In today’s society there are no mainstream schools that cater for all the needs of all individuals on the autism spectrum. While there is more acceptance and there is more awareness, there are still no schools that open their doors unreservedly to individuals with autism. Over time as awareness and acceptance of autism has increased, and while more individuals present with autism and families desperately seek for aid and special schools for autism there has been an increase of privately owned special schools for autism. Some better than others of course as some will be just a care facility that caters to “look after” the child with autism during the course of the day, while others strive to use the best techniques to make it a special school for autism. The Star Academy has really found the recipe to comprehensive autism treatment – a whole-child and whole-family solution. The Star Academy does not quite classify itself as a special school for autism but rather an intervention centre which provides an international standard of intervention for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. What is really needed is for our government to recognise and mandate funding from medical aid for autism treatment the way it is recognised and mandated for in the United States, where The Star Academy’s treatment method, Applied Behaviour Analysis, was created and developed. The Star Academy take each individual with autism as a unique case. They do not generalize the same teachings to all instead they cater for the special needs of each individual and design their own programme to follow with a set of very skilled instructors to give each individual with autism theirs own “special school”. Autism is a spectrum disorder and because each individual presents differently, each individual must be provided with a tailor-made intervention plan. For those children who are ready to benefit from a school environment, The Star Academy also offers instructors who can facilitate a child in a mainstream or remedial school. What this means is that if the child with autism that attends this special school has the correct prerequisites to be in a mainstream school such as compliance, following instructions, being able to communicate, etc. The Star Academy will with the permission of the accepting school start to integrate that child from the special school for autism into the school setting with the aid of a facilitator by their side. The Star Academy also thinks outside of the microcosms of the school and centre environment, and offers parent training, home sessions, community outings, facilitation on playdates, and facilitation in extracurricular settings such as karate classes or soccer classes. Parents can rest assured that their children are in good hands with The Star Academy’s Board Certified Behaviour Analysts and Board Certified Autism Technicians on staff.

What’s the biggest topic for parents today? Autism! Why you may ask is this a topic so well known to parents nowadays when it was something we almost never heard about when we were growing up? Autism has been around for many years, but in recent years it has taken on the label of an “epidemic” due to the exponential increase in incidence rate. Thankfully, along with the increase in incidence, has come an increase in awareness, and more and more families are accessing the treatment their children need. That is important to know – that with the correct intervention at the correct time, recovery from autism is possible, and with the correct intervention at any time, improvement of the symptoms of autism is possible. With this being said parents are now aware that children with autism need schooling facilities specific to their needs. It may come as a surprise that there are not many schools for children with autism. Why, you may ask, are there not many schools for children with autism? Well that is the question – why aren’t there more school for children with autism??? With the rise of awareness and prevalence of autism, one would think there would be a rise in school facilities for children with autism.

However in South Africa this is not the case. Autism Spectrum disorder has only recently been given more thought and coverage as compared to 15 years back. As previously stated autism has been around for many years in South Africa, hence there are places for children with autism can go to. However, the vast majority of these facilities aren’t specific to children with autism. These facilities cater to a variety of special needs children, autistic children being one of them. That being said these facilities have been a major help to the autistic community, giving the needed help in fighting the battle of autism. But is this enough? Should special needs facility be the only option for children with autism? The answer is NO! This should not be the only option available to children with autism, especially because every child with autism is different, and has their own unique set of strengths and difficulties. There should be more options, and of recent years there have been a growing number of autistic based facilities available, care facilities, and provide therapy based facilities. However this is still not enough.

Thankfully, The Star Academy provides a recipe for success – skilled and certified staff, a comprehensive curriculum, ongoing supervision of every case, and the capacity to provide services not only locally but in neighbouring cities and even abroad! So, if you are looking for schools for children with autism, please visit our head office or contact us to arrange a remote interview so that we can explain more to you about this incredibly effective intervention centre.

Schools for Autistic child – different options, why ABA and what to look out for

When typing ‘schools for Autistic child’ into Google, countless links pop up to a vast variety of different schools for autistic children offering an assorted range of therapies and services. This can only add to the pressure parents face when trying to choose a school that would best suit their child’s needs. There are definitely more therapies out there than there are hours in the week and money in the bank to try them all out.
Speech therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, and social skills therapy are just a few of those most commonly offered by schools for autistic children. Many schools for autistic child also offer cognitive-, play-, art- or music therapy.

However, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the only intervention that is considered an evidence-based best practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association. “Evidence based” means that ABA has underwent rigorous scientific tests proving its usefulness, quality and efficacy. ABA therapy can include a wide variety of different techniques. That is why it is important to first do thorough research before deciding on a school for autistic children, to ensure that their child receives the best ABA.
When looking for ABA schools for autistic children one must consider the following:

  • Staffing: When investigating providers or centres, we strongly encourage you to see if they have a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst on staff, ask questions about the credentials of the staff that are working there and with your child.
  • Safety: Your child is precious, thus it is important to know that they are in safe hands. Background checks should be considered standard practice and are typically done by schools, centres, and most providers.
  • Expectations: There is no ABA magic wand, it takes hard, dedicated work by a lot of people to help your child reach their potential. Watch out for grandiose promises about idealistic outcomes. Providers who promise instant cures should be probed.
  • Plans: Each plan for each child should be individualized, focusing on skills that are valued by you and that facilitate skills that can be used in real world settings and that lead to meaningful adult outcomes.
  • Data: Data collection is a critical component of all ABA programs. Providers, centres and schools should be able to regularly provide you data in a format that is understandable, and they should explain how to interpret the data.
  • The Future: Plans should address generalization which refers to the ability of being able to use a skill in all appropriate situations, such as at home or on vacation. Maintenance which refers to keeping a skill once you learn it, should also play an important role.

The rising number of autistic children is a worrying factor to say the least. The reason why it’s a worrying factor is because the facilities available for autistic children. In an era where education is key in almost all sectors of living, it becomes key to find the right schooling facilities. This being said autistic children don’t have a wide variety of choice to choose from. So what are the school options for autistic children? Well there are special need schools, remedial schools, and care centre type of schooling. However these are not the ideal type of schools for autistic children. As is known autistic children need the proper guidance, care and love, for them to flourish. Without the proper guidance children with autism will not reach their full potential. As there are no specific schools for autism children, there are specific school that take in autistic children. These schools are a great help as they help bridge the gap in educational level in which a child is capable of reaching. So what is the option, as it stands special schools accommodate autistic children. These schools cater to autistic children by providing the educational factor at a pace that is suitable to child. There is also the option of remedial schools; here it becomes tricky, as remedial schools cater to children to get on to par with mainstream schooling. Some autistic children can fit in to remedial schools; however majority of autistic children will not cope fully in that environment. There is also another factor to consider for schools for autistic children, and that is government and private special schooling. On a government level the options of special needs facilities is wide, however the inclusion of autistic children in these schools are limited, as they have to see to specific needs of other children. In a private school setting they are more inclusive of autistic children, and they are able to cater to the other special needs children as well. This then draws the point of how availability of private special schooling, as these schools are expensive and not widely available to all autistic children. Another factor to consider is that even in special schools there is still not the one on one bases that children with autism need, as one on one bases provides more therapy based as well as help to achieve more goals with one on one bases. That being said autistic children also need to be in an environment that provides the positivity and the individuals working with autistic children need to provide the children with love care and their 100% effort. Hence schools for autistic children need to improve and help become more aware of what is needed for autistic children and provide them with the much needed care. Every child is special and autistic children are even more special, they need all the love care and full support that they are surrounded by, especially with the people who teach them on a daily basis.

Asperger syndrome no longer exists as a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used to diagnose what is now known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The term Asperger syndrome is still used by the autism community to describe a set of symptoms that present as impaired social interaction skills, while communication skills remain more intact than they are for those with more severe forms of autism.
Asperger syndrome can make it difficult for a person to:

  • Read and respond to social cues
  • Read and respond to facial expressions and body language
  • See things in “shades of grey” rather than in black and white
  • Demonstrate adequate organisational or planning skills
  • Take another person’s perspective
  • Make inferences about another person’s thoughts, words or actions
  • Tell white lies
  • Respond flexibly to novel situations or changes in routine
  • Problem-solve in social situations
  • Maintain conversations on non-preferred topics
  • Establish and maintain friendships
  • Show empathy
  • Share in humour and jokes
  • Understand whether another person’s behaviour is intentional or unintentional
  • Regulate their own emotions and emotional reactions
  • Regulate sensory input, meaning that they might find busy or noisy environments overwhelming
  • Communicate their thoughts, needs, feelings, and desires to the extent necessary to fully express themselves

Aspergers syndrome can also bring with it “meltdowns”, anxiety, obsessive or compulsive behaviours, or depression.

The good news is that all of these symptoms can be remediated through Applied Behaviour Analysis. Applied Behaviour Analysis is the method of intervention used at The Star Academy, delivered by teams of Board Certified Autism Technicians. The Star Academy’s Clinical Director, Jenna White, is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, and oversees initial and ongoing training of all of The Star Academy’s Board Certified Autism Technicians.
What takes the Applied Behaviour Analysis intervention programmes at The Star Academy to an even higher level of excellence is access to the comprehensive curriculum designed and researched by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders in the United States, incepted in the 1980s and still one of the foremost treatment centres for autism worldwide. In the early days, The Star Academy brought experts from the United States to South Africa to design treatment programmes and train staff. Today, The Star Academy can proudly say that it offers the same high standard of treatment available in the United States, right here in South Africa.

If you or someone you know has Aspergers syndrome or any other severity level of autism spectrum disorder, referring them to The Star Academy will allow you to rest assured of the highest quality of intervention. With this intervention, individuals with Aspergers syndrome can live happy, productive, socially-integrated lives.

When looking for schools for autism I would say that there are two main obstacles: First is trusting that your children will be fine on their first day. The nervous energy that accompanies any big milestone like the first day or new school can create anxiety in parents. Some advice is do things to help you stay positive and calm because it will reflect on your children when you have decided on your school for autism. They are often very attuned to parents’ behavior as well as reactions and will take their lead from what you say and do…so stay positive even if you have reasons to worry, have the same outlook when looking for schools for autism.

And second is sharing of information. I remind teachers all the time to reach out and communicate. If it helps, send your child with a note or email sharing all the things they like or dislike or can or can’t eat and make sure the school for autism you pick are fully informed. Don’t be afraid to share what your goals and wishes are for the school year. Teachers welcome this information. And it just might help alleviate your concerns on that first day making the look for schools for autism a little less daunting.

When looking and researching schools for autism visit the school and take pictures! Rehearsal, practice and exposure are some of the hallmarks of how we work with students on the spectrum, so starting school for the first time should be no different. Many schools will provide plenty of information before the first day, but if they don’t, go and visit the school.

Plenty of staff are in the building of schools for autism busy setting up and if you explain your unique situation it is a great time to meet friendly faces in a quiet setting. If the building isn’t open for some reason, then play on the playground or walk around the school to get used to the sights and sounds. Walking the halls and sitting in the chairs will give both the child and parent a great visual on how the first day might look.

There are many options when deciding on schools for autism, and the best one will be directly in line with what the parents would want and how comfortable the institute makes the child and parents feel, therefore go and explore, look at all your options, test them all if you are not sure.

At The Star Academy, we typically ensure that our children have the prerequisite skills in place for benefiting from a school environment (including skills such as being able to make needs and wants known to others, imitation, communication, ability to follow instructions, and several others) before we approach a school for admission. This helps set your child up for success in the school environment and ensures that their time there will be well-spent.

Waarvoor moet mens uitkyk wanneer jy na Skole vir outisme behandeling – en onderrig soek? Talle ouers is nie bereid om hul kinders op te gee nie, maar weet dikwels nie waar om te begin of waarvoor om te soek nie. Dit is die desperate ouers wat dikwels die minste hulp ontvang om die beste plasing vir hul kind te vind.
Nadat jy hierdie vraag in ‘n snuffel gids of soek-enjin in getik het, besef jy ook dat om die regte inligting te vind, soortgelyk is aan ‘n pad deur ‘n reënwoud te sny, eerder as water in die woestyn te vind. Jy vind jouself omring deur verskillende skole, benaderings, terapieë, oortuigings en advies. Wel, hier is nog een artikel in jou soektog na ‘n skool vir jou kind. Die doelwit van hierdie artikel is om riglyne ten opsigte van ‘n berekende soektog na die regte plasing vir jou kind te bied. Na my mening is die volgende aspekte noodsaaklike elemente van enige skool vir outisme:

Die onderrig van ‘n kind met outisme deur gebruik te maak van ‘n gestandaardiseerde kurrikulum is ‘n resep vir mislukking en dikwels rampspoedig. Dit is waar dat ‘n groot aantal kinders op die spektrum aan hoofstroom onderrig kan deelneem, maar dit gebeur dikwels eers nadat ‘n geïndividualiseerde behandelingsprogram geïmplementeer is. Die kurrikulum moet gebaseer wees op jou kind se individuele behoeftes, swakpunte en sterkpunte. Daar is hoegenaamd niks verkeerd om hoofstroom-onderrig as ‘n doelwit te stel nie, maar dan moet jou kind die vaardighede hê om suksesvol te wees in so ‘n omgewing. Die vaardighede wat hulle nou benodig, moet dus identifiseer en onderrig word.

Wat ‘n wonderlike frase om op jou webwerf te rond te gooi! Al wat jy regtig nodig het, is een halfhartige studie met ‘n steekproefgrootte van min of meer vyf individue wat goed gevaar het om jou intervensie as wetenskaplik bewys te verklaar. Kyk fyn na hul wetenskaplike metodes, en kyk hoe hul daardie frase definieer en gebruik. Wetenskap-gebaseerd beteken noodwendig dat al die bewyse, versigtig versamel, daarop dui dat die leermetode doeltreffend is. Wanneer jy soek na ‘n skool vir jou kind met outisme, kyk na skole wat gebruik maak van ‘n benadering wat effektief is volgens navorsingsverslae- en artikels.

Konstante herbeoordeling van die onderrigmetode
Wie se skuld is dit wanneer ‘n kind, enige kind, nie leer nie? Dit is ‘n moeilike vraag en het oënskynlik vele antwoorde, maar een ding bly konstant: as jy ‘n onderrigmetode het wat nie doeltreffend is nie, dan is dit nie regtig ‘n onderrigmetode nie, of hoe? Herevaluering van die onderrig-metodologie is noodsaaklik vir doeltreffende onderrig. Wanneer ek vra: “Is die my benadering tot die onderrig vir hierdie kind die beste wat hul kan ontvang?”, moet daar in ag geneem word dat subjektiewe gevoelens nie akkuraat is nie. Die ware sukses van ‘n onderrig-intervensie is die resultate soos aangetoon deur objektiewe data. Dit verg moed en oefening om jouself sonder emosie te evalueer en is die punt van ‘n werklik effektiewe opvoeder. Wees opsoek na opvoedkundige sentrums of skole wat ervare is met hierdie vlak van evaluasie, en bereid is om veranderinge te maak in die kind se belang.

Wat word daarmee bedoel dit dat skole vir outisme behandeling eties moet wees? Dit beteken dat hulle die beste doen vir die kind met die minimale hoeveelheid skade en met inagneming van die individuele situasie waarin die kind haarself bevind. Dit beteken dat die opvoeder nie net die nog ‘n warm lyf in die klaskamer is nie, maar die klaskamer omskep in ‘n wêreld waar geluk en leer ‘n werklikheid is, nie ‘n ideaal nie. Dit sluit nie alle trane en hartseer uit nie. Dit is belangrik vir ‘n opvoeder om te verstaan wanneer die voordele van wat ‘n kind kan leer, swaarder weeg as hoe moeilik dit is om die vaardighede te leer.

Oorweeg voorvereiste vaardighede
Ek kan nie die aantal kere wat ek al ‘n ouer of opvoeder by skole vir outisme behandeling gehoor sê het dat ‘n kind nie iets kan doen nie met ‘n finaliteit in hul stem. Die frase is ‘n doodloopstraat met nêrens om te gaan nie. Wel, gewoonlik as ek in ‘n doodloopstraat ry, draai ek om, gaan terug en kyk waar ek verkeerd gegaan het. As ‘n kind iets nie leer nie, is dit heel moontlik dat hulle nie die grondslag vaardighede het wat nodig is om suksesvol te wees nie. Met die regte voorvereiste vaardighede in plek, maak dit alle verwante toekomstige vaardighede baie makliker om aan te leer en plaas die kind in ‘n ideale posisie waar hulle, ten minste sommige van die nuwe vaardighede, self kan leer. Hierdie geld vir alle leerders, op die outisme-spektrum of nie.

Handhaaf ‘n Gesonde balans tussen optimisties en realisties
Ongelukkig is die meeste mense geneig om ons unieke kinders te onderskat. Dit is maklik om te doen, aangesien dit dikwels moeiliker is vir hierdie kinders om hul potensiaal te bereik. Dit sal egter ‘n veel meer intelligente persoon as ek, of iemand wat ek al ontmoet het, neem om die potensiaal van enige persoon wat hulle ontmoet akkuraat te skat. Kinders op die spektrum kan hul potensiaal dikwels nie bewys, tensy ons hulle die geleentheid gee om dit te doen nie. Bygesê, pasop vir beloftes wat te goed klink om waar te wees. Dit is waar dat baie kinders op die spektrum in staat is daartoe om sinvolle, gelukkige en onafhanklike lewens te leef, maar die weg na hierdie uitkoms is plavei met haalbare doelwitte, en neem bloedsweet, en tyd. Enige instansie of individu wat ‘n vinnige oplossing bied, bied slegs ‘n klein deel van wat jou kind nodig het, of weet nie waarvan hulle praat.

Werk as deel van ‘n span
Een van die maatreëls van ‘n suksesvolle opleiding by skole vir outisme behandeling is betrokke ouers. Dit geld veral vir kinders met ontwikkelings versteurings. Skole vir outisme behandeling moet ouers en ander professionele persone aanmoedig om deel te wees van ‘n span, maar moet ook geleenthede skep vir hierdie span om te ontmoet, doelwitte te bespreek en tegnieke te implementeer. Konsekwentheid kan nie oorbeklemtoon word nie. Wanneer die kind met dieselfde onderrigleer, dieselfde verwagtinge en dieselfde lesse in baie verskillende omgewings en deur almal in hul lewe aangebied word, sal hul vaardighede vinniger kan aanleer. Die ontwikkelings-gaping, wat aanvanklik onoorbrugbaar voorgekom het, sal stadig maar seker kleiner en al minder uitdagend word, sodra almal saam aan die brug bou.

Fokus op funksionele verandering
Om werklike, funksionele verandering te maak, moet daar besef word dat die skool slegs deel van ‘n kind se omgewing is en dat die meerderheid van daardie kind se toekomstige lewe buite die skool sal wees. Soms moet ‘n lyn getrek word tussen wat ‘n kind behoort te leer en wat in hulle beste belang is om te leer. ‘n Skool vir kinders op die outisme spektrum moet die individuele uitdagings herken en identifiseer waar hulle die grootste verskil kan maak en dienooreenkomstige leerdoelwitte implementeer.

Motivering gebaseerd
Die wegbeweeg van straf in skole het om ‘n rede gebeur. Dit word duidelik dat dit nie net die leerproses verarm nie, dit kan ook onvoorsiene probleme veroorsaak, soos ‘n kind wat bang is om vir ‘n onderwyser vrae te vra. Deur te vind wat ‘n kind motiveer, maak jy nie net die skool ‘n lekker plek om te wees nie, maar jy kan meer doeltreffende onderrig lewer.

Individuele en intensiewe aandag
Hoe kleiner die klaskamer, hoe meer individuele aandag ontvang kinders in skole vir outisme behandeling. Op vele maniere is een kind tot een onderwyser die ideale situasie, solank as wat daar ‘n plan vir integrasie in groep onderrig op ‘n latere stadium in plek gestel word. Die waarheid is dat kinders op die spektrum stadiger leer as hul neurotipiese eweknieë, dus verg hulle meer aandag en meer tyd om te leer. Stadige leer- en ontwikkelings gapings hoef nie die “status quo” te wees nie. Leer ‘n kind om te leer deur middel van ‘n effektiewe onderrigprogram, en hulle sal nie langer ure en intensiewe intervensie nodig hê nie.

Werk hulself uit ‘n werk
Die droom van ‘n skool vir outisme moet wees om hul deure te sluit weens ‘n gebrek aan die nood vir dienste. As ‘n skool nie hierdie droom in sy hart het nie, mis dit die punt. ‘n Skool wat onderrig bied aan kinders met ontwikkelings versteurings soos outisme moet streef na ‘n wêreld waar almal in staat is om gelukkige en onafhanklike lewens te leef. Wat ‘n wonderlike wêreld sou dit wees as die alternatief onmoontlik was.

– Philip Viljoen (Raad-gesertifiseerde Outisme Tegnikus)

Considering placement for your child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can be a challenging task with all that needs to be taken into account. Finding an autism private schools that offers a specialised treatment plan set out specifically for your child, addressing their individual needs, improving the skills they already have and helping them to reach their full potential is an important task for a parent with a child on the spectrum.

Finding inclusive mainstream schools with support structures put in place for the special needs of children with autism may be a daunting task, and as such, it may be difficult to consider whether or not to seek placement for your child in a mainstream school or to rather seek placement in autism private schools.

There are a few things that should be considered when researching school placement for your child with special needs:

  • Communication: does your child have an appropriate means of communication that can be understood by other people such as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) or an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) device, and if not, will the school of your choice be able to provide that for your child?
  • Challenging behaviour: does your child display any challenging behaviour that could inhibit them from learning from their environment, peers and teachers? Is the school equipped in managing challenging behaviours presented by some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Find out how they are equipped, what are their qualifications and how do they manage this behaviour? Is this suitable for your child?
  • Classroom support and facilitation: Does the school provide your child with the right support structure in the classroom environment? Are there trained professionals available to assist your child and ensure that their skill deficits are addressed within the classroom environment? What training do these professionals have? And how will they develop and IEP (Individualized Education Programme) for your child?
  • Skills: What skills does your child already have and which ones will they need in the classroom? How can you provide your child with these skills before enrolling them at school? Or, will the school provide these for your child either during school hours or after school hours with specialized care and intervention?
  • Peer interaction: what deficits does your child have when it comes to interacting with his or her peers? Will the school be equipped to give your child the appropriate means for bettering his or her interaction with their peers? Are the peers in the classroom environment educated on children with special needs and will they be educated on how to interact, communicate and understand your child with special needs? How will your child’s social interaction be bettered at your chosen school? Will they be included?

While some of these questions may be difficult to answer, they are important to acknowledge when choosing the right school for your child. The specialists at The Star Academy can provide expert guidance in answering and taking action from the answers to these questions.

The saying, “Team work makes the dream work” is evident when placing your child with autism in school. Remember, that you may need more than one type of support for your child and if this is the case, everybody who will be a part of your child’s journey, plays an important role. So the above must be considered in all possible scopes, so that the changes made are made with consistency. Consistency is key to the maintenance of your child’s recovery.

An article by Lisa Jo Rudy shows questions that parents can answer in order to decide whether to send their child with autism to school and preschool. These questions include taking into consideration factors that play a role such as the child’s needs, social acceptability, schools that are willing to admit the child, the parents ability and time to work with the child constantly to improve his/ her ability to cope in the school environment, and lastly, finding a therapist that will be equipped with the skills required to help the child adapt to the school environment.

These factors are easy to counter act with the help of the Star Academy. The child will receive ABA therapy from certified instructors who will follow a program uniquely designed for each child. School and Pre-school is very much possible with this ray of hope.

A child with autism has unique needs and challenges. These needs and challenges are considered individually, and a lesson or intervention will be set in place to mould every need into an ability. The challenges faced by a child with autism are identified and the team work on an intervention that can help the child cope despite these challenges. Behaviour also plays a huge role in the decision of School and Pre-school. Behaviour interventions are put into place to work through the child’s reasons for behaviour. Replacement behaviours are put into place which provides the child with the same input in a socially acceptable means through appropriate communication.

Autism in preschool and school can be easily identified in a class of neurotypical children. The program designed for the child will take into consideration his/ her quirks that are noticeable by those who do not understand. The child will have lessons put into their program which will allow the child to communicate appropriately with his/ her peers as well as with his/ her teachers. These lessons allow for the child to adapt to their environment efficiently.

The Star Academy has developed great relationships with numerous mainstream schools in and around the areas of The Star Academy Centres. These relationships allow placement of children with autism into these schools. The Star Academy works with the school and develop goals that will be worked on in order to reach the child’s independence in the school environment.

A child with Autism in preschool and school seems like hard work to help the child adapt to the school environment. The Star Academy provides one-on-one therapy with the child. This allows the highly level of personalized work with the child to allow the child to adapt to his environment. If recommended in the child’s unique program, school facilitators are also available to help the child adapt within the school environment amongst his/ her peers and teachers as well as help in teaching the curricular outside of school sessions with the child.

Autism in pre-school and school can be a smooth sailing with these tools to equip the journey to recovery.

– By Arielle Maganlal

The Star academy is an affiliation clinic which serves as a Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). The Star Academy implements a therapy called Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Which follows the notion that behaviours that are reinforced or praised will increase and behaviours that are put on extinction (ignored) will decrease. They are all about replacing unwanted behaviour with appropriate behaviour.

The Star Academy has centers in Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Durban. They also provide services to clients in Rwanda, Ghana, Mauritius, Rustenburg, and even as far as the United Kingdom! The Star Academy have wonderful staff members that are dedicated to giving their everything to ensure a turnaround for an Autism diagnosis. The Star Academy was founded and is still spearheaded by Ilana Gerschlowitz, an autism mom and advocate.

At The Star Academy Autism jobs Johannesburg, you will receive intensive training from a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst along a reasonable timeline. Within three months of employment, all of our staff sit for the Board Certified Autism Technician exam, offered by the Behavioural Intervention Certification Council in the United States. This prestigious credential requires ongoing education as well, and each staff member receives rigorous ongoing training and support from a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.

When looking for autism jobs Johannesburg, there is nowhere better to look if you are seeking to make a real, marked, and tangible difference in the lives of families affected by autism. Our staff are thoroughly invested in the progress of every child who walks through our doors, and the structure of our intervention makes it possible (if not necessary!) for parents to be involved in their child’s treatment.

What we cannot promise is that what you will find at The Star Academy is just a job – it is so much more than that. Our staff’s lives have been irrevocably changed by the work they do. It is a vocation, a calling, a career, and for many a lifelong passion. We have staff members who walked in 9 years ago thinking that some time at The Star Academy would be just one of many good experiences for them, fell in love, and never left.

– Magriet Kleynhans



• Mash, E. and Wolfe, D. (n.d.). Abnormal child psychology. 6th ed.

• Ozonoff, S., South, M., & Miller, J. N. (2000). DSM-IV-Defined Asperger Syndrome: Cognitive, Behavioral and Early History Differentiation from High-Functioning Autism. Autism, 4(1), 29–46.

• Szatmari, P. (2000). Syndrome. The American Journal of Psychiatry.

• V. M. Bishop (1989) Autism, Asperger’s syndrome and semantic-pragmatic disorder: Where are the boundaries?, British Journal of Disorders of Communication, 24:2, 107-121, DOI: 10.3109/13682828909011951