Monday, 12 November 2012

KEM Big Ears - LOKMAT Paper

Gulzar Saab, eminent lyricist and Poet visited KEM Big ears on the 12th of November.
My post on that event to come soon.
But bits of news clippings till then...

Lokmat Epaper -

(The below information belongs to LOKMAT. The only reason to copy is to ensure that the data remains with me on the blog even if lokmat take the page down.)
Date 12 - November - 2012
Page 8
ज्येष्ठ कवी, गीतकार गुलजार यांनी पुणे येथे कर्णबधिर मुलांसोबत दिवाळी साजरी केली. या वेळी गुलजार म्हणाले, काळ जसा बदलत गेला, तसे कपडे, राहणीमान, जीवनमान सारेच बदलले; तसे चित्रपटाचे कथानक व गाण्यांच्या मागण्याही बदलल्या. बदललेल्या गाण्यांची मागणी ही त्याचाच एक भाग आहे. मला प्रवाहासोबत जाणे पसंत असल्याने मी हा बदल स्वीकारला आहे.


KEM Big Ears -

25 Hearing impaired Children Graduate today

Pune, Sunday, 11 November, 2012:
Graduation for all of us means an educational achievement, however, today it stands for a step towards a more promising and fulfilling life of which education will bea part.
BIG EARS, a clinic which focuses on early detection and intervention in patients with hearing impairment today announced the Graduation of 25 young children who were hearing impaired since birth. The Graduation ceremony took place amidst much fan fare which was attended by parents, doctors, the entire team of KEM and well-wishers. The Convocation ceremony was graced by none other than eminent poet, writer and lyricist Gulzaar Saab, who handed over the certificates to these small Graduates.
All the children who have Graduated today, received their implants in between the years 2006 till 2008 and post surgery there was an integral habilitation program varying from a year to eighteen months during which the cochlear impalanted child had to undergo training in listening and speaking. The child was then able to develop near normal speech and language skills enabling him/her to become a part of mainstream society.

Today Big Ears is proud that all the 25 children who have graduated are ready to mingle with normal children and attend regular schools.

Speaking about the Graduation ceremony, Dr Neelam Vaid, Director and Implanting surgeon of Big Ears, said-
“ To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” It is only appropriate that we acknowledge and applaud the parents who dreamt and believed that their children are no less than others and left no stone unturned to try and give their children a better future. All of us at BIG EARS are committed to fulfilling the dreams and beliefs of these parents. The team consisting of audiologists, therapists, speech and language pathologists and surgeon ensure that the family recieves appropriate advice and care. It does not end there, 98% of our patients come from families that cannot afford this expensive technology. Over the past 6 years we have helped 175 children and their families get financial aid and acquire this technology. Its not been a easy task and the commitment of the social workers of the KEM Hospital, Pune is to be lauded.

Ironically Gulzaar saab directed Koshish, the Hindi movie in 1972 which featured the Late Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri who were a deaf and mute couple which depicted their conflicts, pain and struggle to carve out a niche for themselves in the society. Today after 40 years it is at his hands and with his blessings that these young 25 children are trying to make a place for themselves in this world amongs normal children.

Today this ceremony also marks the completion of 175 cochlear implant surgeries, performed by the Big Ears division at KEM Hospital. The evening will be dedicated to the contribution they have made in giving a new lease of life to hearing impaired children.

 In order to show their gratitude for the support, understanding and time given to them, the children of Big Ears put up a special dance performance to win over the hearts of everyone present.

 About Dr. Neelam Vaid
Dr. Neelam Vaid is an Associate Professor at the Dept. of E.N.T., K.E.M. Hospital, Pune. She is also the Director of BIG EARS, a clinic which focuses on early detection and intervention in Patients with hearing impairment.
She obtained her Master in Surgery (ENT) from the University of Poona in 1990. Her interests are mainly in Oncology and Endoscopic sinus surgery. She has been involved with Cochlear Implants since 1999 and started a specialized Cochlear Implant clinic at BIG EARS in 2006.
She also introduced neonatal hearing screening for the first time in Maharashtra in 2005. She is involved with Genetic and analysis of nonsyndromic hearing loss in the Indian subpopulation. She has numerous national and international publications to her credit.


Zee 24 Taas - Aarav on TV!!!

Gulzar Saab, eminent lyricist and Poet visited KEM Big ears on the 12th of November 2012.

Gulzaar Saab visited KEM Big ears.

As telecast on Zee 24 Taas new channel.

Aarav made his first TV appearance at 25 months of Age !!!
Loving it!!

KEM Big Ears - SAKAL TIMES Paper

Gulzaar felicitates twenty five hearing-impaired kids

Monday, 12 November 2012 - 12:00 PM IST

Twenty-five young hearing impaired children, who successfully received implants between 2006 and 2008, were presented convocation certificates by eminent poet and lyricist Gulzaar, as they took a leap towards a more promising and fulfilling life.
The ceremony was organised in the city on Sunday by Big Ears, a clinic that focuses on early detection and intervention in patients with hearing impairment. Doctors, patients and the entire team of KEM hospital were present.
Addressing the audience, chief guest of the ceremony, veteran poet Gulzaar said that he has been associated with hearing impaired children right from his film Koshish. The Hindi movie featured Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri who were deaf and mute. It depicted their conflicts, pain and struggle to carve out a niche for themselves in society.
Gulzaar, who is also involved in running a school for disabled people at Bhopal lauded the efforts of the Big Ears division of KEM hospital, which has been giving a new life to these special children.
“I feel glad to see so many people working for the welfare of these children, which enables them to pursue their dreams like other normal children," Gulzaar saab said.
Gulzaar revived memories of his past when he used the medium of film and television to spread awareness about the medical aid.
Dr Neelam Vaid, director and implanting surgeon of Big Ears said it is only appropriate that we acknowledge and applaud parents, who dreamt and believed that their children are no less than others and left no stone unturned to try and give their children a better future. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." Vaid added.
The felicitation was followed by dance performances of the beneficiary children.
© Copyrights 2012 - All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Terrific Tuesday - 23 Weeks !!

1 - On being stuck at Ba...

Aarav has been stuck at Ba since he was 13 weeks old (hearing age)..

We checked in his therapy session if he is able to hear his lings and vowels properly.
He heard everything correctly and even tried to reproduce what he heard but the new syllables were still missing.

So his therapist tried to give him a few visual cues, like the lip movements for Pa, tha.
On seeing the lip movements Aarav was able to very slightly imitate them.
The sound did not come as clear as his usual syllables but there was an accountable effort.

He has been stuck too long on Ba here.
See what the situation was at ---
And then found the EEs again at 14 weeks.... Click here.
And click also to see that he also to scold me and say Nako and Baas..
But all the words learnt were combinations of lots of musical word like babbles with Ba somewhere present.

So just to be sure that there are no map issues or any other issues, I asked his Therapist and Audiologist whether he should be having new syllables in his babble by now..

Our Audiologist said that the map may not be the issue here if he is able to hear them.
It is just about being able to reproduce them now..
Aarav now has to learn to play with his voice.
He needs to explore and learn how to use his voice to create new sounds, any play exercise should work to make him generate new sounds...

Makes sense!

He does hear them and his babbles do resemble the words, but if he does not know how to generate a certain sound, how will he be able to create it !!??
So now apart from usual therapy and word association, we now have to help Aarav to just make new sounds and encourage him to exercise his vocals ..
From these new garbled babbles new syllables should come in...

2 - Conversations de babble..

I started forcing Aarav to give me hugs when I want them since last few weeks.
However, to be fair to him, I usually ask his permission.

"Aarav, Pakdu ka tula? tras deu ka tula? masta pappya gheu ka?"
(may I hug you, cuddle and bug you?).

And then the cuddling starts.. Then when I sense that Aarav wants me to stop, I ask "Aarav baas ka? nako ka? sodu ka tula?"
(Aarav, had enough? Should I stop? Should I let you go?)

Yesterday evening, Aarav was in a rather talkative mood.
He came up to me, and took my face in his hands and babbled my permission and gave me the biggest kisses ever!!!

Then just a few seconds later, he said,
"Na oo? (no no no i want more please!!)Baa? (no no no not enough!)" and walked away.

A few hugs better than none!!

3 - Aarav is "Drifting" !!!!

I always knew that boys were genetically programmed to love fast study vehicles.
Aarav's toy preferences prove the same. He clearly is biased towards selecting cars over other toys, especially the ones that survive his riding attempts as he wants to actually sit and ride the toy.

However, what I had not expected was, that Aarav would take pretend play to that level!!
Yesterday, Aarav reached new levels of motor skills expertise..
He is now not just running, but DRIFTING...

Aarav is now pretending to BE a car and doing 'Tokyo Drift' stunts in the house.
His running speed and maneuverability surpasses most supercars by now.
He narrowly misses tables, stools, walls, toys on the floor, overhead obstructions like parents trying to catch him with utmost precision.

More nerve endings fried per second from now on.

3 - The Neptune Lime green to be changed...

The Lime green Neptune cover case that we started using in august developed a mild crack recently..

AB has promised to replace the cracked piece asap..
Their response has been immediate.
Love them for that!

4 - Aqua mic broken?

Last week Aarav's aqua mike stopped working.
Well, I don't exactly know if it is the mic that has the problem or the Aqua mic's chord.

Apparently, Aarav finds the Neptune's chords more delectable than PSP chords.
So as of now, we are waiting for AB to send an extra mic and chord to the KEM Big Ears center so that we can check what has gone wrong.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

AB Neptune Vs AB Platinum Sound Processor


We used the AB PSP from 29-May-2012 to 16-Aug-2012 and then we moved on to the AB Neptune from 17th Aug onwards..
So... As of today, it has been exactly 80 days each of PSP and Neptune!!
A quick experience feedback of both the PSP and the Neptune...

The first and biggest benefit that the Neptune has over the PSP is, its sleek small design.
Aarav's small body frame used to be overloaded with the PSP and the harness and the bulky size of it.

But the Neptune can simply be clipped onto his collar or he can wear it in the Lanyard. There are so many wearing options with the Neptune!

Aarav did not like wearing the harness, but with Neptune we have had no such problem!
The weight of Neptune is negligible as compared to the PSP.

Another benefit that makes Neptune better, is the Neptune Connect!!
With the PSP, Aarav would be able to remove the PSP cover and turn the dials on his own.
But without the Connect, there are no dials on the Neptune!!

As of now, we have only one program set on the Neptune, and we do not need the Connect as frequently.
Maybe in the future or during schooling, the addition of the FM system will mandate the use of the Neptune connect.
I am just hoping that Aarav understands by then that he is not supposed to touch the dial settings..
This makes the Neptune is almost Child Proof!!
I say 'almost' childproof because, Aarav can pull the cable chord out from the Neptune side. But that is the only proven mischief he has been able to do with the Neptune.

It was easier to let Aarav go out in the Rains or take a bath with the Neptune's Waterproof feature.
Aarav and Water have some sort of affinity for each other... They just seem to find each other somehow..
It reduced a lot of anxiety knowing that Aarav's Ears will still work if he decides to play "bath-time" with his glass of drinking water...
This was not possible with the PSP.

The color features of Neptune are very pretty, however not complementary as the PSP color caps.
These have to be separately procured.

As we have used both PSP and Neptune for a very short time, It is difficult to tell in detail the benefits of Autosound and ClearVoice of Neptune.
Aarav needs more hearing experience to be able to differentiate that accurately.
We might go back to the PSP once just to check if he feels the difference.
However as of now, hearing wise, both PSP and Neptune are at the same level for us.

In spite of the many plus points of Neptune, there is a big negative that we have seen.
Battery life of PSP was much better and Much much more predictable!!
With the PSP the batteries would last for almost 18-22 hours straight. So one battery would be enough for a day and a half. We never needed disposables!

Plus the design of PSP is such that the batteries indicate their charge status when in use as well as as during charging.

In case of Neptune, the batteries are drained much much faster.
What is worse, is that Neptune indicates that the battery is drained ONLY after it is completely drained!
There is no prior indication at all.

It is also not possible to understand whether a Rechargeable battery is fully charged.
So it becomes mandatory that we carry fully charged disposables at all times.
It might seem funny, but we now have separate packs of disposable batteries almost everywhere Aarav can be found.
In the car.
In the house.
At my mom's house.
At Aarav's daycare.
In my office bag.
In Kaustubh's bag.
And in our pockets if the bags are not taken!
Literally. Everywhere.

And in the rest of the places not named above, lie the other discarded batteries waiting for their destiny to be fullfilled by being used for the last few hours of their life in some electronic toy, tv remote or a wall clock..

These are over-the-counter-used-everywhere batteries, so it does make them easily available.
However, with such a short shelf life, it has become an hidden added expense that does not get accounted for.

The Rechargeable batteries last for approximately 10-12 hours and the disposables last anywhere between 12-15 hours.
If a battery is removed from the Neptune, it either goes directly to be charged again in case of a rechargeable or it has to be thrown away if its a disposable.
We cannot take a chance and reuse it again because of the worry about how long it will last.

Also changing the batteries is a big difficult for any new person due to its childproof design.
It was easier with the PSP.

(Aarav goes to the daycare for 8-10 hours a day, so we have to put in a full battery every morning. It is not sure who may be present to change his battery as this may not be the same person always.
Better a new battery than Aarav having to wait without sound!)

All being said, We still think that the decision to go for the Neptune was a smart one. Especially since Aarav's babbling has been much clearer with the Neptune. The size makes him comfortable and being waterproof gives him freedom. And the Connect gives me control over his hearing as well.

All in all, a good investment.

What more do we want!

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