I want to write a bit about how Callie is doing post surgery so that those of you who have followed along and prayed for our family during the past few months (and beyond) can hear about her progress.
Callie is doing exceptionally well following the surgery to close her palate and place tubes in her ears. We are, again, amazed at her resilience and her positive attitude.
Andy and Callie visited the audiologist, surgeon and ENT at Seattle Children’s on Monday December 5th and the report was fantastic; she is hearing well and healing well. We could have told you about the ‘hearing well’ part because the change has been astounding!
One of the immediate results of her surgery was that Callie went from having severe hearing loss to having normal hearing! It has been amazing to watch. We knew that Callie could hear very little because she wasn’t startling to loud sounds, she didn’t notice when someone walked into the room unless she could see them, she didn’t respond to her name, and she was not learning English(receptive language) at a rate that you’d expect for a child her age. We also knew she had severe hearing loss because she had an audiology exam in September and the results matched up with what we were noticing at home.
Each day it has been exciting to celebrate with her as she learns to make new sounds and attempt new words. Not only is she learning to speak new words and make new sounds; but she can hear us clearly and her receptive language has flourished. It is so awesome to be able to give Callie complex instructions in complete sentences; often without any signs at all and watch her carry out the task.
I have been trying to teach Callie that she can call for me when she needs me but she hasn’t been able to say “Mama” very clearly or loudly up until this point and she didn’t seem to understand the concept quite yet. Now she calls for me all day long! “Mama! Mama! Mama! Mommy! Mommy!”
Callie has learned to say “yeah” very clearly as well as “yes”. She is still working on saying “no” although she has her own version of “no” and can sign it very well as she rapidly shakes her head. The freedom to ask her yes or no questions has helped immensely.
Now she is repeating every thing we say and each day we hear more and more words that we hadn’t before! Many of these words aren’t very clear yet, but she is doing awesome none-the-less; especially considering that she is similar to a two-month-old in terms of hearing and language development!
Callie has learned to say “book” and she loves Old MacDonald had a farm so she signs along as we say each animal and then sings “eee-iii, eee-iii, eee-iii” throughout the day. She can say “bye” and “c-ya” fairly well and recently waved and said these things to each customer who left the Xi’an Noodle restaurant in Seattle when Andy took her out for lunch on follow-up appointment day. She can now say “cat” and “eat” very clearly. We also hear her own versions that resemble nigh-night, get it, uh-oh, banana, Eli, Luke, Mama, Dada (whom she calls Gaga), please, bath, house, hat, wash, down, up, teeth, truck, and more.
Now that she can hear, she is dancing to music all the time; which is quite adorable. She is also reading short books with us and understanding why we linger on the pages.
Callie has finished the 5 weeks of food restrictions and is back to eating normally (she is thrilled). And she can feed herself now which saves me a ton of time.
Later this week she will begin weekly speech therapy at WWU.
Thank you for praying for Callie and our family during this time.
And once again, thanks for following along.