Relaunch of Hughan’s Diary – 30 Years On
We’ve removed all of Hughan’s diary entries that we ran in 2013, written in the early nineties, because we’ve updated the website and we’re going to be running them again in real time starting in Jan 2020; this time 30 years on from the event.
Follow along this year, as we discover Hughan’s deafness 30 years ago and are told he’d never learn to hear or speak and would have to sign. Hughan is profoundly deaf, but luckily after a chance encounter on a train heading from London to Cornwall in 1989 we met Dr Elaine Saunders (who is an internationally recognised hearing scientist and audiologist) who told us about the pioneering work being done on the cochlear implant. Finding information to deal with his deafness was challenging at the time, as there were no home computers with internet and google and mobile phones hadn’t been invented yet. At the time we were living in Gaborone in Botswana, where there were no Specialists or deaf community to get help and support from. Through our searching, we found and went to the Carel Du Toit Center in Cape Town, where Hughan followed the speech only program from 1990, having to travel to the Centre every 3 months for lessons. Hughan was the 10th child (34th person) to receive his cochlear implant at the age of 3 and a half.
February 1990 is when the real work began and our ‘Diary’ started. This is when we were taught the top tips and embraced a new way to communicate with Hughan. It was only after reading through my diary notes that I realised what it was that gave us so much success with Hughan; who can now hold a conversation on a phone and has chosen to live the other side of the world in New Zealand with his wife Emma, who is also profoundly deaf and met on our Facebook page.
I’ve decided to share the top tips we were taught, as these have proved to be life changing for Hughan. I would encourage you to embrace them and also start your own diary to track your child’s progress. In years to come you will have them as a record of what you did . It is also a way of encouraging yourself to do activities each day, which will enable you to expand your child’s understanding of the language. Remember to ‘keep it simple’ and grow their language slowly.
In the mean time I’m also writing a book which I will be publishing in the near future. If you follow us on facebook and like our posts then you’re going to love what we’re going to be doing for parents with deaf children..