Archive for December 2013

Tuesday 25/12/90 – Christmas Morning

DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

Vil was awake very early and unpacked all his goodies from his pillowcase (that Father Christmas had given him). Hughan woke up quite late so we all watched him empty his.

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We showed Hughan that Father Christmas had been by the crumbs on the plate and the milk was finished and the end of the carrots left behind.

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We all opened our presents from each other.

I made a special table for the boys for Christmas lunch and we all had Christmas lunch together.

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Hughan was not quite sure why all these people were staying with us and was quite quiet to towards them. He liked sitting with them, but tended not to say much.

Willem’s other sister and family arrived on Boxing Day from Mafeking, so we seem to have Christmas Day all over again.

We all had a very festive time at Christmas and New Year. The children all got on very well.

I had a temporary maid to help me, as my maid had gone home for Christmas.

It was great having the extra help but as you can imagine I was kept very busy.

The family were great with Hughan and he grew very fond of Willem’s parents.

Towards the end of everyone’s stayed with us, Hughan was saying quite a lot.

Willem’s parents were the last to leave us on the 7th January.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

Monday 24/12/90 – Family Arrive for Christmas

DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

Willem’s mother and stepfather, brother and sister and other members of the family arrived for the festive season.

Before the boys went to bed we put out a mince pie and carrots and some milk for Father Christmas. Vil was very excited about it all. We also put a pillow case with their name on at the bottom of their beds.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

22/12/11 – Finding Out About the Cochlear implant… 22 years ago.

“JUST LIKE WINNING THE LOTTERY”….

22 years ago today, at 4.15pm on the 22nd December 1989, was the day that we compared to “winning the lottery”.

This was the day that we were first told about the cochlear implant. The information we got was life changing for our son, Hughan, who is profoundly deaf.

Willem and I had come on a holiday to England and we were fortunate to see an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist in Harley Street in London and also an Audiologist.

It was confirmed that Hughan had nerve damage in both of his cochlears and it was irreversible.

He would need to wear very powerful hearing aids.

The Audiologist had suggested we started a signing programme to help Hughan communicate. She also recommended books that we could use while working with Hughan.

At 4:15pm in the afternoon we boarded the train at Paddington station on our return trip to Cornwall.

With all of Christmas shoppers, as you can imagine, the train was full and we asked a lady if we could sit with her.

Settling down in our seats we got talking to each other. She realised our son was wearing hearing aids and explained that she was studying the cochlear implant.

At that stage the Australian device was ahead of the American device. After explaining some technical issues with the designs of the implant, she mention to us how the implant worked and its potential to help many profoundly and severely deaf people.

At this stage Hughan was 16 months old. We explained we were in England on holiday from Botswana and we had seen the two specialists in the morning. She told us that she had studied at University with the Audiologist that we had met in the morning.

This was the most incredible coincidence and unbelievable experience – just like winning the lottery!

On Sunday 4th September this year, 2011, I was clearing through some bags of paper that we had been storing under my sewing table.

I had recently given up sewing and we had dismantled my table and I was tidying up.

I came across a plastic bag containing our train tickets and the information from the Ear Nose and Throat Specialist and Audiologist and a piece of paper with our expenses from that trip.

I took the contents of the bag through to show Willem, who was in the kitchen cooking (we couldn’t believe that this bag had travelled with us from Gaborone, to Cape Town, than on to Harare and finally to England without being seen). Willem noticed a little piece of paper attached with a paperclip on the front with someone else’s handwriting on and an Australian address.

Willem suggested that maybe this was the lady we had met on the train in 1989.

I went straight away to Google Dr Elaine Saunders and the Australian address on the paper.

To our amazement  we read that she has been awarded woman of the year in Australia for all of her work that she has done with the cochlear implant, and helping the deaf – it is incredible how many people Elaine has helped.

I sent an e-mail to Elaine on the morning of 5th September 2011.

We couldn’t believe it when we received an e-mail back from her saying that she was the person we had meant on the train and she remembered meeting us.

Elaine  had come over to England on holiday to spend Christmas with her mother that year. After speaking to her mother, her mother also remembered her mentioning our meeting on the train all those years ago.

After all this time we have been able to say “thank you” to Dr Elaine Saunders. This has meant so much to us as without the information that we learnt all those years ago in 1989 we may never have come across or considered Hughan having the cochlear implant.

Hughan was the 10th child to have the cochlear implant in Cape Town in 1992. This was still pioneering times and we put our trust and faith completely in the hands of the specialist.

Without the information that Dr Elaine Saunders gave us on 22 December 1989, Hughan may never have learnt to talk and be able to speak on the telephone.

“Thank you so much Dr Elaine Saunders”.

 

 

 

Friday 21/12/90 – Leaving Hughan with Friends

DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

My friend asked if she could have the boys for the morning. Hughan was not at all worried to see me go and played well with the others.

They made chocolate flake biscuits and Vil and Hughan brought their biscuits home.

When I arrived to fetch them, Hughan was playing with his friend, and they were playing with the Duplo (Lego). He gave me a smile and carried on playing (this was a very good indication that he had been very happy to be left with friends)

Over the weekend I made more mince pies and the boys also helped.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

Thursday 20/12/90 – Farm Animals

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DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

Hughan played well with the farm animals and enjoyed making the sounds.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

Wednesday 19/12/90 – Play Dough

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DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

Our friends came to play again. We swam, made jelly again and traced pictures.

Hughan is doing very well and responding well for eye contact when I pause.

We also made play dough.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

Tuesday 18/12/90 – Spending Time with Vil

DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

Vil has been much better. I have also been giving him his own special time.

We started our books today (the ones on 06-12-90).

Vil has a Ninja Turtle book and we started a book on pets for Hughan.

We stuck a picture in Hughan’s book of a dog in a kennel with his bowl and a letterbox and an old boot.

Vil traced a picture for his.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

Monday 17/12/90 – A Friend Comes to Play

DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

A friend of ours youngest son won’t stay with anyone unless she is there. He has an older brother and Vil stayed with them while I was away.

I said she was to leave him with me today, even if he cried the whole morning. They came at about half past nine and I had no tears. We swam, made Ninja Turtle mould jellies, and had a tea party. Our friend was fine and gave no trouble.

Hughan took in all the language well again today. We are also making Hughan aware of sound, and he is rarely starting to respond quicker when a sound is made or being called.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

Sunday 16/12/90 – A Visit to the Game Park

DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

Over the weekend we went to the game Park and the Rhino came very close to the fence again. The boys were very quiet and then Hughan got very excited. They started pounding at the ground and got quite cross. Because we were quiet they went off. It was amazing. We must get a photo some time.

We also thought lots of other game. We get a roadmap of the Park and today we showed Hughan animals on the paper as we saw them in the bush.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

Friday 14/12/90 – Noise Making Toys

DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today this is what I wrote in the ‘Diary’.

I picked our friends up, who also have a hearing impaired son and we had a very good sound making session.

We moved the coffee table in the lounge in front of the window and Hughan was very excited and went off to get his chair. Our friends son (who his hearing impaired) sat on the table and was very interested.

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Hughan and his friend kept their attention for about 40 minutes. It was great fun. We pointed to our ears and made the noises of the toys.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )