Thursday, August 19, 2010
We're trying to get Carver ready for booth testing. Right now, his CI's are programed based on NRI's (Neural Response Images). A computer is hooked up to Carver's CI and sends electronic signals that report back the neural responses. Then, his CI is programmed based on those responses. While this gets Carver's CI's (hearing) mapped within reasonable limits, it's not necessarily the best map for him. Most kids are able to tell you what they can/can't hear. If they can't tell you verbally, they can push a button or device to indicate they heard something. Carver's disabilities make this difficult. He can't see and his CP makes good hand/arm movements difficult. We've been working hard to teach him to hit a button when he hears something. However, we can't find a button that works. He loves to hear what the button sounds like, so he just grabs the button and keeps pushing it. Kat (with the deaf/blind with CI's project/grant) has been trying to find an interrupter switch that will prevent the button from working unless a sound has been presented first. This week, she met with the KU (University of Kansas) behavioral research scientists, and they think that a program can be generated on a computer to accomplish this. The computer/program would control the switch, eliminate human non-errors, and record all of the test results. Kat also met with the programmers, showed them a video of Carver and his difficulties in order to help them understand our challenge. The programmers were so excited, that they are thinking about writing a grant as this has to be a problem/challenge for many kids who can't respond easily to auditory training. Therefore, if they are able to write a program that works for Carver, it may also work for other children just like Carver - placing them one step closer to better hearing. What a deal! This group truly wants to help these kids and wants to see them succeed. We are so thankful to have been hooked up with this project. Thank you, Kat! We really appreciate all of your efforts and the efforts of the entire project/grant team.