I have just logged onto the blog site and listened to the 20 min video footage of you introducing Hughan’s story to the world!. What can I say … the tears are streaming down my face and the hairs on my arm are standing upright … Listening to you and Hughan have the conversation (he not even having to look at you) was simply out of this world. I loved the video … just a Mom sharing what she has experienced. No fancy jargon/terminology!
It has been more than 2 decades since I first met you, Willem, Vil and Hughan at the Carel du Toit Centre and we started our journey introducing Hughan to the world of sound.
After travelling all the way from Botswana to a centre which you hoped held the answers for your profoundly deaf son, you must have thought I was nuts, when I hauled out a tin and some blocks for our first auditory training session, but you were committed and believed in what we were doing, which was stimulating natural communication (speech and hearing).
You had so much to absorb in only 2 weeks: meaningful repetition of language, turn taking, eye contact, imitation of sound and a constant awareness that everything you did was language and had to be verbalised! Returning home so far from the daily support of the centre was daunting, yet you embraced the diary method we had agreed upon and your lives metamorphisised into a running commentary… after all EVERYTHING IS LANGUAGE!
It’s exhausting at first realising that it is not just an hour a day BUT ALL DAY LONG 24/7! These language stimulating skills have become a natural part of you and I recognise them when you speak to this day.
I cannot begin to describe the joy I feel, when I see what an amazing young man Hughan has developed into. I enjoy his sense of humour most. He truly does live in two worlds and I am so proud to have been a part of giving him the skills to have that choice!
I wish you everything of the best with this new journey (blog etc) you have embarked on.
I know that you will be a tremendous inspiration to many parents who have heard the diagnosis that their child is deaf!
I would also like to commend you for “giving back” by donating some of the proceeds to needy deaf children in Africa.
This is much needed as it is astounding what technology can do for a deaf child, but the reality is that that much needed technology remains extremely expensive and therefore unobtainable to many needy deaf children.
I will definitely be following the blog! Miss you all lots and wish you did not live so far away!
CONGRATULATIONS once again!!!