Friday, May 28, 2010

Trip to the airport

We went to the airport today to meet my brother (whom we have not seen for many months).He was on his way back to Langkawi Island from his training work in Bali Island (imagine flying from one exotic island to much luckier can he get?).Since he had 3 hours transit time to kill in the airport,we thought that it would be fun for Rhianna to see her Pak Ngah again.
She made some paper flowers in the afternoon and decided to bring one for her uncle.She was quite shy at first but they ended up buddies as always.She spent most of the hours bullying her uncle into drawing for her and making her some origamis.
The airport was very noisy (of course) so I switched her freedom into noise program.I didn't think that she would hear much of what we were saying but she seemed fine.She said "aeroplane go up,up,up"
when I took her to see some planes taking off.
She explored around and heard me when I called her from about 3-4 metres away with all the noise.So I guess she's getting better at listening in noise.
She ate chocolates and ice cream and spilled some on the floor (and on daddy!) then she kept telling me "ice cream tumpah" ( spilled).When the cleaner came to clean,she said "sorry" and "thank you".So I know that she knows some social pleasantries.
It was a lovely outing and the girl was dead tired and fell asleep in the car (much to mum's relief).

p/s: Pak Ngah if you're reading,hope to see you and your boys in mid June!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

thank you all!

Rhianna received mountains of wonderful presents for her birthday.All carefully selected by these wonderful people, friends and family.Most of them asked beforehand about what would be suitable to give a 3 year old girl with CI.So, as much fun as these toys seem to be,they are super functional for therapy (and mum can stop cracking her head looking for new therapy ideas!)

 Just received this one - Strawberry shortcake's berry cafe.Oh, and she got to choose it herself too(approved by mum of course).Thank you Shera!

  She got a magnetic writing board where she tirelessly practices writing the alphabets,numbers and finally drawing a face! The things sticking out on the sides are ears (well, that's what she told me!)

Of course we had to make many  many  thank you cards.Thank you all! We love the presents!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Entering the preschool years-another party!

Rhianna turned 3 on may 13th and we had a cupcake party in her music class.Then,last Sunday (16th may) we had another party with friends and family.She got heaps of beautiful presents and a cute teddy bear cake.

When she was getting ready earlier she got very excited to know that it was her bday party,she couldn't sit still.And then she was very happy to see the mountains of presents for her but was quite shy from all the attention.

We all ate and the kids played games.
We sang the birthday song 3 times to make up for the years that she couldn't hear..but she got impatient with all the singing and no actions (c'mon,let's cut the cake already!)

Later she opened her presents (more photos to post)and ate more cakes.Yes,she had trouble sleeping that night from all the excitement (and sugar she consumed!)..but we were happy.

Singing 'happy birthday' 3 times to make up for the silent years

A teddy bear in pink's that for a birthday cake!Rhianna said "bear!,,bear!"

playing games with friends.She didn't win any but enjoyed herself and got many stickers!

What?Another picture?She was quite shy from all the attention.Rhianna with Aisha (mama gee's sister who's always ready to babysit)

 Playing with her best friend Mia (5 years old)

  Mama Gee,the designated camerawoman who's always hiding behind her viewcam

The superdads hiding away watching sports while keeping an eye on their kids

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy birthday big girl !

May 13th 2010 is Rhianna's 3rd birthday!We decided to give her a big party since this is the first time she's gonna hear people singing happy birthday to her.The last 2 years she didn't have access to sound..(so sad..when I think about it now).And now that she's 3 and entering preschool years, she can understand and appreciate things better so it's gonna be fun for her.

We had one party with cupcakes for 10 of her little friends in the music class today.She was sooo happy but a bit shy from all the attention that she got from her friends and their mummies.She received some presents from her friends (already opened and enjoyed!).
she was still singing the birthday song until her bedtime..

What she didn't really know is that, there'll be another party on Sunday at Mc Donald's with her school friends and many of her favourite aunties and uncles.There'll be more wonderful presents for her to enjoy (and for mom to utilize for therapy purposes!)..I can't wait! I'm probably more excited than she is.

We started the night before by 'bling'ing up her ear!

Cupcakes for friends and teachers!

Rhianna's friends -bless their little hearts (and their mummies')for accepting Rhianna and looking beyond her CI

birthday greetings from a friend

Monday, May 10, 2010

dreaming in sound?

Yesterday,Rhianna spent a delightful day with her favourite person (aside from mommy!),her mama Gee who is also her godmother.They went shopping (their favourite activity!)for sweets and candies for her coming birthday party.She wasn't very happy to go home but said her tearful goodbye anyway.
Later that night when she was asleep I spent the night wrapping her presents and preparing goodie bags for the party.Then I heard a small voice mumbling something..Thinking that she was awake,I went to check on her but she was fast asleep..suddenly she waved and said "bye bye mama Gee".
How sweet is that..she was probably dreaming about her outing.That left me wondering..Is she dreaming in sound?My deaf child is TALKING in her sleep..explain that!

Rhianna and mama Gee in one of their outings together

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Wednesday is Rhianna's reading class day.As I was picking her up today I overheard the teacher complimenting another child telling the parent how well he can read.Having no experience with any hearing impaired child,I don't think the teacher fully understand yet about what kind of adjustments that she needs to do or what kind of progress to expect even.So she didn't comment much about Rhianna.

As I was driving back with Rhianna,I kept thinking whether I made the right decision sending her there.Is it too soon?Can she cope?Will she progress there or will she be stressed up unnecessarily?Suddenly I noticed Rhianna was rummaging into her bag.She sorted out the books, picked one up, pointed and said "SHOPPING!" I can tell you I was grinning like an idiot the whole drive home.

The story didn't end there though.Once home, we showed daddy the book and again Rhianna read "shopping".Then she opened the pages and start saying "ice-cream,toothpaste,peas,eggs,apples" while pointing to the written words(reading or memorising,who cares!).Now daddy and mommy both were grinning like a couple of idiots and Rhianna gave us the "I know these words,so what??" look and left us to find her dolls.

Rhianna's cute is that.Very funny!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Little Miss grump update

Little miss grump is her normal jolly self right more episodes of severe temper tantrums.Because I was worried about sensory integration issues (which is quite common with hearing impaired kiddos),I took her to see a child developmental psychiatrist (superb dr!)in Seri Kembangan.After some observations and assessments done this is pretty much what we found out:

1.Rhianna's cognitive,motor skill and sensory is normal (except for her deafness of course!)She's a very perceptual,alert and observant child.No sensory integration issue is apparent.

2.She is actually an outgoing and extrovert child who likes to lead (surprise!) but has not developed necessary social skill for this (that's why she's so bossy!)

3.As by nature she is a bubbly girl,she has increased frustration level due to her inability to communicate verbally effectively (imagine having so many things to say and tell, but not enough words to do so?)This may sometimes affect her confidence level.As she learns more language and social skill,these problems will eventually subside.The Dr is pretty confident that she will catch up soon.

4.The severe temper tantrums episodes is most likely stress triggered and could be the result of emotional seizure? (still under investigation).

SOooo.. what should we do to help move her along?

1.Organize more play dates so that she mixes with other children of various ages and learn appropriate social behaviour like how to lead/follow the leader.
2.Do more real life activities with her instead of just play or pretend play.
3.Give her more control of her daily life activities like what she'd like to wear/eat,or when she'd like to take a shower..etc(I think she's already doing this,manipulating and bargaining until she gets her way!Or is that wrong?Maybe she shouldn't have to bargain and should only be given choices?)

So anymore ideas?Tell me people,how much more complex can a three year old be??

Monday, May 3, 2010

How's that!

Ok,I'm back feeling better..So no more sad stories for now.
Tonight,I was preparing dinner in the kitchen and Rhianna was watching tv in the living room.When I called to her "Rhianna,come and eat your dinner" I didn't expect her to hear me with the tv blaring.But then I heard a small voice answering me .."wait!".How's that for a deaf child!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

From silence to sound

So far I've written only the good things but I'm not feeling particularly cheerful today.So I'll share some of my desperation and heartache.

Though most of the people around us have been very supportive,many more are not really so, mostly due to lack of knowledge.I've had a doctor saying "but her sounds are still not clear"...and Rhianna was JUST 3 months post implant at that time!You would think that a medical personnel would know better..hmmm

Mostly people on the street would just stare at her CI,some whisper with each other,some would stop me and ask about the device..and I prefer that.Then at least I can try to explain about the options that you have should you be blessed with a deaf child.

Once there was a woman who stopped and gawked at Rhianna's ear...yes,I mean it.She put her face about 5 inches from Rhianna's ear (I wish Rhianna had punched her face!).When I pulled Rhianna away,she continued to stare like we were some kind of exhibition.Maybe I should have explained to her but I just didn't have the patience that day.

There are people that I know, who try to teach Rhianna to talk and expect her to produce the correct word...when she cant,they keep on repeating and expecting a correct respond.When she still can't (or won't) they write her off..oh well she's deaf.

I wish people would understand how much patience and hard work it takes for these deaf children to learn to listen...and they can learn,don't simply write them off.

Yes,Rhianna still has a long road to travel,many more obstacles to overcome.But she has come a long way from silence to sound,from signs to speech...give her credit for that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Imagine that!

As Rhianna grows older (she'll be 3 very soon!)she's becoming cheekier,naughtier and brattier.Today she was asking me for sweets and I told her no.She kept on saying 'nak sweets,nak sweets' on and on (I think just to irritate me).Just when I turned away, I heard an evil laugh "hahahaha".She had quietly taken the sweets from my handbag and doing the evil laugh.What a brat!
Anyway,I let her have the sweets because she pronounced the /h/ sound properly.

It's funny to see how she's starting to use all the sounds that she heard other people use.It might not be a big deal for other children but for a deaf child to hear and comprehend the purpose of these sounds is really amazing.

Some of the sounds she uses to express her emotions are "yucks" when she sees vegetables (or anything green for that matter),"whoops" when she drops something (or accidentally wet her pants!),"eeee" when something's dirty and "shhhh!" when she's watching tv and mommy talks too much.Imagine that!