We are immensely proud of what we have achieved in the past 10 years:
We have changed the lives of hundreds of children attending our school and, in turn, changed the lives of hundreds of families.
Our staff have become such specialists in our field, that they work (voluntarily) one Saturday of every month at Autism South Africa Clinic to assist with screening for autism and at the Neuro-Developmental clinic in Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital (CMJAH).
We teach vocational skills to our senior learners so that they will achieve a degree of independence once they leave. This includes car washing and catering.
We are well networked with VERA (Western Cape), UNIKA (Pretoria) and ASA (Autism South Africa).
Speech therapy students from the University of the Witwatersrand gain practical teaching experience at our school. This gives our learners get individual and group speech therapy on an ongoing basis.
We have set up an income-generation programme, where our learners do arts and crafts projects for local markets. This not only teaches them the fine motor co-ordination skills that they need, but also brings in money to our organisations and integrates our school into communities.
In terms of teaching methods, we follow the TEACCH approach. The primary aim of this approach is to help prepare with autism to live or work more effectively at home, at school and in the community. Special emphasis is placed on helping people with autism and their families to live together more effectively by reducing or removing “autistic behaviours”.
The TEACCH concept
The principles and concepts guiding the TEACCH system are:
- Improved adaptation: This takes place through the two strategies of improving skills by means of education, and modifying the environment to accommodate deficits.
- Parent collaboration: Parents work with professionals as co-therapists for their children so that techniques can be continued at home.
- Assessment for individualised treatment: Unique educational programmes are designed for all individuals on the basis of regular assessments of abilities.
- Structured teaching: It has been found that children with autism benefit more from a structured educational environment than from free approaches.