A SPEECH banana, that is!
I want to share what happened today. To understand it fully, you really must get to know the speech banana! Here is a picture of an audiogram (decibels/loudness up and down and frequency/pitch across) with a banana shape outlined on it. If you can hear sounds within the banana shaped area, you can hear typical conversational speech. Many other sounds are shown pictorally on the audiogram.
For the first two years of his life in China and when Jack first came home, he was hearing at about 60 decibels across frequencies - completely below the entire speech banana. He could hear the dog bark, the lawnmower and his parents holler, "NO!" He could not hear normal speech, which is why he had no discernable Mandarin. His hearing loss was moderately severe.
When Jack got his BAHA from the Let Them Hear Foundation (have I mentioned how AWESOME they are???), he was hearing in the 20-30 decibel range. This put his hearing within the normal range except for very high frequency sounds.
Today, with no hearing aid, he heard sounds in the 20-40 decibel range depending on the frequency. He has access to almost the entire speech range without his BAHA! He only has mild hearing loss now and is at 40 decibels for only very high and very low frequency sounds. Here is a copy of his latest audiogram:
He really did well with the hearing test and cooperated like he was a pro. Next, Dr. Colen cleaned his ear out while he laid very still (wow - what a difference!). It is possible that his hearing test results might have been a little better with some of the debris out of his ear. Everything is still looking great. We will stop the ear drops now unless he gets his ear wet (like swimming) and won't have another appointment until his next preop appointment. The last thing we did was get a loaner BAHA for Jack's left ear from the Let Them Hear Foundation and dropped off Jack's to be sent in for repair. It is our hope that we will someday be able to donate it so that perhaps another child can have the gift of hearing!
I am exhausted from such an exciting day, and again amazed at how far we have come....