Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Where's That Red One Gonna Go???

Halen and I participated in a study last week at Emory University. It is a study on language and development. First they asked me lots of questions and I had to fill out tons of paperwork. Then they strapped Halen in a car seat and played a very boring set of noises for him. I and the other guy in the room had to be behind curtains. Halen wasn't into this study. The Ba ba ba and Da da da noises where boring him and he started screaming. The poor little guy was lonely. Oh, they had him hooked up to heart monitors to measure his reaction to the noises. They where just little stickers with wires clipped to them. He didn't mind. So then we moved on to the table where Halen sat in my lap and the study guy proceeded to play with Halen. He would show him a toy, then do what he wanted Halen to do with the toy, then put it down on the table, and see what Halen did. He was a rockstar!!! He did everything that he was supposed to do except for 2 things. They (there was another person observing through a one-sided mirror) where very impressed with his development. They said that they didn't expect him to do as well as he did at his age, that the study was aimed for a large age bracket, and he scored on the level as a baby much older than he is. I was surprised by how much he could do as well. I play with him every day, but I hadn't 'tested' him in this way before. They did things like show him a block and a cup, then hide the block under the cup, to see if he looks for it. Many babies at his age don't understand that once a thing is gone from view that they are not really gone from existance. So, if he looks for the block, then they know that he realizes that it's just hidden from sight. They score higher if they grab the cup one-handed by the handle than if they pick it up two handed. He went straight for the handle, picked it up with one hand and got the block with the other. Then he would show him different toys that made noises in different way. He would show him how to make the noise and then set it down. Halen would then grab the toy, bring it to his mouth for a little taste, then move it away from his mouth and shake it or press it to make the noise. Everything went to the mouth first. Then we got on the floor to see if Halen could sit, roll over, and stand flat-footed when balanced. Of course he did all that stuff with no problem. When a toy was placed out of his reach, he would squirm or roll to it.
After all that brain workout, Halen got some boobie and went to sleep. They then hooked sensors up behind his ears and played sounds. They measured his hearing ability this way. When a sound is made, the nerves behind the ear send a signal and these sensors read that. He hears well. While he was sleeping and being tested in this way, I peed in a cup, got some blood drawn, and took a hearing test of my own. There where several different tests. First I had to repeat muffled words. Next I had to repeat muffled words while background chatter was also being played. Then I had to repeat two different words that where played simultaneously, one into each ear. First I had to repeat the one I heard in the right ear, then left and then vice versa. Then I had to hear two sentences simultaneously and repeat the one I heard in the right ear, then a series where I repeated the one I heard in the left ear. this was fairly difficult, but I managed to get almost every single one right. They where also surprised by how well I did. I guess I'm a rockstar too.
Halen had to give a peepee sample as well. they put this ushaped sticker attached to a plastic bag around his cock and balls and waited for him to pee in it.
Halen then got a toy, a t-shirt, and $50!
We recently got asked to do another study too. Next week he's going to watch a puppet show while wearing a swim cap with brain sensors attached to it. we get a copy of his brain wave activity. i'll post it and you can all marvel at his genius level, because I'm sure it'll show that he's super highly advanced.
Oh, and the little guy is so close to crawling it's ridiculous. He's pushing up to his knees now. I think he'll be taking over the neighborhood by next week! Maybe he'll take his first real crawl for his daddy for father's day.

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