Cochlear Implants rock--and despite what some members of the Deaf community might tell you, they definitely work! Brynn does not have a "deafy voice" or any kind of speech problem. She won't need any speech therapy. She sounds like a normal 2 year old and is progressing incredibly fast. Although one State test show her as a couple months behind; another State test showed her as being a several months ahead. In my own estimation, she's communicating as well as any of her hearing peers, so I don't really care whether she is "ahead" or "behind" on some State curve. She's Brynn and that's fine with me.
That said, we still plan to teach her ASL because she is still deaf when the implants are off! She already knows about 100+ signs in addition to recognizing fingerspelled words.
You'll also notice in the video that in addition to being able to speak clearly and understandably, Brynn's small reading vocab is emerging. Turns out Glenn Doman knew what he was talking about. The basic idea is teaching them written words the same way you teach them auditory language (or any other visual language like ASL)--by showing it to them in words and phrases rather than teaching them how to sound things out.
Although we think Brynn's pretty smart and we're proud of her for her early reading, the truth is any kid can do it. Although I often imagine I'd have a tougher time with a busy boy than my little mellow Brynn who will often sit and study the words for long periods of time. Her year of visual development without any auditory stimulation probably contributes to her fascination and skill.
And in case you're wondering, the answer is No. I do not have some secret ambition of making Brynn the smartest girl on the planet so I can claim bragging rights. On the contrary, all I really care about is her growing into her best self and since she's so incredibly interested in language and words (she begs me to write words with her about 5 times a day), it's fun to give her all the exposure she wants.
If Heidi wants exposure to plants or animals instead, I'm not going to force her sit and learn to read at age 2.
2011Res:To Matt: I loved and appreciated your willingness to give me a break today without complaining so I could finally compile this video! To my girls: today I savored our walk to the park. Dear Mr H: today I made sweet potato fries when I really felt like doing nothing because I love you.