Dedicated to helping Deaf and hard-of-hearing children grow and learn in a world they cannot hear
Parents speak out
"We would really like our government to enforce a screening test at birth for all kids.
Our son Hayden was born on 24 August 2002 at a provincial hospital, and discharged the next day.
For the first 2 years his milestones were normal, but there was something about Hayden that as parents we just couldn’t put a finger on. He was short tempered; he screamed when surrounded by people; and he would point at things he needed.
At 2 and half Hayden was not speaking, so we decided to seek medical help. We were referred to audiologists Fanot Smith and Partners and Hayden had an ABR test at St Augustine's Hospital. We were not prepared for the results that we received.
Hearing aids were ordered for Hayden and we were attending weekly sessions for the next year. We were introduced to HI HOPES and Ms Naomi, our parent advisor visted us fortnightly to discuss the different options available to us. She was really understanding and every session with her was more and more informative in teaching us how to cope with Hayden.
She was truly our pillar of strength. She reassured us that everything was going to be fine, and gave us a lot of information with regards to cochlear implants, Deaf mentors in our area, schools and methods of communication.
Hayden was now 3 and we had to choose a school. Naomi provided schools in the area, and Fulton School for the Deaf was one of them. She even went the extra mile to furnish us with contact info and application forms.
Hayden is now 5 years and attending Fulton. He is a happy kid, less frustrated and his signing is getting better by the day.
My family really appreciates the service of HI HOPES and hopes they continue providing support and help to other families."
– The Maharaj family
'We, parents of Avamile (Ava) Gumede who is living with disability, would like to express our appreciation for the assistance we are receiving from Mrs Lalla. She has been paying visits to our family for the past 6 months, and has helped us in a number of ways providing advice, reminding us of further opportunities, giving us love and making us feel we are not alone.
Demonstrated how to insert hearing aids and how to recognise when batteries are flat;
Advised us to wear bright colours for Ava's vision to improve;
Reminded us to apply for a Grant as we have a caregiver who looks after Ava;
Advised us to sit Ava in a box next to us when we are doing chores so he is always near us;
Showed us how to do exercises to help Ava's muscles loosen up;
Advised us to buy brightly coloured toys that make a noise to help with Ava's hearing and eyesight;
Told us to always give love to Ava and make sure there is always someone around him so that he feels loved.
We are thankful to HI HOPES for the services you render. It has helped the family to cope with the situation."
– Mrs N Gumede
'I would like to thank HI HOPES for the assistance with one of our pre-school pupils, Lumko Ndakisa.
'This little boy started at our pre-school at the age of three and a half years. His parents had not realised he was very hard of hearing. After numerous parent interviews and referrals, and nearly a year later, this little boy got his first hearing aids.
Unfortunately, the parents had no idea of the importance of wearing the hearing aids and checking the batteries, or the importance and urgency of intensive speech therapy. This was extremely frustrating and sad for us as teachers as Lumko fell further and further behind his peers.
'Then the audiologist put us in touch with HI HOPES who trained one of our teachers, Corné Oelefson, as a facilitator. She was able to go into their home and teach them the daily living needs of a deaf child and how to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate him.
'Simple things, like reducing background noise of the television, had never occurred to them, so this was enormously beneficial. She also made them understand the importance of wearing the hearing aids every day, and not to be ashamed of the child because of his disability.
'The parents now have a far better understanding of his language development and the importance of continued speech therapy. I can honestly say that HI HOPES has been the most successful intervention for this little boy and his family.
'In a country like South Africa, where many parents are uneducated and rural, HI HOPES is offering an invaluable service to families who have no idea how to accommodate a hearing-impaired child.
'A very big thank you to HI HOPES, and particularly Corné Oelefson, for making such a valuable contribution to this little boy and his family. We hope you can continue the good work in other families in the future.
– Mrs Penny Craig, Head of department of St Patrick's Pre-Prep, Kokstad, Kwazulu-Natal
'Thank You so much for the incredible HI HOPES Programme.
Matthew has developed beautifully over the last two-and-a-half years and we are eternally grateful for HI HOPES' contribution to his development.
The dedication and love shown to us and the amazing support is something we will always treasure.'