There is only one state school in the Eastern Cape province catering exclusively for children who are autistic, namely Quest School for Autistic Learners. There also are a few private schools for children on the autism spectrum, ranging from pre-school to age 18, as well as schools which either have small classes or specialised attention and are able to accommodate children with special educational needs.
It is imperative that when deciding on correct placement for your child that you personally visit the school and make an informed decision.
Referral to special educational needs schooling is done through your district of education and therefore we encourage you to seek the Department of Education’s assistance when looking for a school.
Although private institutions sometimes purport to offer autism-specific education or intervention, it is wise to check what training the staff have and what programmes are offered.
Please contact Autism Eastern Cape if you can add to this list.
Quest School for Autistic Learners
Port Elizabeth’s Quest School for Autistic Learners is the only state school in the Eastern Cape for autistic children of school-going age. It takes pupils from six years old to 18, and has a hostel facility for children from outside the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
Families with children younger than six are welcome to approach Quest School for assistance with an assessment. However, Quest reminds parents that it does not decide on placement of its pupils and all applications must go through the Education Department.
Principal: Lottie de Vries, Quest School for Autistic Learners, Hoy Street, South End
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 041- 581 0964
Autism Eastern Cape Early Intervention Centre
Autism Eastern Cape Early Intervention Centre offers autism specific pre-school education
The AEC pre-school is supervised by AEC educational consultant Joan Jorritsma, formerly principal of Quest School for Autistic Learners. Staff have NQF5 in education with autism training and use the TEACHH method, specially designed for children with autism.
There are three class-rooms of no more than six children per class.
Entry criteria: Pre-school children aged 2-6, preferably diagnosed on the autism spectrum
Current enrolment: 15 children (2016)
Autism Eastern Cape Early Intervention Centre, 247 Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth
e-mail: email@example.com (041) 581-0650 Principal: Joan Jorritsma
St Bartz Academy is a specialised centre for children with autism in Bird Street, Port Elizabeth. It is a registered Non-Profit Organisation founded in 2008 by four parents to cater for their children’s needs.
Mission: St Bartz is dedicated to provide an individual, stimulating educational plan for all learners, in a safe, positive environment, where individuality is accepted and independence is fostered.
Aim: The primary aim of St Bartz is to equip pupils with the skills to become as independent as possible and to integrate them into society. The school has small focused classes.
St Bartz offers:
- Intensive one-on-one therapy
- Social interaction
- Behaviour modification
- Cognitive development
- Gross and fine motor development
- Emotional responses and readiness
- Child specific academic programmes.
Optional extras include: Art therapy, horse riding therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy physiotherapy, swimming, sport and ball skills.
A sensory integration programme is incorporated daily. The aim is to normalise the nervous system’s response to sensations and provide stimulation in a controlled environment.
St Bart’z teaches the children to be independent by learning to dress, brush teeth, use a knife and fork, always emphasising independence, skill development and safety.
Contact St Barz director Pat Govender, 082 820 2559
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Victory Kids South Africa is at Newton Park Dutch Reformed Church, Mowbray Street, Newton Park.
Victory Kids is a non-profit, public benefit organisation that supports an early intervention centre for children with special needs including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, childhood apraxia of speech, hearing impairment and general developmental delays.
Victory Kids’ entry criteria: Children aged 2 to 7 with special health care needs such as cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, autism, developmental delay, hearing loss and many other childhood disorders.
The centre provides an intensive programme to prepare young children for entering a mainstream educational environment as well as provide intervention for children who are not able to attend normal schools. This kind of intervention is very expensive, because it requires a high staff to learner ratio, as the children work in small class groups as well as receive intensive one-to-one training.
The centre also contracts to private therapists such as speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists to provide essential supplemented therapies. Augmentative therapies also include hydrotherapy, Kinetic Kids (a sports development programme provided by a kinder-kineticist), equestrian therapy and Kindermusiek.
The centre develops a unique Individual Education Plan/Family Support Plan for each child, which includes programmes such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) as well as Sensory Modulation Programmes.
The centre aims to offer not only the best early intervention programme available to children with special educational needs, but also to support their families as they deal with having a child with developmental and educational differences; their hopes and fears associated with the specific diagnosis as well as its impact on the family unit and marriage.
Further information from Zeidie-Lee Muller (operations director) 073-937 8042, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, tel: 078- 608-7877.
OUTSIDE NELSON MANDELA BAY
Autism Sinethemba Early Intervention Centre
Autism Sinethemba Early Intervention Centre is at 1 Kitchener Street, Cambridge, East London.
Sinethemba’s entry criteria: Pre-school aged children, diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Sinethemba offers: Autism specific pre-school education
Current enrolment: 13 children aged 2 ½ to 7 years old (two of our children are on waiting lists for other LSEN schools but because of long waiting lists, we will keep them with us until they can be placed).
Antoinette Bruce-Alexander, 072-678-2452; Trish, 071-301-6132, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: Autism Sinethemba (Google)
Autism Western Cape has supplied the following school information for the Garden Route
Mossel Bay: Leolan Academy, new school which caters for children with autism. Tel: 083 722 4744, 044 6904785, or 086 545 2467.
George: Carpe Diem School for special needs children. 044 874 4074 / 0000
- Sterreweg is a day care centre in Plettenberg Bay which caters for more general special needs and more severely affected children. 044 533 2639
- Van Kervel School for Special needs learners caters for intellectually challenged, and older children, 044 8742042/3
- Huis Outeniekwa Primary is a special needs school, do not know that much about them though. 044 803 7500
- There is a Neuro Centre in Knysna that is not a school but can help children with autism with their sensory dysregulation, 044 382 1168 or E-Mail:email@example.com
Also in George:
- Kairos School is a special needs school in George 044 279-1563
- Kinderkraaltjie School is a special need school in George (044) 874-4303
- Santra Centre in George 021-465-4600
Further information from Antoinette du Preez, Projects and Support Manager, Autism Western Cape, (021) 685 9581, www.autismwesterncape.org.za
REST OF SOUTH AFRICA
Autism South Africa has a database of schools which offer placement to children with ASD. Contact ASA on: firstname.lastname@example.org for schools in other provinces.