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 Jamie 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 program 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.
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”.
Interpretation of his babbling and actions. Give him the direct language for what he is trying to say: “give me the dog mummy”.
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”.
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.
(I started this website to help other patents with deaf children through our experience. Our son Hughan was born in 1988 and was diagnosed profoundly deaf at 14 months old. We kept a Diary, so his progress could be tracked between our lessons, as we were living in Gaborone in Botswana and traveled every 3 months to the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town.)