Newbie, lots of questions
I'm completely deaf in one ear and have recently confirmed my suspicions that my 16 month old daughter, R, is hearing impaired (how profoundly we don't yet know, but she failed OAE and VROA tests--VROA at all frequencies/sounds tested and both ears). She's scheduled for an ABR in a month. She has a marvelous attitude though, just a happy giggly girl, and is picking up signs in a hurry. So, my husband (hearing) and I are in the phase now where we have a ton of questions--so I wanted to put these out there for comments!
Ok, broad/philosophical/technical questions:
(1) What should we be doing now to be as helpful as possible to R? (We have begun learning sign language, but in addition to that...)
(2) what should our daycare be doing now to be as helpful as possible to R (they're very eager to learn/help, and they do baby sign language in her classroom... we're going to offer to send one of their instructors to an ASL 101 class... what else?)?
(3) What questions should we be asking the audiologist at the ABR?
(4) R failed her newborn screen, but then passed an audiology exam at about 1 month old. Is it possible that was a 'false' pass?
(5) Is it normal for them to take a month between a failed VROA to schedule the ABR? Just seems like a lot of lost time to me, but we live near one of the best Children's Hospitals in the country and that's the soonest they could get her in...
(6) Early intervention hasn't contacted us yet after our doctor's referral nearly 3 weeks ago. I left them a voicemail this am, but they haven't called back. Is this normal? Should I be seeking private assistance, or is EI likely to come through eventually?
More fundamental questions:
(7) How do people normally refer to their kids in sign language? Finger spelling her name every time just seems silly, are 'nick names' common? Do you use a sign for something characteristic of the person?
(8) Are there books/apps/movies you really love for your kids? We're getting Signing Time and have the app Smart Hands. But I know she's not getting the full experience of being read too, and I'm trying to think of how to make that experience more effective.
(9) Are there toys particularly well suited to deaf children?
Thanks in advance for the feedback.