The First Lesson 27/02/1990

The Carel du toit Centre – 27/02/1990

When we arrived for our first lesson at the Center, Vanessa was there to greet us and we were taken into a room that looked exactly like a sitting room. She wanted to observe us as a family, to see how we were interacting with each other and at what level Hughan was understanding us, so we would be working together in this session.

On one wall was a big glass mirror. Vanessa explained to us that she would be sitting in the room next door, observing Willem, Jamie and I while we were playing with Hughan. She would be correcting us while we were playing with him and encouraging us to work with Hughan in such a way, that he would learn his lip reading skills and how to communicate.

“The first lesson” – 27/02/1990

Activity: Tin and blocks and dog

Aim: 1) To teach Hughan to be aware of sound and to react to sound.

2) Eye contact at all times.

Lovely Sue and Willem you both waited for eye contact with all you gave him the language.

He immediately pointed to his ear and his nose and his eyes when discussing the dog’s face. Lovely J.

Sue you used your face nicely and pointed to your ear. Vil did this well too. It’s great that you are  incorporating him. I know it feels silly to point to your ear in the beginning but with time you will not even think about it.

Remember to interpret his actions and babbling –

If he stretches out his hand – say “give me the bowl mummy”.

Name everything – as of now “IT” is no longer in your words.

“Put it in the tin” – rather say “put the blocks in the tin”.

Thank you – I am looking forward to working with you –


(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.)