I am embarrassed to admit it, but it wasn’t until a couple months ago that Sonya finally began to wear her waterproof cochlear implants in the bath.
Since we are in and out of Ubers and speech therapy sessions almost every day, taking a nightly bath has always felt like a necessity, and a frustrating one at that. Sonya kicks and screams her way in and out of the water. On our part, the goal has always been to complete the task quickly as possible.
When I told our speech therapist that Sonya had not yet been exposed to sound in the bath, her eyes widened. “How could you not let her wear her devices?! Bath time is a critical opportunity for her to explore sound!”
It was the prompt I needed to get our act together. I dug through the contents of Sonya’s cochlear implant suitcases to find the water proof kit. We placed her processors inside the water proof sleeves (a bit tricky to do actually…) inserted the coils and magnets. We placed them on Sonya’s ears. Since the waterproof sleeves are quite large, we had to use the full-sized batteries (not the compact batteries, which fit Sonya’s small head). Sonya is back to her headbands in order to hold the very large devices in place.
The first time she heard water, Sonya just stared blankly. Perhaps she was stunned as she realized that water made noise. I playfully splashed her, causing her to scream in surprise.
Since then, Sonya has grown slightly more accustomed to bath time, though she still doesn’t love it. I even feel like I have to be careful about how loudly I speak in the bath, as the echo can be too much for her. I have noticed that she hates it when I dip her head in the bath water with the implants on. Perhaps it is the sound of the water that is overwhelming. Sonya does love bubbles, so I try to make sure there are plenty of bubbles in her bath water to keep her calm and interested. We do struggle with other ways of keeping her calm however.
Thankfully, friends of mine have been eager to help. My lovely friend Jane bought Sonya Tomy Do Rae Mi Dolphins. Each dolphin plays a different note when you tap them on their heads. Sonya loves them.
While I realize I need to expose Sonya to additional toys to encourage her to hear new sounds, I hesitate. Bath toys in general gross me out (these water flutes look kinda interesting, but also kinda yucky…). When Sonya was younger, we had her play with a rubber duck in the bath. The type that squirted water. A few weeks later, I realized how disgusting this toy was. Impossible to clean and never totally dry. I shudder thinking about the one time I squeezed it and brown water came out….
But I will attempt to stay open minded and to try other (sanitary!) toys that may be recommended….. Anyone? 🙂
In the meantime, hoping to make the most of bath time!