Autism government schools in South Africa

Autism Spectrum Disorder has become a household topic in South Africa nowadays. This is due to the rise in numbers of children being diagnosed with autism. Autism has been known to the South African community for many years, but of late it has become more prevalent. This is a good thing in that more and more exposure of information about autism is reaching people. This helps more children being correctly diagnosed. With this being said the facilities for autism children to attend is greatly lacking in South Africa. There are special schools, care centres, remedial schools and there are therapy based centres. However there are not a lot of autism government schools in South Africa. One would think with the rising number of autism diagnosis there would be more autism government schools in South Africa. There are approximately 5 autism government schools in South Africa. This is shocking when you consider that autism affects one in every 59 children. More autism government schools in South Africa will ease the burden for countless families, as there are many autistic children that need the help and support but are unable to afford the cost of private institution, and surprisingly special schools are also expensive. Autism government schools in South Africa are much needed on a larger scale. As autism is not restricted to just a province in South Africa, there are children diagnosed with autism throughout the country. Autistic children also need one on one bases therapy, this helps the child develop a lot more faster than a large classroom based where their specific needs are not seen to immediately, this is referring to both academically and emotionally. This being said autism government schools in South Africa should cater for these needs and have smaller classrooms and have one on one bases.

We at The Star Academy would like to take this one step further. Yes, more government schooling options would be helpful. But, children with autism require a highly specialised learning environment run by professionals with the right qualifications. For those who cannot afford one-on-one Applied Behaviour Analysis in the format it is offered at The Star Academy, we have an online curriculum available for subscription and Board Certified professionals available for consultation. We would also love to expand on our work in Tembisa, where we have started a hospital school for children with autism whose parents live on or below the breadline. With support from donors and corporates, our dream of extending support to more families in need can be realised. Government support in mandating coverage for Applied Behaviour Analysis from medical aids would also be a move in the right direction. Our ultimate goal is true inclusion – a country in which children with autism are not relegated to certain schools but rather fully integrated into schooling systems with their peers. The Star Academy has the resources to facilitate this – contact us to find out more.