Meet the children
Khutatso Mashao, a resident at LITTLE EDEN, Elvira Rota Village has an infectious giggle and a determination to live that inspires everyone around her.
Khutatso is part of the ERV music therapy group where she gets an opportunity to explore different music instruments, sounds and emotions. She especially loves playing the triangles and shaker and singing her favourite song, “Baa baa Black Sheep”.
The music therapy group session also teaches her social skills, which are handy when she goes to the ERV “school” (ERV starter literacy programme).
Khutatso could not read or write when she started “school” two years ago. She is currently doing very well and she can now identify many colours. Her favourite activity in class is to colour in pictures, using the crayons the colours of which she has learnt to identify.
She is also currently learning how to count, write and read. Her vocabulary has improved and she can now answer questions related to a story.
Lesley Compaan is based at LITTLE EDEN, Elvira Rota Village. Despite his physical limitations he is determined to live his life to the full.
Lesley loves music and he participates in individual music therapy sessions and is part of the ERV drumming group. He enjoys expressing himself through singing, especially spiritual songs. Lesley uses his music therapy sessions to express his faith and relationship with God. The music sessions help him process and express his emotions.
Lesley is unable to use his hands and so he uses his feet to participate in many activities that other people do with their hands. He can play a keyboard, drums, cymbals and chimes with his feet. He can also use his feet to colour in or to paint.
Lesley is one of the “students” in the ERV starter literacy programme (also called “school” by the ERV residents) where he learned to “write” with his feet. He learned to use a keyboard with which he spells out words that he has learned. His “teachers” are very proud of his progress and say he is learning fast and has progressed so well in the three years since he started “school” that he is able to communicate with his carers and other residents by spelling out the words he knows. He can also put these words in a sentence and can identify pictures when someone reads a story to him.
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Wynand van Wyngaard is like a grandfather to other residents in Boitemelo Wing in the Edenvale Home at LITTLE EDEN. He has such a gentle and caring heart. He is always trying to put a smile on his friends’ faces.
He always has a big smile on his face and aims to make life better for those around him – residents as well as staff. If someone has a bad or sad day, he goes to that person, holding their hand and always seems to know just what to say to make them feel better.
He has a comprehensive vocabulary. He is able tell his carers what he wants and understands what is being said to him.
Although Wynand cannot read he always has a book with him, through which he pages regularly. With his vivid imagination he makes up stories of the pictures he sees in these books, to the delight of his carers and other residents.
Wynand is great with puzzles, even some complicated ones. He also enjoys lego blocks. His eagerness to learn is amazing – learning the colours and numbers while he colours in.
Due to his physical disability, Wynand uses a trolley bed. However, he is strong enough in his upper body to keep himself comfortable in his bed.
If there was a prize for the biggest socialite in Green Wing, Edenvale Home at LITTLE EDEN, it would surely go to Zach. His big personality is enjoyed by visitors and his friends in Green Wing. Zach interacts with staff and other residents with his infectious smile and unique sounds.
Even though Zach is unable to communicate verbally, he is able to communicate using gestures such as smiles, sounds and head movements. He can understand and responds to simple questions.
During his physiotherapy sessions, Zach is made to work towards strengthening his core and other muscles, which helps him to get strong enough to push himself around in his wheelchair. He also has to concentrate at improving his fine motor skills, which have already improved in such a way that he can now hold a drum stick to beat the drum, whereas previously he could only beat the drum using his hand.
Zach is also made to work on improving his co-ordination by practising catching and throwing balls. He loves to be active and knows and memorises his daily activities. He is always interested in learning something new, which he recently did when he learnt how to brush his own teeth which was a big confidence boost for him! Zach likes to do puzzles, play with blocks, listen to stories from his favourite story books, and painting.
He loves music – to listen to or play the drums and chimes. He is always part of the Christmas and other concerts, where his smile lights up the scene.
Zach is so social, he enjoys helping to clean up the therapy room after his session.