Testimonials

See below for a sub-selection of representative testimonials received from Mindstretch clients subscribing to our Preschool, Training and Therapy programmes.

PRESCHOOL:  Representative Feedback 

Please click here for a Tribute Essay by the grandmother of the Mindstretch website ‘poster boy,’ young Oame.


Parents’ Testimonials:

“Okay so happy I want to cry! Sounds dramatic I know, but after everything my son and I have been through your school feels like it fell from heaven! Thanks.”

“I saw our daughter’s photo you sent out the other day. I adore that one; she is looking up to the heavens while she is in deep concentration. You have no idea how much joy this milestone bring to us: this is a child that never breastfed and did not drink any fluids through her mouth until she was nearly 3. At a certain point, I thought she would never know how it feels to drink a glass of water…”

“As you know, our son has been accepted at Vista Nova. At a time like this, a ‘thank you’ simply doesn’t seem like enough but the words escape us and we simply cannot express the emotions we are going through at this point in time. Though we are extremely excited at this prospect, we would be failing in our duty if we did not sincerely thank the Mindstretch family who adopted our son as their own during the last few months. The kindness, support and encouragement shown has surely contributed greatly to the development and growth of our son as a learner and as an individual. He has grown in leaps and bounds and this is in no small part due to the calibre of people with whom he has been surrounded, which has aided him in reaching his potential. We are shedding tears, but instead of these being tears of sadness, they are tears of extreme gratitude and for the sincerity shown towards us by Mindstretch. Just as a house is only as strong as the foundation upon which it is laid, so we will be eternally grateful for the platform which Mindstretch has laid in our son’s life.”

“I am SO happy and relieved our son settled so well and is happy. I don’t know if it is my imagination or not, but I am sure he is calmer at home today. After school today he said the “new school is fun”. I have never heard him use the word fun before and he is speaking more, it is amazing on the first day. I am sure I can see a difference already. Also he is not so utterly exhausted as he usually is. This afternoon he was playing on the computer, but I asked him to finish his game as I needed the computer. He was about to have a temper tantrum, slam the door and hit and push me (as usual), but he stopped himself and didn’t do what he usually does. When he wanted a sandwich he wanted to do it, but was struggling buttering it so I tried to help and he let me show him how to butter his sandwich without shouting at me to leave him, like he usually does. He seemed to listen to me better as well. I am so excited that he is only going to improve!!!!”

“Just to express my gratitude and say thank you for all the amazing effort you put into our son and his development. I had my first ever interactive telephone conversation with him last week. And for the first time ever, he was responding, asking questions, answering correctly and not parroting. We’ve never had an interactive conversation on the phone, only in person. The phone was always one sided.”

“It was very stressful getting a fit for our son. I remember the difficulty and agony we went through. He was a misfit everywhere. Your school offered hope and unconditional acceptance.”

“I must say the school’s input is really evident, even the improvement on his social skills is amazing. We visited a family on Sunday and he had a brilliant play and interactive afternoon with kids of our host family.”

TRAINING: Representative Feedback

Representative feedback in relation to a Mindstretch presentation at the PASA (Principals Association of South Africa) conference:
“Jennifer, you are so wonderful, you open eyes so that we can help the poor learners. I suggest that there be more workshops so that we can benefit a lot.”
Bernice Mashaba, Beretta Primary School, Acornhoek

“Extremely informative and stimulating. I enjoyed the examples of challenged cases.”
Charmaine Kendal, Bergvliet High School, Cape Town

“Fluent, audible, able to feed us well with knowledge and wisdom to help our South African learners and staff.”
M.D. Sikhonde, Mperebere Primary, Sun City

“Find it eye-opening. Helped me to understand a child rather than to concentrate on mistakes he/she does. Take the programme to teachers. We do need this to understand our learners much better.”
Dima, Ramokoka Primary School, Mogwase

“Informative and educative especially for our learners. Educators should be trained on HANDLE in all regions of SA. This presentation is so essential.”
Nombuso Shinga, Siyathokoza Primary, Umzinto

Representative feedback related to the 2-day HANDLE Introductory Workshop:
“It was such a pleasure and an amazing experience taking all your knowledge on board. We have had amazing results. We have used it with our little boy who was abused. He arrived last Monday in melt-down mode and with Gentle Enhancement he was a gentle happy little boy all day. There have been numerous other children who have also benefitted from the one on one – so I am thrilled. Each morning we work with all the children for 15 mins so that is really exciting. This coming week I would like to start working with them individually specifically targeting learning areas.”
Jenni Underwood, Principal, Capulum College, Hilton

“The presenter Jennifer is amazing. She is so knowledgeable and also open to others ideas. I am excited about what I have learnt – so many practical techniques and work-through theory.”
Samantha Hubble, Parent and Teacher

“Thank you for the wonderful training. You have given us so many tools.”
Suzanne Hilliar, Principal, Hilton Pre-primary School

Headmaster’s feedback related to a 2-day seminar for educators at Chesterhouse, Cape Town:
“At Chesterhouse we follow an inclusive approach to education … We teach from 4- to 16-year olds at our school and every teacher (be they from the Junior or Senior School) found that they learnt how to enhance neurological functioning in their pupils. The course was a sound balance of theory and practice, and inspired our teachers to assess various areas of functioning in their pupils the very next day. Since then, pupils and teachers have been foot-stomping and face-tapping. Pupils love the exercises and teachers are understanding some of the barriers their pupils have to cope with, and making the changes that pupils need to work optimally. I have no hesitation in recommending the HANDLE course.”
James Frazer, Headmaster (Acting)

Development Manager’s feedback related to a 6-month training programme for care-givers at Woodside Special Care Centre, Cape Town:
“Jennifer Southgate, the facilitator of the training programme and Director of Mindstretch, empowered the Woodside care-givers with information and knowledge techniques which are outside the normal realm of nursing duties. Jennifer planned and executed a training and mentoring programme which spread over a 6-month period … This letter serves as a recommendation for the standard of training that Jennifer Southgate offers. Her professionalism, enthusiasm and all-out thoroughness was without fault. She was a constant source of encouragement for the care-givers, making every effort to be sure that they got maximum benefit from the training she was giving them. She was lively, friendly and popular. I can thoroughly recommend the training programme given by Jennifer Southgate; it has been a great benefit to Woodside. Also, Jennifer herself is a first-class training facilitator.”
Hilary Halladey, Funding Development Manager

THERAPY: Representative Feedback from Jennifer’s Clients

“My husband and I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you again for the valuable contribution you have made to our daughter’s life. Collectively  you have assisted her in meeting all of her academic and life challenges, with confidence and tenacity. We are so incredibly proud of her as she attained 3 C symbols and 1 D symbol in her IGCSE examinations in June. She has now begun her AS level subjects and heading into her last “year” at Chesterhouse. Thank you again for your support, encouragement and professionalism when dealing  with our daughter.”
Werner & Angelique B

“Our son had been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). After 3 weeks of working with Mindstretch he showed tremendous improvement in his expressive language skills at school and now has an eagerness to learn. His behaviour has also improved remarkably. He continues to amaze us with his progress.”
Reverend Deon & Bonita F

“Our daughter was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specificed) and received all the related therapies for a child with her condition. The only missing element to her programme was the HANDLE approach. Since incorporating Mindstretch into her multidisciplinary programme, we have seen amazing results. She is now able to pedal and steer her bicycle, retrieve words more accurately and use language more appropriately, and has also become a calmer, more relaxed child within herself and her environment.”
Paul & Jazel P (Founders and Directors of Autism Action SA)

“Our son’s Grade 2 teacher expressed a concern at his general inability to pay attention while completing written tasks. He was also struggling to sit still and making a great deal of ‘white noise’. Our son also expressed his frustration at his inability to function competently at school. We also noticed that he wasn’t sleeping restfully. After being on the Mindstretch programme, his teacher noticed an improvement within the first 6 weeks. His school report reflected his improved ability to complete his written tasks. His organizational skills improved and his ‘white noise’ decreased. He is now a confident child and manages to complete his written tasks within the prescribed time limit.”
Shayne P

“PTA meetings were always a source of anxiety for me because the discussions always focused on what our teenage son could not do or was not doing. Since he has been on the HANDLE programme, the results are now all positive and his grades are improving tremendously. Our child has more confidence and received a merit medal for one of his subjects!!! I recommend this programme to any child who has a learning challenge.”
Ingrid R