lots of vowel sounds mixed with consonants, she says mmm,bbb,ddd, and ggg. We have heard her say it very loud and very soft. It has been amazing to watch her babble and try to communicate with us ( and Charlie the dog).
We are learning that shaping speech is an on-going process and we find every opportunity to work on speech with her. Even the boys look for ways to help reinforce Maggie's speech therapy at home. I read to her all day long and thankfully this girl LOVES books ( she's so much like her mother). We are learning to use a melodic sing song voice with her to promote inflections in her voice and to not rush to help her say a sound. We are learning to pay attention to all of Maggie's babbling and babble back to her. But mostly, we are learning that Maggie is just now getting to know all about this mysterious hearing world and she likes it !