Archive for Cape Town – Carel du Toit

Thursday 16/08/90 – Birthday party – Cape Town


In 1990, it was Hughan’s birthday at the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town. We added these pictures to the diary…

Hughan turns 2 and he blows his candles out on his birthday cake.


Opening presents!



Wednesday 15/08/90 – 3rd Visit to Cape Town – 2nd lesson

DIARY NOTES – Doll play….In 1990, this was our third trip to the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town. Vanessa was teaching us and this is what she wrote in our hearing impaired son’s diary…

Activity: doll play


1)      Name everything – avoid words like “it”, “there” and “that one”.

2)      Expect language – and highlight certain words.

Good: you said “open” then paused expecting him to respond (and giving him a chance to respond verbally) and then put the single word into a short full sentence. “open”, “open the door”.

Lovely Sue, you had much better eye contact when you took things up to your eye level and he looked up at you because that was the object he was interested in eg: you took the bottle, which he wanted up to your face.

You did lovely labelling  today:

“put the doll on the bed”, “open the cupboard” and “put the bottle in the mouth”.

Super you imitated his babbling and interpreted it – “give me the doll”, “look at the pretty dress”.

Thanks Sue – please work on these new aims at “home” this afternoon.

Hope all goes well with Vil’s grommets.

See you tomorrow.


(localised – look at the door).

Lovely he responded to my knocking over the mike. He opened the door. I love the way he first knocked on the door.

Tuesday 14/08/90 – 3rd Visit to Cape Town – 1st lesson

DIARY NOTES – In 1990 we had returned to the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town from Gaborone, Botswana. This is what Vanessa, wrote in our hearing impaired son’s diary…

We were having our first lesson with Vanessa. It was wonderful being back in Cape Town at the Centre. The encouragement that Vanessa gave us during these trips gave us inspiration of how we could help Hughan when we were back home in Botswana.It was like our life line!

Vanessa wrote in the diary :-

Activity – Bath time (animals)

Dearest Sue – welcome back to fairest Cape. It is lovely to see you and Hughan again and it is very special to have Vil here again. I’m looking forward to our two weeks together.

Lovely eye contact and I’m glad you’re waiting for the eye contact before you give the language. You will also achieving lovely eye contact because you’re on his eye level all the time.

Good: your interpreting his babbling – “more toys mummy”, “no mummy”.

Super :) he pointed to the cat’s eyes and then to his eye(s).

Hughan is responding beautifully to your stimulation AND he localised immediately.

I am thrilled – he is definitely responding to sound.

Well done Sue – this is due to all your hard work, constant input and intensive auditory training.

Good: you imitated his babbling. “Ya-ya-ya-ya”. He is babbling a lot.

Sue this was such a lovely session:

Our aim is for these two weeks are –

1)      varied intonation in your input

2)      receptive language: extended

3)      emphasise one word – repeat in a short sentence

4)      auditory training.

Thank you – it is lovely to be working with you again.

Keep up the good work and endless patience.

Vanessa :)

Vanessa’s Encouraging Notes

It was time to leave Cape Town and return to Gaborone. Vanessa added her last notes to the diary.

Dear Sue

Once again the time has flown by. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and Hughan again.

A few pointers to work on at home –

1)Eye contact:

a)  be patient and persevere

b)  always be on his eye level,

c)   hold objects new your face,

d)   freeze actions when he’s absorbed with them

e)   use sound

REMEMBER : talk – do – talk – do……

2) Intensive auditory training: especially as he has had so many ear infections.

a)   use animal noises,

b)   use transport noises.

3) Imitate and interpret: his babbling and actions

4) aim for varied language input - plenty of meaningful repetition re: use one word in many different sentences – “ball”, “the ball is blue”, “catch the ball”, “ Hughan’s ball”, “roll the ball”.

5) No gesturing

Give a command with only eye contact. Should he not respond correctly, do the action and repeat the language at the same time. Read through session notes for examples.

Please give my regards to Willem and a big hug and a kiss for Vil.

I hope you have a safe flight home. Remember to keep in touch frequently. I look forward to hearing from you (I love letters).

Maintain your positive attitude at all times. See you in three months time.

Take care


Wednesday 30/05/90 – First video

(VIDEO 5th lesson…Cape Town 1990) Helping parents with deaf children through our experience…

Today, Vanessa was filming Hughan and I, so I could take the video home with us to Botswana, as a reminder of what we had been doing in Cape Town.

This is what Vanessa wrote in the diary…..

Activity : condensed milk balls.

Aim : interpretation of his babbling and actions

Lovely Sue you did not gesture. You did the action and gave the language at the same time – “drop the biscuit in the packet”.

Good turn taking – Hughan put a biscuit in, mummy put a biscuit in.

Hughan’s eye contact was a lot better today. Be patient with the eye contact and don’t give up. Remember that if he is interested in watching the action you’re doing – rolling a rolling pin – just pause for a moment (stop the action) and he will 9/10 times look up at you (to query why you have stopped) and then you have your eye contact and quickly give your lovely suitable language input.

Hughan babbled a lot more today – “a –ja”, “wa-wa”, “ba-ba-ba”.

Good interpretation of his actions, “the tortoise wants to eat some coconut”, “mummy I want some more”.

A good strategy to bear in mind is do – talk – do.

First roll the rolling pin, then stop and talk with eye contact – “roll the rolling pin” and then do the action again.

Lovely imitation of Hughan banging the rolling pin and of him rolling the rolling pin.

Good turn taking again – “mummy roll the rolling pin”, “Hughan roll the rolling pin”.

Sue this was a lovely session and we had it on video! Thank you very much. You’ll gesturing has improved hundred percent. You are a lot more aware of the finer details of your technique now. Keep up this lovely work and positive attitude. The sentences you jotted down are good examples of meaningful repetition and naming – varied language input.

See you Friday.


Tuesday 29/05/90 – Bowl and Goodies

(4th Lesson…2nd Visit to Cape Town)

Vanessa was observing us from the viewing room. This is what Vanessa wrote in the ‘Diary’….

Activity : bowl and goodies

Aims : 1) Interpretation of Hughan’s babbling and actions.

               2) Receptive language - to ascertain what he understands without any visual clues.

Good you gave a simple command without any visual clues “open the door”.

When he doesn’t respond correctly remember to do the action with him and give the language at the same time.

You did this nicely with “open the ball” and ”shake the bells”.

Remember not to gesture.

You use the sounds well. He is babbling a lot more. He obviously loved the trumpet.

He loved crawling through the Play house. You made use of this by following his interests and giving suitable language – “climb through the tunnel”, “go up the ramp”.

Good Sue your trying not to gesture. Work on this, this afternoon.

Thank you


Wednesday 23/05/90 – Rabbit hunt

Our next lesson with Vanessa involved playing with a toy rabbit hunt.

Activity : rabbit hunt

Aim :      1) interpret Hughan’s babbling and actions

2) use the word he would use – “give me the rabbit mummy”.

“Mummy I can see a rabbit”, “take your hand out mummy”- good interpretation of his actions,

During the rabbit hunt : you would point under the bed and say “look”, he would immediately respond, but then you couldn’t get his eye contact and his attention for the sentence : “look under the bed”,  because he was already concerned about looking under the bed.

Rather get eye contact first and say : “look under the bed”, “there is a rabbit under the bed” then only go with him and do the action, plus give the language at the same time.

This requires much patience, but this way the words are a lot more meaningful.

Thank you for the lovely session, keep up the hard work.


Tuesday 22/05/90 – Our first lesson

Hughan and I had arrived in Cape Town. We were staying on the grounds of Tygerberg Hospital, at the accommodation for families with hearing impaired children.

Vanessa was pleased to see us and we were having our first session with her.

Hughan and I worked together in a room while Vanessa observed from an adjoining room, which had a viewing window from it. Vanessa was able to watch me play with Hughan and we were unable to see her. She would correct me while I was working with Hughan, through an intercom.

This is what Vanessa wrote in the diary.

Today’s lesson -

Activity : blocks and cars

Aim : apply basic communication principles.

Lovely repetition – you used a single word and then that word in a short, full sentence.

“Push, push the puzzle”.

“Give, give me the block”.

“Pick me up mummy”- good interpretation of his actions.

Lovely, you are waiting for the eye contact.

Good: you are pointing out the different parts of the face. “The rabbit has eyes”, “look at the rabbit ears”. Always try and relate this immediately to his body, “Hughan’s eyes”, Hughan’s ears”, then perhaps “mummy’s eyes and ears”.

Lovely you are following his interest – he wanted to play with the draw. “Pull the draw open”,” close the draw”. Lovely he interpreted you playing with the horse and making it jump over the block.

Saturday 18/05/90 – Cape Town

Hughan and I travelled to Cape Town and we arrived at lunchtime.

It is a lovely feeling to be back.

Vanessa. Thank you for your letter. It’s been great hearing from you.

We feel Hughan has been responding well to our voices. He is still having ear drops in both ears, but ever since he has been unable to use them, I feel he had been giving us better eye contact.

We hope you will see a change in him. We have had great fun with him and he is still a good little boy.


Best wishes


Friday 02/03/90 – 1st Cape Town trip ends

( Going up Table Mountain)

Dear Willem and Sue

Goodness me but this week has gone quickly. I’m really sorry you can’t stay an extra week that I understand that Vil must go back to school. What a pity about the passports.

Never the less I’ll be seeing you soon – April 17th. In the meantime please concentrate on the following when working with Hughan.

1)      Auditory training

a)      You must teach Hughan to be aware of sounds: look excited, point to your ear and say “I can hear”, also imitate the sound with your voice – “Bang bang!”

b)      React to sound: open the door when you hear knocking.

Please do about 5 to 10 min daily of intensive auditory training – like we do with the 10 and Lego (sound versus – no sound) – happy versus sad expressions.

Remember to also teach him to locate the sound – to look in the direction where the sound is coming from. Start by making a noise in front of him and then take it behind him still making the noise and letting him follow with his eyes.

Bring auditory training into your daily programme where ever possible – make him aware of sounds around him (the dog barking, tap with a spoon on a bowl when you are cooking).

2)      Eye contact

Have eye contact when speaking to Hughan. Remember to –

a)      Be on his eye level

b)      To get and maintain his attention and eye contact by holding objects next to your face.

3)      Repetition

This must be done by selecting a word and then using it in a short sentence – “Open. Open the tin”. “Up. Up mummy”.  “Ta. Ta the spoon”.

4)      Interpretation

Interpretation of his babbling and actions. Give him the direct language for what he is trying to say: “give me the dog mummy”.

5)      Name

Name everything. “It”is no longer part of your vocabulary – rather say ”the flour is in the bowl” instead of “it is in the bowl”.

6)      Imitation

Imitate his language and actions – Hughan bangs with a spoon on the cupboard and says “ga, ga” and the action with the spoon. This will encourage Hughan to respond again. Also interpret the “ga, ga” and “bang with the spoon”. This is also turn taking. Mummy’s turn to speak then Hughan’s turn to speak – also on non-verbal level – mummy’s turn to stir, Hughan’s turn to stir.

7)      Be aware of voice. Don’t strain it. Remember to speak slowly, clearly and at a suitable volume.

Please keep in touch. Writing in the book once a week and then send the duplicates to me once a month. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any queries or want to chat.

Have a safe journey home and once again please keep in contact. Send me a photo of Hughan please.

Sorry the time was short, but I thoroughly enjoyed working with you. See you in April.

Best wishes