January 12, 2010

New Headbands

I got sick of the Aunt Jemima look.  The last straw was when Carter's Occupational Therapist came in and asked how little Carter Jemima was doing today.  OK, he said it in the most loving way, but I knew it was time to move on from the denim headband.  So, we went from Carter Jemima...

To Carter Barkley

Here's the thing with Carter's hearing aid.  Not many people use this type. I think that his Audiologist said that less than 2% of people do, but in Carter's case of small or missing ears this is what we have to use. There is one website that makes headbands, but they are $25 each and there aren't too many color/print choices.  I'm not so much into putting fire truck fabric on my kids head. I decided to try out some adult headbands, and this one was on clearance, so it was my prototype.  No worries, I'm not going to let the kid run around with a big ol' NBA logo on his head.

Want to see how his hearing aid even works?  I realized that I never really explained it before.

Here's the first part of his hearing aid.  It is called an Oscillator.

This sits against the bone behind Carter's left ear (his good ear).  Basically it vibrates the bones behind his ear and sends sound straight to his inner ear.  His left ear is abnormal somewhere in the middle ear or in the ear canal which causes his hearing loss on that side.  On the right side (where he has no ear), his ear has no ear canal, but does have an inner ear.  The cool thing about the Oscillator is that even though he only wears it on one side, it sends info to both inner ears.  I have NO idea how that works, but it does so just roll with me on that one.  When you try it on, it sounds like you have a little radio inside of your head.  It's kind of fun.

The Oscillator is connected to a brown cord that I had to string through the inside of the headband to the hearing aid which sits on the front of his forehead.

I had to cut a hole to tuck it in. This is just a traditional hearing aid that you typically wear on your ear.

This one is like Carter's except it doesn't have the ear mold that sits inside the ear on the end of the white.  Carter pretty much uses his hearing aid as a microphone to send the sound to the oscillator.

So, to make the headbands (just in case someone ever needs to make one), I had to cut it and hold it up to his head to make it tight enough to hold the oscillator to the bone. Then I sewed it back together again. The rule of thumb is that it should leave an imprint on his skin when you take it off.  I try to change the position of it every day to be sure that he doesn't get any sores.  Next, I had to sew a tiny piece of velcro on the inside to hold the oscillator in place.  Finally, I cut a tiny slit on the inside of the headband where the oscillator comes out, and in the front where the hearing aid sits then feed the wire through. They only take about 10 minutes to make, and I got him all kinds of colors. Honestly he seems MUCH more comfortable as well.  The only problem that I can see is that it may get a little hot in the Summer. I'll tackle that problem when we get there.

Here he is sporting his new Under Armour one.  What a little stud muffin!

I tried out the Exersaucer for the first time in a few months.  He started out awesome.  Look at him all nice and straight.

Then after about 4 minutes he looked like this.  "Hey good lookin', whatchu doin'?"

Then by 8 minutes he had given up

I'm thrilled with the fact that he lasted that long.  He's been grabbing things more and more.  I can't believe how far he's come with it in just a few days.  The Occupational Therapist had the idea to attach bells to each of the toys that hang on Carter's play place to make them more interesting.  Brilliant! Carter's all about making noise.


Phyllis said...

oh my gosh, so much to comment on. I love the headbands and the pictures in the exersaucer are soo so cute. I love how he just gave up. 8 minutes is great!

Gretchen said...

He is doing so well in the exersaucer! I can't believe how straight he is. Way to go Carter! And the headbands are much better! He is such a stud!

Amber said...

Stud...FOR SURE! So creative...I love it. They look perfect to me!

Junior said...

the headband is so cute on your handsome little guy.

Kelli said...

Love the headbands! Carter looks adorable and stylish in them!

It's so great that he is making strides...keep up the good work carter!