Vanessas’s Encouraging Letter – 08/04/91

Helping parents with hearing impaired and speech delayed children

23 years ago today Vanessa, at the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town, had received a copy of my notes from Hughan’s diary. I was writing up diary notes so Vanessa knew what we were doing at home, in Gaborone, so she could track Hughan’s progress between our return visits to the Centre every 3 months.

Vanessa wrote me a letter with some fantastic advice and lots of encouraging words.

Parent Guidance

Carel du Toit Centre

8th May 1991

Dear Sue

What a lovely surprise receiving your letter today as I didn’t expect to hear from you till after you returned from your trip to England. I am sure you guys are all having a fantastic time and take lots of photos.

You did such fantastic reinforcement of the farm (post Wed 20/03/91): playing with the farm mat, visiting the farm, playing with the duplo and plastic animals and reading storybooks about the farm.

It is superb to do such repetition as you are utilising different mediums and exposing Hughan to many different experiences. I am so pleased he knows the animal sounds.

Does he give the cow, pig, sheep and horse without any clues when you ask for them? I thought it was a lovely idea to make him sort the farm and duplo animals out.

How is his sorting tray? Remember to change the contents for variation.

Super naming of his clothing and items and it is good that he is dressing himself. Remember to ask for a specific item (one at a time) eg. “Give me your shirt”; so that you are simultaneously working on receptive language.

I’m so glad that he’s constantly acquiring new words. Remember to note them in the three columns at the back of your diary.

I think what you are doing for the deaf school in Romotswa is very special. Did you manage to convince the roundtable to help raise funds for the library?

(In 2011 I found out that Round Table did go ahead with the funding of the project, which was estimated at the least 17,000 Pula – this was so wonderful to find out – Thank you Round Table).

By the time you receive this letter to you will be back in Gaborone. Remember to bring all the photos from your UK trip to show me.

Keep up the wonderful work and send my regards to Willem. As always hugs and kisses for Hughan and Vil.

Looking forward to your next letter.


(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 :) )

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