Autism Eastern Cape visited PE’s Motherwell health clinic this week for an autism parent outreach where we met a few of the parents who bring their children to the clinic for speech therapy, occupational therapy and other services.
AEC representatives Gillian McAinsh and Nqabisa Grootboom, who are parents of ASD children, were given a warm welcome by speech therapist Amy Diergaardt and her colleagues Deidre Karfor and Noksy Sandlana.
Amy had asked them to address the group due to the need experienced in the community.
Occupational therapist Deidre and occupational therapy technician Noksy see the same need. Diergaardt works at several municipal clinics while Karfor and Sandlana are based at Motherwell.
Several parents shared the need for more support and Noksy volunteered to start a WhatsApp support group for them.
Lack of access to relevant schools was another issue for several in the group who had children aged six and older. There are no state schools in Motherwell which cater for ASD children and the waiting list for Quest School for Autistic Learners (several kilometres away in South End) is another barrier to meeting these children’s educational needs.
These and other issues were discussed.
Autism Eastern Cape looks forward to working with the therapy team again on future outreaches.