Luckily all of our writers were at different sites this week, so you will have plenty to read about. As you read these posts I hope you get a little glimpse at the lives we have been leading for the past weeks. All the outreaches this week had very different experiences so each blog will be worth the read.
My outreach this week changed everyday, allowing us to screen at a different nursery each morning. During the week we attended 3 different nurseries to screen children for hearing loss. We saw many healthy ears and of course a bunch of wax. Something we learned from this experience is all it takes is one child crying to start a choir. On each day a new person began the crying chain. Once the crying chain began it took a lot of effort to calm the children down. We needed a tremendous bag of tricks including self humiliation to get the kids happy again.
We made do with limited equipment and time. All the supplies were split up between 3 teams and we had around 2 hours to screen 65-80 students. Having no electricity posed a slight challenge when some of our equipment was not charged, but we made do and continued our day.
Our day started with teaching the children about healthy hearing through a routine of activities. The routine involved taking 5 deep breaths, 2 coughs, blowing your nose, equalizing pressure in
ears, and some exercise. My team for our exercise did jumping up and down on both feet and then hopping on one foot. I must say helping children blow their nose was not the cleanest of tasks. The kids enjoyed this short activity which made it easier to test them later on.
There were a few children that we had to do conditioned play audiometry on, but they caught on quicker than some of the adults. Having Connect Four at our site was a blessing because it kept the children entertained and interested in the task at hand. There was some difficulty testing because we were in the open without the luxury of a sound proof booth. Children flocked to watch the testing which I found to be slightly distracting. The children were so well behaved throughout the whole process even during wax removal which isn’t particularly joyful.
We were all so thankful to have interpreters with us because they really made the process go smoothly. Not only could they help us speak to the children, they worked extremely well keeping the children calm. During the down time we played sports and games similar to Simon Says with the children.
When our morning was finished we broke for lunch and then carried on to help at the other 2 locations. My other bloggers will tell you about theirs sites…so I’ll leave that part to them.