Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LOOKING AHEAD

The time has come and the end of 2015 is near.

The last 3 months have been nothing but positive and for that I am grateful! With focus and the goal in place I am excited for what lies ahead.

After a solid 64 days of getting back into the folds of training and adaption as well as laying some foundations for what lies ahead, I now take some time out from all this as well as work to spend with my loved ones. Looking ahead and with my support structures I have in place, I believe nothing can really stand in my way to achieve what I need to, for me.

I have appreciated all the support from many as well as some criticism from a select few over the past months, which has only made my resolves more solid, in my quest to achieve what I want to achieve.

2016, I hope to get into the full swing of things in my quest to raise some more funds for the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town, and I hope to attract more followers and donors in my quest to make a difference!


This will probably be my last post of 2015 but will definitely be back in the New Year!

To all my followers and supporters, I would like to wish you all a blessed Christmas and awesome New Year! Stay safe and may you make the most of this time over this period.

If I could leave this with you; Never underestimate how great you are . Follow your dreams and aspiration and never give up on them! You just never know how it could change you!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

THE TIDES

Whoohoo! Another 1.1kgs lighter! And getting closer to my target goal weight!

I am stoked at the results and the spinoff of what my training plan has done for me thus far! Like tides, I have gone through many ebbs and flows through the years of being at my best in form but I am starting to believe that the structure and plan I have put in place in my quest to take on the challenge of 2016 Freedom Challenge race across South Africa could possibly just get me into the best shape and form for my age right now. In top form, I may not blitz the course when the time comes but I sure as hell will enjoy it!
  

Yesterday’s outing on the bike was a realization that things are coming together superbly. It is not something that words can adequately explain but best said it is rather a state of mind and physical being. Where one finds themselves in a moment in time where you really believe in what you are doing, how you are feeling and what you are thinking. It is how what you do seems effortless and where there are moments of strain but when pushing through it, you know and believe it is all worth it! I believe it is also all about harnessing your physical strength and self belief and generating something positive from it.


I am full of euphoria at present but am no fool and realize that there will come times when things become questionable. That is human nature. However, I do also believe that the greater the state of mind and level of fitness, the resolve is generally stronger. It overcomes and prevails and any negativity should quickly dissipate in its quest to take hold.  

I rode with an individual over the weekend who wanted to get into mountain biking. Just a short ride for him but it also reminded me where I started years ago. A particular relatively steep climb on the section we were riding had him walking from half way. While waiting at the top he was most apologetic about keeping us in waiting. My response was no worries. There was also no shame in the walk as I had been there as well before. The most important thing is, is the will to keep coming back until you conquer it! I have always got time for those that want to or share the passion of riding and quite willing to offer the encouragement and advice if required. I believe we should all challenge ourselves in some way or another. What challenges you can also change you for the better if you allow it to.


With building on my time in the saddle and trying to optimize my training I am almost in the zone of a 15hr week at peak. Over a 4 week cycle starting at around 10hrs and building up with a one week taper, this system is working for me. I am now at the point where Monday is a rest day to allow and factor in more recovery. 

When January starts, more experimentation with gear and weight distribution as far as what to carry will be implemented. More leg and upper body strengthening will also be a key element as a build-up in the five months leading to Freedom Challenge. My nutrition at present is mainly water as liquid replacement and natural sustenance such as nuts, fruits, baby potatoes, health bars etc. Recovery drink formulas are also part of the nutrition plan. My all time favorite being chocolate milk. Once the goal body weight has been attained and hopefully body fat count reached to an acceptable measure then more focus will be allocated to additional nutrition that would be beneficial to the type of endurance riding/racing event such as the Freedom Challenge.



While we look forward to D-Day the ‘show goes on……

Monday, December 7, 2015

DECEMBER START

The December month in full swing and the final run up to the end of 2015 has begun!

Its been a nice structured eight weeks gone and as said very happy with my progress. If I look back on my recorded training from 2014, this year is a hell of a lot more structured and I am really pleased with this.

The emphasis was doing short work on base and then start periodic table training. Power, speed work along with endurance being the focus and a build and recovery concept as the weeks roll by. This would also include all the other aspects of core body work and intervals.

The stats I have displayed here has seen a nice steady growth and balance of distance and time spent. There is still room for growth and targets set which will come as we move along closer to RASA. The main aspect for me is to ensure no boredom settles in as the months go by which was what started to happen in 2014. Keeping things interesting and exciting is key.




















I have touched base with some sponsors this past week and some positives have been derived and left me more motivated and focused. I await more responses as time ticks on.

I am currently in a very positive and focused frame of mind and it feels really good to be in this zone. It is also amazing what some experience and wisdom can do for you when planning ahead and there are decisions to be made relating to training, nutrition and gear selection. Just this past weekend I took the time to go through some of my stored Freedom gear and it was good to have some flash-backs to last year's short attempt but also memorable.

I look forward to posting next week as I tread the pace and minefield of the final month of 2015 dealing with work, training and balanced family time....



Monday, November 30, 2015

CHAPTER TWO

Chapter 2 and the run up to Christmas has begun…

After my 40 day biking odyssey I hadn’t so much as planned anything and was stuck with a “what now thought” even though I had preliminary plans looking ahead but ended up taking five days off the bike. It was somewhat weird in a way as my biological clock was still ticking over for those early morning rise and shines and it was a force to reckon with to roll over and nod off back to sleep which didn’t happen in most of those events if at all. Still getting up at the crack of dawn with a mug of warm brew and sitting out the back yard taking in all the crisp air and what dawn had to offer, was rewarding in its own way before heading off to work. With the weekend spent doing some home maintenance, it was rewarding in its own kind of way. Time spent with my better half and doing something different can be a worthwhile break from the norm.

It was sort of refreshing to know I had set a goal and seen it through. I had my trusty steed seen to and a minor service with the bike shop for all the memorable and good miles that were given in a short space of time along with given a clean bill of mechanical health over and above the odd tweaking of cables, gears and brake levers was well worth a big smile.

Chapter 2 has begun and this will take me up to Christmas eve.

My weight has remained constant over the past two weeks and I would still like to see another 3.7kg go south.
The plan for the Christmas season going forward and towards the end of December month is to be spending some time with the family and extended family on the coast and some time in Knysna, South Africa where plans have been set aside to take some mountain bike rides in the Knysna forests with my brother in-law. I am really so looking forward to this!

Even though still six months away, the planning and gear selection is properly underway and has been with regard to obtaining a few accessories needed to pursue and ultimately finish the amazing adventure that Freedom Challenge race across South Africa is and can be. New robust wheels ordered from a “Black Friday sale done and ticked off. I say robust in that I feel they have been tried and tested and will do the work that is required to cover the terrain that the Freedom trail throws at you. So that is now out of the way. Fortunately with having most of the gear bought and stored from my last Freedom Challenge attempt, there will still always be the odds and ends that require upgrading. Unfortunately, mountain biking or any biking of sort has become an expensive commodity depending how you look at it. Starting from scratch can set you back a few ‘dollars and outlay if planning an adventure, expedition, endurance race ride like this. I was fortunate and grateful to had been sponsored bib riding shorts last year. I will be on the look- out this year for a new sponsor if it’s possible.

This morning with my first ride in five days after my unplanned break, I felt like a race horse at my conceived level, feeling really good, strong and with a positive mind. A break is under estimated in what it can do for your body. It was good to be out again!

Looking forward to the next four weeks ahead………….


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BLESSED

40 Days I gave myself to get my ‘mojo back!

 After 25 years of cycling on off and in the past year with a lot happening in and around my life, I seemed to have lost some of the passion I had for cycling, so I believed. The 40 day plan I set for myself was just the recipe to rekindle some of that passion. I would guess it was almost like a writer having writers block. With my Freedom Challenge mountain bike race across South Africa in 2016 I desperately wanted to grab hold of that joy and satisfaction of being on a bike and taking a ride.  

There had been a couple of setbacks in the past 10 months before my 40 day plan and as a human being it tested and affected my train of thoughts, my level of motivation, my emotions and outlooks. But that is all in the past and life is not really about yesterday but really about how you are living your Today. We’ve all heard it. If you are sad and depressed, you could be living in the past. If you’re anxious and stressed, you could well be living in the future. If you going all out today and making the most of what it has to offer and are happy and content, you living in the moment, the present, and that is where you need to be.

My 40 days of cycling kicked off on the 13th October and with 3 days missed in this plan within the time frame, spanned an extra 3 days on to cover this. I was left feeling pretty okay with my efforts and let’s call it my introduction into what lies ahead and the foundation laid to build onto. Freedom Challenge is effectively around 190 days away and I am positive about how my planning will play out over the rest of the 6 months leading up to the event. As a working class citizen along with the work commitments most of us cyclist find ourselves with along with keeping family time in check, I have been happy with how my applied mind coped. Most importantly, spending all rides on my own, I have been happy to have been able to maintain consistent riding habits along with throwing in a couple of interval sessions on the bike. An average of 40km (1600km total) ridden daily, an average of 325m (13000m total)of ascent attained per day and keeping my average cadence at around 82 rpm, I have been satisfied with the base I have laid out for myself.

The training format from here will remain pretty much the same going forward but with a structured plan, with short rides in the week (at least two interval days, two regular fast paced days and a recovery day) with longer back to back rides over the weekends when not working. 
The aim is to get to a 15 to 20 hour week. Thrown into this will be mix of walking, running and hiking as well as gear testing but also most importantly, recovery time. I am also looking forward to start testing my Osprey and Buff gear when the time comes as well as Apidura bags on the bike.






I have been blessed with good health in the past 6 weeks and when your body starts going through transformation it can be a shock to the system. The stresses on your body, weight loss, can all cause your system to go south but I have not felt this good in a long while. It's a good place to be in. In over 6 weeks, one of the things that has been noticeable is I have had no heartburn also know as acid reflux, of which I suffered from periodically and that is thanks to cutting out sugars and most processed foods along with the weight loss. With riding off into desolate places at times I have also been blessed with safe passage and have had no incidents that would warrant alarm other than the cheers of some rural kids cheering you along as you pass them by; Older men puffing on their pipes nodding a greeting gesture whilst sitting on a pile of rocks in the late sunlit afternoon. Farm workers on their way home on a dusty road at dusk waving you along. All this captured in my ability to do what I can do. I have also been blessed with no serious bike mechanicals and so it proves that to keep your trusty steed in good shape and regular maintenance is the key.


AND now! We ride on…..

Monday, November 16, 2015

THE RIGHT PLACES

Week five done and dusted of my 40 day commitment and the goal to get my body, mind and general fitness onto the right track is moving along way better than I envisaged.

Going into week six with eight more days to go to complete what I dubbed phase one of my introduction to the path of readiness for 2016, I am super chuffed with where I am right now. Once done, phase two will roll out and more on that when we get there…

Two years ago, 2013, after a five year wait and eventually pressing the Enter and pay button in August of that same year to enlist my heart, body and soul into the 2014 Freedom Challenge race across South Africa adventure  and dream of doing it, I started training immediately with much jest and vigour! So much so, with gathering more information, advice and scouring scores of blogs and write-ups of the Freedom Challenge thinking I still hadn’t gained enough insight and on what to expect, how to train, what to take and, and…

In hindsight, I just threw myself into it with no real training plan. By April, May of 2014 with all the riding done, in all honesty, I was already totally bored and tired of a bike. When the day finally arrived and on the start line I was amped but also nervous, yet nothing prepared me for that first day! I think nothing does if you have never done it before. After the crash on day three and my eventual withdrawal eight days later, I knew I had to go back! I learnt that some of our mishaps can bring us to the right places. Mistakes can also be the portal for self discovery. In those eleven days I pulled a magnitude of wisdom from it for myself. This I hope will stand in good stead going back to Freedom Challenge 2016.

For me, the race across South Africa is not about racing for me, it’s about forward momentum. It’s about the journey itself. It’s about discovering things about yourself you never deemed possible. It’s about experiencing the raw side of South Africa on a bicycle. I believe, everyone doing Freedom has their own reasons for doing it and we take away different outcomes from it in the end.

My week five of training had been a good recovery week on the bike. Yes! I lost a little more weight with the total being nearly 5kgs lost up to now. From this I can definitely feel that difference when on the bike and the proverbial ‘power to weight’ ratio starts to come into play. For those not in the know, simply put, it’s all about balancing the body weight you have to push and the power you have to push it. The law of average, the lighter the weight the easier it is to push. Now, I could write a whole chapter on this, but we will leave it at that. Let’s just say it can pay to read up and know how your body functions and how it reacts to what you do to it. The human body is an incredible machine. It can do far beyond what you think it can.

I am looking forward to reaching my first milestone in training. It is still around another two hundred days to go for the start of Freedom 2016. I am so grateful I have a structured plan moving forward. I have a supportive family which counts for plenty and I have some close friends supporting me all the way!

The Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town cause of which I am trying to rally support has been very slow. When the first two donations came in just after launch, I was excited! I am still hopeful though and look forward to those that have made pledges going forward in due course.

If you would like to make a donation, please do @:



Monday, November 9, 2015

MAGIC POTION

Week four into my 40 day cycle odyssey done! I have had a magical week of riding. The mind shift, the body adapting, the habitual process of things have all but moved along like a sweet song. However, do not misinterpret that it has been a week of pure bliss. With effort comes some discomfort but at the same time also finding the will to keep going.

 With the will to keep going, it has also allowed a page in the book of my perseverance to be stored in a chapter somewhere deep in my subconscious. Hopefully when the moments come, when all seems really long, hard and daunting, I can pull out the chapter, find the page and reaffirm that it says; I’ve got this! I can do it!


There are many cyclists in the area I live and having trained and cycled the past twenty five years in groups and on my own, mainly road biking and racing until about six years ago when I started the switch to mountain biking, I have over the past two years spent many hours on my own training. I have had a number of invites to join groups for group rides of which I have really appreciated the gesture but just this weekend it dawned on me that I am very comfortable in my own company. 

Sometimes the arrangements to meet, decisions on where to ride, people not pitching, should we go, should we wait debate and so on had me realizing that with me just getting on my bike and riding, making my own decisions on what time to leave, where to head, how far to go, when to pit-stop, how long to stop, changing a course of direction mid ride and more, brings on a sense of adventure as well as a sense of selfishness I guess, within me that I seem to thrive on and enjoy. 

I do also believe that riding with a hearing impairment also plays a role in that it isolates me whilst riding in a group as I do not engage in much conversation due to wind noise and not being able to always hear clearly on what is being said, hence riding and training on my own pretty much evens out the score. I have been bemused that in the distant past, I have been thought of as being rude by not replying or engaging in conversation that has been afforded to me at times. This has been purely because I did not realize or failed to hear properly. I have found people normally understanding of this when I inform them of the realities. This had also caused some embarrassment for me when it happens but I live through it. I generally feel I mean well to all I come in contact with but at unintentional moments like these, others may or could perceive otherwise. 

Blazing glory



Generally and as a contradiction to what I’ve just said, I do believe man is not destined to live his/her life alone. With my outlooks, I think there are only four or five people that really understand me. The rest I believe run on assumptions. As the quote saying goes and I believe applies to a lot of people as well as some not; ‘I am not in a competition with anyone else. I ride my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone else. I just aim to improve, to become a better person than I was yesterday. That’s me’. 

In for the long haul



The training week has been good! Basic stats put on the table again. This past week saw a 28% increase on distance covered. 27% increase on time spent in the saddle and 18% increase in the amount of climbing on a bike, concluded a worthwhile build week for me. I believe a little of the interval training has also helped a bit. Over the past four week I have managed to shed 4.4kgs of weight and I can already feel the difference on the bike yet that little rubber band of flubber around my mid section, even though smaller than before still appears. I am positive and hopeful that over the next four weeks to come, more changes will appear and I should be at my goal weight. In the past week gone I unfortunately gave into some of my vices but yet was pleasantly surprised that I could still shed 1.1kgs. At middle age they say your body clock starts to slow down. My turbines still seem to be turning. I was pretty impressed! No guilt!

Crossing the landscape


People have asked for the magic potion but there is none. It is all just a conscious decision that one must make to cut out all the ‘bad stuff’ and ride the storm as your mind and body renders resistance to the challenge. It takes 21 days to form a habit they say. At 26 days, I am starting to believe it!

Anyone reading this blog, please visit and ‘LIKE my Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/afrivence

If you have already done so, please share this all over the place. I am looking for support for my cause supporting:  http://careldutoit.co.za/site/index.php


And one can also support me and make a contribution by making a once off secure online donation at: http://www.givengain.com/activist/141916/projects/10833/

Monday, November 2, 2015

BRING ON NOVEMBER!

Day 20 of 40 and half way there!!

Pure Landscape

Week three ended and into the fourth I go. I cannot believe how well this is going and barring some heavy wind in the past three weeks, there has only been three days of rain whereby I still found a window in the weather pattern to get out and not get drenched. There have also been two heavy mornings of thick mist of which one I got pleasurably soaked.

Misty Morning


The weight loss as being part of my objective has been 3.8 kilos with the past week being a little on the slow side as well as the ‘cheat’ side but still with plenty willpower intact. I haven’t had as much as a glass of coke, beer, coffee or tea, touch my lips in the past three weeks and that is an achievement for me! I have been pleasantly surprised that I have had no serious withdrawal symptoms seeing I had practically cut out all my sugar vices other than two bar one chocolates, a handful of liquorice all sorts and a small bowl of ice-cream in the past 21 days. Water, water and more water along with eating six times a day in very small amounts I believe has been part of the trick.

Sunburst!
My training schedule in week three was up from week two with 3% up on miles undertaken. 7% up on time in the saddle and wait for it! 58% up on the amount of ascent undertaken!! And I am grinning!

Not to be fooled, there have been one or two occasions where the getting out of bed at 4am has been a drag but pushing on or not is not negotiable. My train of thoughts was that I committed myself to this strategy, so letting myself down was not an option.

Dawn under lilac skies
With November 2015 here, I need to devise plans to get my Facebook page, 'Afrivence rolling a little more and with a little more exposure. Anyone having any tips and ideas, I have always been open to suggestions!

Carel du Toit Centre Cape Town could do with some funds and donations would really come in handy! I realize that there are many fundraisers going on and one I see predominantly is fundraisers for Cancer. Supporting Deafness is also a good cause as instead of being left out and shut off from the world, facilities such as the Carel du Toit Centre is also effectively giving kids a second lease on life.


The Freedom Challenge race office has been contacted with my intentions made about wanting to recce a small section of the trail in early January. Dates and time still to be confirmed but nevertheless planning can start for what I would deem a 4-5 day ride across the section I wish to transverse.

For now, the “show goes on….


Bring on November!!


Monday, October 26, 2015

HEARTBEATS

Day 13 of 40 started today! Monday, new day, new week!

I had an incredible hour and a half mountain bike ride before work early in the morning. No photo taking (which most would know, I love to do),no dawdling, just riding from a short warm up base of 15 minutes to practically flat out for the better part of an hour and then another 15 minute cool down.

Images from Day 12 of 40

The ride was incredible! It was almost like when taking repeated deep breaths of fresh air that filtered right down to the core of one’s belly and when exhaling, feeling so alive, strong and determined! It’s in that moment in time we so often miss and take for granted. We sometimes fail to relish that point in time when we’re trying to accomplish a goal through fitness. That moment feels like time stands still, you feel and hear your heart drumming inside of you out loud. The air seems fresher. Your breathing feels ‘cleaner. When you’re giving what you have, exerting yourself and it seems so damn comfortable while you in the thick of it and you just do it thinking you’re about to break the proverbial ‘wall! It’s a rather exhilarating feeling!

13 days in of my 40 day biking odyssey. It’s going well! 3.1kgs lost in 12 days and I am still on track! Did a tad little cheating with some vino again and an over indulgence of nuts and walnuts in the week but hey! Why not live a little!

It’s been a while, almost feeling like an eternity since I committed to a regime such as this and I had also almost forgotten what it can do for you and the rewards that go with it! It’s an awesome feeling!
Around a 20% increase in effort in my second week off my first week’s base, with a slight decrease in ascent though, it was good to do in excess of 200km plus which has me feeling extremely motivated! And that was just riding, excluding the walking and running twice in the week! Building slowly.

Using a periodic training ritual, my trusty Garmin and all its stats, I will attempt to increase my coming week three efforts by 10% off of week two. It’s all a build and recovery process and strategy. If you do it right, believe me, it works! It doesn’t only make you fitter but also makes your mind stronger.

I am already viewing part of some of the route for the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa which is almost out my back door that I would like to go recon over 3 days at the end of this year. This will require that I obtain authorization from the Freedom Challenge race organizers to cross this terrain and farm lands out of race season, so watch this space…

The past two weeks have been purposeful. My biking has provided some sanity in our ever changing world and the stress that we can allow to manifest and consume us. Rising just after 4am every morning has started to become habitual and easier each time. Sometimes it’s the whole idea of occasionally not planning where I will be heading and wondering where my bike will take me, what views I will get to appreciate and what experience I will take from it that excites me. I have one added advantage but maybe also a disadvantage in that my world is a little quieter than most whilst I am biking as I don’t make use of hearing aids while outthere. When people look over a quiet valley watching a sunrise and remark how peaceful it is, believe me, it is that much more peaceful for me and I write that with a wicked smile…

With the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town still always in the back of my mind and we move towards the end of the year, I am still optimistic that the support will come and those donations will be made…..










                      Keeping fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

THE BIKING ODYSSEY



The past week has been bliss. I recommend anyone trying to get back into mountain biking to try this. I call it the biking odyssey plan which I devised. I picked up the idea in a cycle mag I subscribe to. It’s a plan where you must ride for 40 days. A minimum of one and a half hours or minimum 25 kilometres per day which ever comes first, or go longer or further as well as include at least a minimum of 400m of ascent into each ride.




I started my odyssey eight days ago and have to tell you that with the focus on the ‘big one next year namely the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa and with a sporadic training plan up to now for reasons explained previously in this blog which was moving me around aimlessly, it has really allowed me to start focusing on the enjoyment of being back on the bike properly along with a plan. Not to forget my initiative to raise funds for the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town that schools Deaf children.



We can so easily be sidetracked by stresses, problems and issues that we may have to confront in our day to day living and we start to get too serious about life. We then forget how to have fun; well some of us that is and things may seem more a chore than an enjoyment.



I missed a day yesterday due to unforeseen work commitment which should have been day 7 and I really frowned upon breaking the past 6 day’s habit. BUT! Curve balls is what you will face in life. How you deal with it determines the outcome. Completed my day 7 this morning and felt really chuffed!



The odyssey plan can be just plain riding or it can be a blend of interval training on the bike as well as a combination of cross training - running, walking and core body workouts included the way you feel best. I am hoping to shed some kilos in the plan that I have adopted and having had the base to work off I managed to shed 2 kilos in 6 days!!

AND NO! There was no real dieting. All I have done is cut out my vices – sugar, coke, cookies, sweet, chips, beer (did have wine on Saturday though!) and just cutting down to fist size portions with a small breakfast in the morning, snack mid morning, a sandwich at lunch, a snack mid afternoon and a fist size portion dinner minus carbs along with drinking water only and nothing else.



I am so focused on my goal for next year and all because of adopting some small changes which has been long overdue. 


It proves my theory that we all have purpose within us and if we have the right plan, the right sentiment, and the right focus and implement it, the rewards can be endless even if they are personal.



Who says a person that is deaf cannot have fun! Your attitude will determine the altitude you will rise to!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

DAY 3 OF 40

15 October, 5.15am, start of new day, new dawn. Start off of systematic Day 3 of 40 training plan. 

Loving it....!!



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WHAT CAN YOU DO?



With Freedom Challenge race across South Africa - 2016 at the forefront of my planning, training and preparation over the months that lie ahead, so is my initiative and commitment to try raise funds towards the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town where Deaf children are taught and learn to speak.

Some people that are not affected by deafness would probably not even give it a second thought on the impact of what hearing loss can bring, especially with children.

In this post, I would like to touch on some of the key elements of the effects of deafness in children.


The effects of hearing loss on development:
Hearing is critical to speech and language development, communication, and learning. Children with listening difficulties due to hearing loss or auditory processing problems continue to be an under identified and under-served population. The earlier the hearing loss occurs in a child's life, the more serious the effects on the child's development. However, the earlier the problem is identified and intervention begun, the less serious the ultimate impact.

There are four major ways in which hearing loss affects children:

·         It causes delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills (speech and language).
·         The language deficit causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
·         Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-concept.
·         It may have an impact on vocational choices.

The specific effects:

Vocabulary:
Vocabulary develops more slowly in children who have hearing loss.
Children with hearing loss learn concrete words like cat, jump, five, and red more easily than abstract words like before, after, equal to, and jealous. They also have difficulty with function words like the, an, are, and a.
The gap between the vocabulary of children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss widens with age. Children with hearing loss do not catch up without intervention.
Children with hearing loss have difficulty understanding words with multiple meanings. For example, the word bank can mean the edge of a stream or a place where we put money.

Sentence Structure:
Children with hearing loss comprehend and produce shorter and simpler sentences than children with normal hearing.
Children with hearing loss often have difficulty understanding and writing complex sentences, such as those with relative clauses ("The teacher whom I have for math was sick today.") or passive voice ("The ball was thrown by Mary.")
Children with hearing loss often cannot hear word endings such as -s or -ed. This leads to misunderstandings and misuse of verb tense, pluralization, non agreement of subject and verb, and possessives.

Speaking:
Children with hearing loss often cannot hear quiet speech sounds such as "s," "sh," "f," "t," and "k" and therefore do not include them in their speech. Thus, speech may be difficult to understand.
Children with hearing loss may not hear their own voices when they speak. They may speak too loudly or not loud enough. They may have a speaking pitch that is too high. They may sound like they are mumbling because of poor stress, poor inflection, or poor rate of speaking.

Academic Achievement:
Children with hearing loss have difficulty with all areas of academic achievement, especially reading and mathematical concepts.
Children with mild to moderate hearing losses, on average, achieve one to four grade levels lower than their peers with normal hearing, unless appropriate management occurs.
Children with severe to profound hearing loss usually achieve skills no higher than the third- or fourth-grade level, unless appropriate educational intervention occurs early.
The gap in academic achievement between children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss usually widens as they progress through school.
The level of achievement is related to parental involvement and the quantity, quality, and timing of the support services children receive.

Social Functioning:
Children with severe to profound hearing losses often report feeling isolated, without friends, and unhappy in school, particularly when their socialization with other children with hearing loss is limited.
These social problems appear to be more frequent in children with mild or moderate hearing losses than in those with a severe to profound loss.

Ref: Article insert from: www.asha.org


What You Can Do
Recent research indicates that children identified with a hearing loss and there is early intervention may be able to develop language (spoken and/or signed) on a par with their hearing peers.

Why don't you consider giving me a helping hand towards raising funds to keep Carel du Toit Centre Cape Town doing what they do?

As mentioned before, from August 2015 to June 2016 and myself being a deaf individual along with my quest to complete the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa in June 2016, I am also attempting to raise funds for Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town where deaf children learn to speak.



Authorization from Carel du Toit Centre Cape Town to raise funds:

THE STORY OF 2016 RACE ACROSS SOUTH AFRICA

The full 2016 Freedom Challenge race across South Africa race report https://view.publitas.com/private-18/2016-freedom-challenge-rac...