Spreading the Word: South Africa
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside my amazing colleagues in South Africa using the Anat Baniel Method. We also provided assessments for children with cortical visual impairment using the CVI Range created by Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy . We gave three presentations on the topic of cortical visual impairment to parents, family members, caregivers, doctors, nurses and members of the early intervention team at the Johannesburg General hospital. It was a great privilege to meet these incredible children and families and to work alongside the extraordinary and dedicated professionals who provide them with support and care.
Below I have included the posts by my colleagues in South Africa, highlighting the children's stories, the great successes and wonderful surprises we witnessed while working, using both the Anat Baniel Method and with vision intervention.
The pictures in the gallery convey feelings of joy and possibility felt during our time there in a way that is far beyond words.
It was a beautiful, eye opening and life changing experience.
Thank you to NeuroGenesis and to all the kids and families!
November 9, 2017 · Sandton, South Africa
What an amazing week at NeuroGenesis last week. Thanks to all the wonderful people supporting the #Redballoonfoundation we were able to work with this incredible little boy, Siyabonga and his amazing mom. Siyabonga had an emergency operation and in recovery stopped breathing, due to the lack of oxygen he suffered brain damage.
Siyabonga had his Cortical visual impairment assessment with Sal Billing and Antoinette Harvie, his mom was also able to join the CVI workshop and learn how she can help him to learn to see better. He then also did a week of intensive ABM Neuromovement sessions with Terry Vallet Sundstrom, Sal Billing and Antoinette Harvie. This little man changed so much in these 5 days and stole all of our hearts.
November 14, 2017 ·
Red Balloon Warrior Ofentse also joined us for his CVI assement with Sal Billing and Antoinette Harvie and week of ABM NeuroMovement sessions with Terry Vallet Sundstrom, Sal and Antoinette last week at NeuroGenesis.
We have to once again thank everyone who supports the Red Balloon Foundation for making a huge difference to this little boy's life.
Receiving a diagnoses of Legally blind due to his brain damage, we now know this is not the case. Ofentse's cortical visual impairment will improve and he is already able to see red, yellow and shiny or reflective objects.
He did really well in his ABM lessons, smiling all the time while learning to move.
Ofentse’s mom was HIV positive, on antiretrovirals and had TB. She also drank for the first 4 months of her pregnancy. Ofentse was born with Microcephaly, has global developmental delays and is considered legally blind due to Cortical Visual Impairment. He also gets seizures daily. Ofentse's mom passed away when he was 8 months old and his dad was not able to look after him alone as he is studying and needs to work. He is now with his wonderful foster family who is doing everything to find out how they can help him be the best he can be. They put an appeal out on facebook for help as they have already adopted 4 children and need help to care for Ofentse.
Foster-mom, Nicole, has said:
“I would like to thank the Red Balloon Foundation for responding to my Facebook appeal – I felt at the time that I was drowning and was so scared that I had taken on more than I could cope with and therefore let both Dad and son down. You gave me hope at one of the scariest moments in my life; hope, not only for Ofentse, but in mankind and our country – for that I am forever thankful as without hope, I wouldn’t have the strength to have this adventure with Ofentse.
Angles are not only spirits, they are people like you who help and guide others in need. You stopped what you were doing and took the time to get involved in Ofentse’s life. You are our angles in our time of need and we thank you sincerely for your selfless deed. You made a difference this week and taught us that there are no limits.”
November 20, 2017 ·
Wow, another amazing week of CVI ABM intensives with NeuroGenesis, Antoinette Harvie, Terry Vallet Sundstrom and Sal Billing , this time in Cape Town. Thank you so much to each person who joined our Red Balloon Foundation launch and gave sponsorships, donations and bought Skapies. Without you we would not have been able to help these amazing kids. Paige, Caleb and Curtis all did fantastic in their ABM sessions and their parents were so pleased to learn that they can see and that their Cortical Visual impairment can be improved over time with the intervention strategies we have given them.