Tuesday 22/05/90 – Our first lesson

(1st Lesson…2nd Visit to Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town)

Hughan and I had arrived in Cape Town. We were staying on the grounds of Tygerberg Hospital, at the accommodation for families with hearing impaired children.

Vanessa was pleased to see us and we were having our first session with her.

Hughan and I worked together in a room while Vanessa observed from an adjoining room, which had a viewing window from it. Vanessa was able to watch me play with Hughan and we were unable to see her. She would correct me while I was working with Hughan, through an intercom.

This is what Vanessa wrote in the diary.

Today’s lesson –

Activity : blocks and cars

Aim : apply basic communication principles.

Lovely repetition – you used a single word and then that word in a short, full sentence.

“Push, push the puzzle”.

“Give, give me the block”.

“Pick me up mummy”- good interpretation of his actions.

Lovely, you are waiting for the eye contact.

Good: you are pointing out the different parts of the face. “The rabbit has eyes”, “look at the rabbit ears”. Always try and relate this immediately to his body, “Hughan’s eyes”, Hughan’s ears”, then perhaps “mummy’s eyes and ears”.

Lovely you are following his interest – he wanted to play with the draw. “Pull the draw open”,” close the draw”. Lovely he interpreted you playing with the horse and making it jump over the block.

Good you are trying to name everything. “Put the bean bags back” instead of “put them back”. “Sit on the chair” instead of “sit there”.

Lovely interpretation “Lift me up Mummy”.

Lovely auditory training – “Woof woof”: says the dog. “Oink oink”: says the pig.

Lovely turn taking: “Mummy take the bean bag out”. “Hughan take the bean bag out”.

The dog’s nose, Mummy’s nose, Hughan’s nose”. Lovely you pointed the body part out on the dog plus then on Hughan and your body.

Thank you Sue – not only are you looking smart today but you are also working well with Hughan.

Welcome back – I’m looking forward to working with you again.

Remember Occupational Theropist : 2.00pm.

See you tomorrow.


(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.)