Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Little Tune Up

Today I drove Malachi (Brian didn't come) down to MUSC to see the audiologist to reprogram Malachi's left processor.

Driving 2.5 hours there and then 2.5 hours back with a 16 month old, by yourself, is a form of torture.

We started off with a booth test to see how he was doing with the current programming. He only cooperated for about 5 minutes. At that point she figured he was hearing around 50 decibels. It's hard to tell with Malachi because he only responds the first time he hears a sound. And if he responds, it's usually quick and discreet...a quick look up or to the left. Sometimes he just stops and stares. We never know!

After that we headed to the office where we hooked up his processor to the computer and reprogrammed it. The process of programming is very similar to a audio booth test. She adjusts the processor and we either clap, say words or sounds or she sends a series of beeps to the processor for Malachi to hear. Then we wait for a response from him. So, we had the same frustrations during the programming as we did the test.

We got to the point where the audiologist had a good idea of where Malachi was hearing so she turned up his processor. He handled the adjustment really well so we went ahead with that and an extra program to switch to after a week.

Next, to make sure that the new program was working we popped back into the booth to check his hearing. He was even LESS cooperative this time around, if that's even possible. In order for the booth audio tests to work we have to condition Malachi to look to the sounds that he hears. If he looks correctly then a flashing light/Goofy toy is lit up in the corner. It just so happens that Malachi is not impressed by this method. He does not think the toy is interesting. Not to mention he is very curious and quickly gets bored sitting in there in a chair. That brings up the problem up of simply paying attention to the sounds. We somehow need to teach him to want to listen to those sounds and SHOW us that he hears them. I'm thinking a treat of some sort may be needed next time. Like fruit snacks or Dots candy. If anyone has any brilliant ideas, let us know!

His next appointment is in two weeks, November 9th. That's the day we'll be activating his right ear and then we'll also be reprogramming his left ear. We are very excited :)


  1. that is so exciting!!! and so funny that he doesn't do it the way everyone wants him to, lol. what a little character :D

    i think that the fruit snacks sound like a good idea, especially if they're something he doesn't get very often, or if he gets excited when he gets to eat them. send him my love!!! i'm just crazy about that little guy.

    OH! and maddy has been remembering him in her prayers along with jen's emma. you guys are loved!!!

  2. I like this Malachi...
    You should play sound games with him.

    Produce a sound before a picture appears so he guesses where the sound comes from before the picture pops up.

    Another one is pure conditioning.
    Play a sound before a treat is given. Before the treat is given, make sure he looks at the source of the sound.

  3. I wanted you to know how grateful i am that you have created this blog! I am doing a research blog on deafness/profound hearing loss for English 2 and Malachi was my inspiration. My teacher had told me that our subject had to be near and dear to us and he was it! I feel privileged to be able to educated myself and others about deafness and for it to mean so much to me. Is is okay for me to use him for my case study? That is one of the requirements of this project and he is perfect for the role. i love you Malachi and hope you continue to heal and progress!

  4. Allie- of course you can use Malachi as a case study. Malachi is lucky to have a cousin like you. Let me know if you need extra information for your project.