More assessments for hearing

It was a rather scary hail storm we had here in Perth in late March 2010. Alhamdulillah, we have nothing major and survived. I can't believe that it is autumn school holidays already. Two weeks before the holiday Mujhee had appointments at WA Institute for Deaf Education (WAIDE) and Australian Hearing.

The one at WAIDE was for educational audiological and learning/developmental assessments to identify Mujhee's particular needs so that the Institute can provide the appropriate support for her.

On that day we met with the Coordinator Visiting Teacher Service, the Intake Coordinator, the Audiologist and the Deaf blind Visiting Teacher Team Leader from WAIDE. I received a very warm welcome from them. After I listened to their introduction, the teachers made assessments on Mujhee. Masha Allah, I was proud with Mujhee because she tried her best to respond and engaged with them. I was pleased with the way they assess Mujhee. She showed that she communicate well on one on one.

On the short meeting I learnt to not only to verbally talk to Mujhee but patting her as I tell the message to her. For example if it is feeding time, I pat her tummy to tell her it is feeding time, and show her the food while telling her verbally. The same goes with time to change her nappy, by tapping her bottom side to tell her it is changing time and talk to her and show the nappy as well. Insha Allah, it is make sense to Mujhee who is deaf blind.

Insha Allah from next term Mujhee will get the services and supports she needs. I hope it will improve her hearing by doing the right way so that we can communicate with her efficiently.

Mujhee also had her hearing and hearing aids review at Australian Hearing on her last school day for term 1. Last time she had a hearing scheduled review was October 2009. Her hearing aids are set well and the moulds are still a right fit. She didn't responded as well as the last test according to the audiologist because I think the test is suitable for children with normal sight and hearing.

Hearing assessment or test for children like Mujhee can be very challenging. I think the test at Australian Hearing is not accurate for her because as a deaf-blind and having a severe physical disability, she is so varied in her sensory functioning, learning and communication skills.

I was frustrated with the evaluations that were performed using tests and procedures designed for children with normal sight and hearing. These materials are not appropriate for Mujhee. The assessment results are not reliable because they do not give an accurate picture of what Mujhee can or cannot hear.

I wish they use someone who has experience working with children like Mujhee and use her own communication methods (e.g., PODD Communication Book, gestures, words, body language, facial expression) during the evaluation instead of expecting her to look at the elephant puppet and the light when sounds are made.

Before we leave I was glad she gave me Parents Evaluation of Aural/oral performance of Children, PEACH. It is a questionnaire designed to record how the child is hearing and communicating with hearing aids at the moment. I will observe Mujhee for a week before Mujhee next appointment on July. I would write about this later, insha Allah.

I end this post with a beautiful verse in the Qur'an that mention about hearing and sight, {And He gave you hearing, sights, and hearts that you might give thanks(to Allah} (An-Nahl 78)


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