Author Archives: Eliza Isham

Fiona singing

Happy New Year!!

I wanted to share a video of Fiona singing her favorite song of the hour. She’s singing “here I am” if its not clear.

And because I’m a super nice person I want to share the video where Fiona learned this song.  This is what parenting is like folks. Tons of these great kids songs, haha!  I want to apologize in advance if you are singing this tonight when you’re trying to sleep.

Here’s a really cute video of Fiona driving a truck with her Daddy at the Atlanta Children’s Museum:




Silly Kid

Here’s a video of Fiona repeating family member’s names back to me.  We have been working a lot on pronunciation during therapy.  Sorry Stephanie, your name is so hard to pronounce!! She will get it eventually!  🙂

She was looking at herself while making this video and that’s why she was acting so goofy.  Sorry about the mouth full of food.

The word gap

One of the most important things I’ve learned on this journey is how important it is to talk to your babies and toddlers at an early age.  Before Fiona was born I don’t think I realized that the words spoken from parents and caregivers has such a huge impact on the children’s education and future. This “word gap” is a daily reminder of how important it is to talk and engage with Fiona instead of turning on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  🙂

This article goes into more detail:

“In the early 1990s, a team of researchers decided to follow about 40 volunteer families — some poor, some middle class, some rich — during the first three years of their new children’s lives. Every month, the researchers recorded an hour of sound from the families’ homes. Later in the lab, the team listened back and painstakingly tallied up the total number of words spoken in each household.

What they found came to be known as the “word gap.”

It turned out, by the age of 3, children born into low-income families heard roughly 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers.

Research since then has revealed that the “word gap” factors into a compounding achievement gap between the poor and the better-off in school and life. The “word gap” remains as wide today, and new research from Stanford University found an intellectual processing gap appearing as early as 18 months.”

“The parent should “tune in” to what the child is looking at, talk about it and ask questions that can create a sort of “serve and return” between parent and child.

Suskind says that research shows overhearing a cell phone conversation or sitting in front of a television program doesn’t cut it when it comes to building a child’s brain.”

Fiona Update

Hi everyone,

Its been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry about that!  It’s hard to get video of Fiona – she tells me “no” every time I try to record her.  haha

Fiona has been saying 3 word combinations. Here are some examples:

  • Ice cream song
  • good job momma
  • it’s all gone
  • I want juice

We are working on pronunciation more in therapy.  We are helping her sound out the words so that they sound more intelligible. She still uses an “h” for d words.  Example: haha instead of doggy.  She uses “n” for w words. Example: nana for water

We bombard her with “d” words at home so that she hears the “d” as much as possible.  It’s a slow moving process but she will get there!

Here is a video of Fiona telling me “good job mamma” after vacuuming the house.  She always runs into the room to tell me this which is SOOO sweet.

I’ll try to post some Christmas pictures later this month!  Thanks for following!!



First week of Day School (Preschool)

Fiona started her first week of day school this week!  She did fantastic!!!

This is Fiona saying "cheese"

This is Fiona saying “cheese”

In front of school.

In front of school.

Her class has 12 kids (2 year olds) on Tues and Thurs mornings.  The 2 year olds in her class are typical hearing (which basically means they were born with normal hearing and don’t have hearing aids or cochlear implants).  There are two teachers in her class whom I absolutely love.  Tuesday was just a transition day with 5 kids and for only an hour. But today she was there for the full 3 1/2 hours. She cried a little at the beginning but did fantastic the rest of the day.  Her favorite parts of the day were the slide at recess and the ukulele in music class.

When Fiona walked out of her room to meet me she immediately showed me this “super” stamp that she got on her arm.  She was very happy with herself.  🙂

Her stamp that she showed me immediately.

Her stamp that she showed me immediately.

So in the past few hours of being home after school I heard the following new phrases:

  • “My haha” – means my doggie
  • “no nap”
  • “my hock” – means my sock

She’s never used “my” before another word before.  I’m not surprised she is picking up a possessive pronoun from two year olds!  I’m so excited that Fiona is going to learn so much from school. Especially new speech skills!

Also, there were no cochlear implant issues all morning.  She didn’t seem overwhelmed by all of the little kid’s noises.  She acted like any other 2 year old would in this situation.  It makes me feel a little relieved in knowing that just because she has cochlear implants doesn’t mean she can’t feel like a typical kid. 🙂  Anyways, we are so proud and excited for her.

Speech Babble

I wanted to share a video of some speech babble therapy we practice at AVC and at home.  Fiona is trying to master her vowel sounds (long vowels, short vowels and diphthongs).  There’s 14 different English vowel sounds total!  Example: o for no, OO for book, OW for cow, etc

After she masters the vowels we will start combining consonants with vowels.  I’ve got her strapped into her car so that she can’t go anywhere.  Then she gets a car ride as a reward.  Hey, its making her participate!  We were seriously rocking Minnie Mouse this day. 🙂  Enjoy!

Fiona plays peek-a-boo

Man do kids love the game peek-a-boo!  Here’s a video of Fiona playing peek-a-boo with her most favorite friend ever, “doggy’.  I know, the name is so clever!  I think its so cute how she says peek-a-boo.

Louder Than Words – A Documentary on Cochlear Implants

I wanted to share a preview of an incredible documentary that has been in the making for 7 years now.  It’s the only film made that follows the journey of a profoundly deaf little girl until she’s 6 years old and has perfect speech.

It follows two families of deaf children.  The 1st family has deaf parents who chose to implant their deaf children as babies.  The 2nd family has hearing parents who chose not to implant their daughter as a baby but immersed her in the language of ASL.  You may of heard the mom’s name before – Rachel Coleman, the creator of the kids show “Signing Time”.  Her daughter Leah chose to get implanted at the age of 6.

The director has self funded this project so far but the very last part of clearing rights and licensing was more expensive then he planned.  He has 10 days left to raise $16,000 in order to fund the rest of his project.  I just pledged $25 and will get a digital download of the finished film.  If you’d like to see the film be completed feel free to donate on this kickstarter link!

Anyways the film looks incredible and I hope we get to see the finished product.

Thank you for reading!


Two weeks ago Fiona started showing an interest in dancing to music!  Its been about a year since we’ve seen her express any interest in dancing.  Its so much fun watching her enjoy songs.  Mark and I are still so amazed that she’s dancing.  We would of never guessed this would be happening.  Of course we dance along with her most times (not shown here, sorry!)  Here is a short video:

Here’s another video of Fiona calling her dog Kona.  I think she says “come here” in this video but I don’t know if that verbalization was coincidental.  She does say Kona and it sounds like “homa.”

A few short videos

Hello there!  I haven’t had too much to share in the last few months.  Fiona is basically trucking along and learning how to speak.  She continues to learn new words and is now trying to combine two words together.  A few examples: more milk, no more, hi momma, elmo bye

Here are a few videos that I have to share.  Sorry for the quality and lighting.

This one is of Fiona helping me read a book:

Fiona loves to sing the bye bye song when she walks up the stairs.  Here she is singing to daddy.  Daddy goes by “haha.” I think that is a very appropriate name.  🙂  The singing while walking up the stairs makes me think of the Von Trapp kids.

Here is a video of Fiona having a conversation on the phone and ignoring her mom.  I think its pretty entertaining and it shows her more sophisticated type of babbling that she does now.  She does this chitter chatter all day but usually a lot louder and with a lot more energy. 🙂  You’ll notice her very fancy night time neoprene pack thats attached to her shirt.  Fiona used to sleep without her processors on.  Then a month ago she started asking for them at night time.  I think it might be too scary having that sound taken away at night.  So we let her sleep with one and alternate sides throughout the week.