Little Stars: a reality – our special needs school
We decided to establish a special needs school. We head-hunted an experienced speech therapist and special needs teacher who had received her training in the UK at a prestigious special needs school for autism appointed her as our headteacher and briefed her on our vision for the special needs school. She was experienced and passionate about working with children with autism, and we believed she would be able to deliver the educational programmes required for the special needs school we had in mind.
I’d made friends with a mom whose son also had autism and went to the same occupational therapist as David. I called her excitedly to let her know we were establishing a special needs school that would cater for the need of autistic children and that we would be importing the best reaching methodologies and strategies to ensure these children’s success. Our special needs school would be one of excellence ,whole mission would be the advancement of children with autism. The focus would be on helping each child to catch up on their education; and on teaching them those skills they lacked but needed to make further progress. We did some research and decided on four children, one teacher and two teaching aides per class, who we’d train in the latest teaching methodologies for autistic children who would attend our special needs school. We ordered only the best equipment and I was soon very busy managing the installation of top of the range jungle gym swing and everything else we needed for the school. I ordered b ran new occupational therapy equipment and set up an OT room that offered the latest and the best for our new special needs school. If we couldn’t find anything we needed locally we ordered it from the United States and had it shipped to South Africa for our special needs school.
We opened our doors and David and the one other child were the first students at the special needs school. When I dropped off David every morning at our special needs school I left confident and with the peace of mind that he was in the hands of a capable and professional team. I drew a certain amount of comfort from this knowledge and held out hope for this future at our new special needs school.
Soon word of mouth spread and my phone started ringing with parents who’d heard about my special needs school and wanted to enrol their children in our new special needs school. In a short space of time, we’d grown to 20 children and a long waiting list.