Hughan’s Diary – Carel du Toit Centre

Hughan’s Diary, an introduction into the journey we have been on with our profoundly deaf son!

23 years ago we were faced with making many decisions, that have been the most incredible roller coaster in our lives.

We have never been content with the first opinion we were given. We were exposed to this very early on, in the initial diagnosis of our son Hughan’s deafness.

I am going to be following the daily diaries we kept, during the time we lived in Botswana 21 years ago and having to travel to Cape Town, to the Centre, that has proved to be the most critical decision of all.

Every little decision we have made as a family, has had a major impact on how Hughan talks, he can now talk on a telephone. I find it still incredible that I can phone him up on his mobile and have a normal conversation with him.

From being diagnosed profoundly deaf with 110 decibel loss of hearing and being told that not even hearing aids would benefit him,

to this, 21 years later…

When I turned 50 I realised that I needed to put pen to paper to document how Hughan has achieved what he has, in case another member of our family has a deaf child.

Then I soon realised that this information may help other parents facing the same decisions as us. So I decided to start writing a book.

Being brought up in Africa and feeling so privileged to have done so, I then decided it was pay me back time. So some of the proceeds from my book will go to raise money for the deaf children in Africa.

Because we were living in Botswana and we had to travel to Cape Town in South Africa, meant that we were living a long way from the Centre we had chosen to work with. I was encouraged to write down each day what Hughan and I had done together, so that the Centre could keep an eye on our progress.

So I started a Diary and took photos of activities we did. This proved to be vital for us to be able to look back just a few months and see what progress had been made. This was very encouraging.

Every few months we travelled back to the Centre in Cape Town and we were taught the next steps. These steps were very slight each time, but proved to be the success to out program.

A video recording was done during each return visit back to the Centre from Botswana every 3 months and we have all of these copies to share with you in our ‘Diary notes.

We took Hughan back to the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town in 2010, to meet everyone who had worked with him, as he was learning his lip reading skills and how to talk. This was fantastic for everyone to meet Hughan after so many years. It also gave Hughan the chance to meet the people who have played such a major part in him learning how to talk.

We also returned to the Centre again in 2011 to celebrate 25 years of the Cochlear Implant.

I look forward to your comments and hearing from you along the way.

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  1. Anneke Joubert Theron says:

    Hello Sue I used to be one of Hughan's teachers many years ago at the Carel D Toit Centre way back in the 90's:) I've been listening to his videos and reading your blog and it warms my heart to see that he has become such a well balanced young man. My wish, just like yours, is that parents all over the world should grasp the wonder of Hughan's miracle. The endless hours of teaching, living, breathing Speech and Language and auditory training and learning to incorporate it in daily living…..well done to you and your husband for perservering, for not giving up on your dreams for Hughan and for him accepting your love and teachings…all for his benefit. Professor Carel D Toit's vision of teaching all hearing impaired babies,toddlers and pre-schoolers spoken language through good audition with hearing aids and a well developed programme for speech, language and auditory training has been proved to be successful through families like you who persevere in training your children with love and consistancy. Well done! Anneke (Joubert) Theron

  2. Hi Anneke. Just so wonderful to hear from you after all these years. Thank you for teaching Hughan all those years ago. Everyone along the way have contributed to Hughan's success. It is just the little thing we did and were taught to do over a long time that has enabled Hughan ro achieve so much with his speech and hearing. Thank you for your comments. I would love you to add your comments to our page if you wish. Sue x :)

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