Vacation time, so we took the boat from Norway to Denmark and drove to Holland (actually The Netherlands). I flew back (some people have to work) and left wife and 3 kids in Holland.
This was about 2 weeks ago and with Lotte the effects are clearly visible.
Especially now when my wife is visiting good friens (also with 3 kids) where Lotte is playing with the youngest; 3 years old. In speach he's a bit ahead of Lotte (4 years) but the have no problem communicating.
They play with each other, which for a child of 3 is unusual (normally they play besides other kids) but it goes like clockwork.
Lotte's speech has improved over the last two weeks. The cause seems to be that she is using Dutch only there. (There is absolutely no Norwegian being spoken.) Sign is still used occaisionally, but also far less that in Norway where she can use it a lot in the kindergarden.
Clear sentenses are appearing now. Like "Mom, can you give me knive". It's great to watch the development and it's going faster and faster.
She gives better indication when she doesn't want to use it any more. This is in the afternoon when she's probably tire of playing all day and hearing all deay. We have the deal that she has to goto bed when the CI is taken off, but perhaps, with 5 other children chatting in her ears all day, it might be an idea to have it taken off when she requests it. (I'm sure this falls in the category "Forcing to wear CI" for some people.) Without CI she will still talk normally. No low or hard voice, she just continues as if she hears..
The vacations in Holland have allways lead to leaps in her development. The focus on 1 language seems to make the process accelerate. When coming back to Norway (2 languages) there is no problem adjusting. The progress made is straighforward applied to Norwegian. It's a cognitive process that is stimulated..
Sign is still important. It is now mainly used when she can't hear like in the shower, the pool. Sometimes she uses it when she wants to say something and we don't get it. She'll start with speech, but will add sign if needed. When she's exited and wants to tell stories she also uses sign, but less than before.
Sometimes this is a problem, because with sign, we understood what she was talking about... now we have to guess sometimes...
But.. it's wonderfull to see her grow up like this.
Actually - this is Norway! (june 2006)
(From AllDeaf messageboard.)