Kaelle’s Success Story
Kaelle is currently based in Rwanda.
Yes you read right! The Star Academy is not just confined to South Africa, we provide internationally based ABA services!
Kaelle started services with The Star Academy in 2021 at the age of 7.
Nicole Gokul currently supervises her case remotely. Instructors travel to Kaelle for a period of 3 months at a time and then return to SA. Many instructors have elected to extend their stay with Kaelle due to the hospitality of Kaelle and her wonderful family.
Kaelle currently does 7 hours of ABA each day. She is facilitated at school during the mornings and receives ABA each afternoon. Kaelle has an excellent memory. She masters targets with ease and retains them! Kaelle’s program is largely based on language and academic lessons. She is learning how to use language more independently and in full sentences by making requests and commenting on her environment. Kaelle loves to dance and sing and is not shy to bust out some Beyonce.
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Nathaniel’s Success Story
Nathaniel’s mom once quoted the following to our team,
According to Khalil Gibran the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind is “mother” and the most beautiful call is the call of “my mother”.
It truly is beautiful!
Declan’s Success Story
This is Declan, Justine Schürstedt is his Case Manager at the Star Academy in Johannesburg and supervises his program and progress. Declan’s story is one that so many parents face daily.
He was developing typically when one day his parents started noticing less eye contact, less interaction, and a regression in his speech. Declan’s parents moved to Johannesburg towards the middle of December 2021 (age 3) to start their ABA journey, he did 25 hours of ABA a week and his parents changed his diet.
At the start of his journey he had no play skills, limited eye contact, and no speech. Declan is now in a mainstream preschool with his facilitator (shadow) from the Star Academy, guiding him through his day, and he is developing skills typical for his age. We are in the processing of fading out the extra support in school. With a phenomenal ABA team, and rockstar parents who never ever gave up, Declan knows his letters and is saying the alphabet, he knows his colours and shapes, and is counting to 10, but most importantly he is learning to communicate his needs and wants in phrases now, which has hugely improved his quality of life.
We continue to fight for him every day, Roxanne, Declan’s mom comments on their journey as “We have our boy back” which is so powerful and inspiring. The journey may be tough, but don’t give up hope.
Watch video on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/100002045844850/videos/193077196842783/
Benjamin’s Success Story
This is Benjamin. Today Benjamin turned 7. Pictured here is also Benjamin at 3. 1 year after we found out he had autism and 1 year into aba and biomedical protocols to help his body get back on track.
This is the kid you would never say had a congenital heart defect.
This is the kid you would never say was once non verbal.
This is the kid who keep knocking down every wall.
Today Benjamin celebrated his birthday with his peers, in a class a year ahead for his age, where he is coming out at the top academically.
While we still have some way to go, this kid has proven that anything can be done when you have the will and the right supporters behind you
Barkot’s Success Story
Barkot began at The Star Academy in February 2023. He presently does 20 hours of ABA therapy each week. Whilst Barkot may be vocal and has a large vocabulary under his belt, he tends to use his speech randomly and minimally in context as he engages in scripting. This however has substantially decreased and Barkot is making strides by using language more functionally and under instructional control. Barkot is currently learning a variety of skills that are pivotal for his learning. This includes, but is not limited to compliance, eye contact, imitation, adaptive skills, requesting and commenting. Barkot has an aptitude for reading and builds words using an array of letters. He has an affinity for flash cards and tends to get through them with ease despite the varying levels of difficulty. Barkot’s biggest motivation is music. He loves to sing and engage in movement. With continuous and persistent ABA, I have no doubt that Barkot will continue to flourish.
Watch video on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/100000095728090/videos/6577390902307778/
Zayn’s Success Story
3 weeks ago this amazing women came to the UK to come and work with my Zayn. And wow! She absolutely threw the kitchen sink at it and hit the program like a hurricane, and quickly became one of the family! Both Zayn and Louis (our Frenchie) became all about Nicole after a few days of Zayn trying it with her… she attended nursery a few mornings with Zayn (always good to have an insider in these so-called educational settings to see what’s going on! In our case not a lot) and spent 15 days in total working on his programme mastering 46!!!! 46 targets, some already in acquisition and some new! Just insane! Nicole is a machine and after finishing her day with Zayn she was working tirelessly on her other cases.. Zayn is more compliant, using more language, and behaviour has hugely decreased, he’s learnt so many skills and improved the skills he had, and I’m forever greatful for you coming at a time we needed a tutor here the most. For giving zayn all you had and for supporting me!
We’re going through a tribunal atm, and zayn and Nicole as a team absolutely smashed it for the professionals! And I’m looking forward to bringing Zayn back to see his amazing team soon! I have to give a huge shout out to Candice Breetzke for working tirelessly on reports and going through mountains of paperwork to ensure we have everything in place to have ABA in Zayns education plan . Zayn is one lucky little boy to have you guys on his side! Ilana Gerschlowitz as always you pulled through for me in getting this organised and sending us someone special!
Thank you see you all really soon!
Josh’s Success Story
This is *Josh, Josh started ABA at the end of 2021 with 10 hours of ABA a week, his mom saw the benefits of his sessions and increased his hours to a minimum of 20 hours a week since then. I am his Case Manager and I work with his amazing ABA team to work on his skills, and to insure his progress.
Watch video on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/100002045844850/videos/299132029276383/
When Josh started his journey, he had no understanding of instructions, no eye contact, no play skills, and was not able to communicate his needs, and would engage in crying and aggressive behaviours towards others.
Josh started his program in ABA with a picture exchange communication system (where he would use pictures to communicate what he wants), that helped him start to learn how to communicate, and replace the maladaptive behaviours with more appropriate communication. He started learning play skills, imitation skills, and receptive skills beautifully and started imitating expressive language in the first few months of his ABA. Josh is now learning his lessons in the expressive language (with his voice), and he is also at a mainstream school with facilitation from his ABA team.
See the video of Josh with some of the current skills he is working on for school, including some academics and tacting (a lesson we teach to work on increasing vocabulary and expressive language by working on commenting on his actions and environment), note the independent language (and 1.5 years ago, he didn’t have any clear speech).
We are so proud of him and his journey, and his mom notes how happy she is that she took the leap of faith when she started his program.
*Josh (name changed for confidentiality).
Aaron’s Recovery Story
Page 276 of “Saving my Sons – A Journey with Autism”
Life today with Aaron
Aaron has lost his diagnosis of autism. He can tell us what he’s thinking and where he wants to go, what he likes and doesn’t like, and just like any other little boy his age, he enjoys play dates, sleepovers at granny’s house and going to the movies. We got our boy back. We won the battle.
Aaron looks forward to our regular trips to the park with our dogs Rocco and Miley. He continues to surprise us and creeps into the hearts of all those who come across his path. Since he has full functionality, he’s been given a second chance to live a full life. Sometimes I have to remind myself that his autism really did happen, as it seems so unreal. Aaron found his way out of the darkness and into the light. No longer lost in the woods, he is home safe. Aaron is a happy boy who loves life itself, a miracle child who proved that autism is in fact something children can recover from. As I think about the path we’ve walked, I’m reminded of conversations with Aaron I haven’t had to miss; and of being able to hear him sing his songs. There are so many things to be glad and relieved about. Hearing his voice when I wake up in the morning and knowing whether he’s happy, sore or sad, because he can tell me how he is feeling. Searching the house with him to help him find one of his lost toys. Savouring every moment of watching him graduate from nursery to big school. Celebrating his birthday and choosing his cake and the theme for his birthday party. Reading him stories as he rests his head on my shoulder. Trying to solve his problems, which include not being able to take the dogs with him on holiday, and entails answering thousands of questions. Hearing the screams and laughter of his pillow fights with Elli fill the house and knowing his favourite colour and what he likes to eat. Watching when he gets a surprise or hearing his expression of delight when he bites into a warm slice of pizza. Taking him to the zoo and the farm and sharing in his interest and love of animals. Hearing him tell me he loves me and watching him call out “Daddy” as he runs down the passage to greet Martin when he arrives back home from work. Taking him to soccer and karate… All of this has been wonderful, and we’ve enjoyed and treasured every single minute of it. Even though it took four long years of an ABA programme, brave medical treatments, sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears, it was all worth it and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Lexi’s Recovery Story
RECOVERED FROM AUTISM by Rachelle Cara Botha.
Despite knowing for a while already, we are thrilled to announce that Lexi has officially RECOVERED from Autism.
After just over 3 years of intensive intervention, a team of specialists has confirmed that Lexi no longer falls on the spectrum and has, therefore, lost her diagnosis. We are overjoyed!
It has been a challenging 3 years, but God has carried us through this journey and has answered our prayers. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness and for choosing to heal Lexi.
Lexi has shown to be determined, intelligent, feisty, diligent and intuitive. Now the sky is the limit for her! Lexi will continue her schooling career in a mainstream school and we know she will blossom!
Lexi, you have exceeded our expectations for you! You have a bright future ahead of you baby girl and we are extremely proud of you!
There are so many people who have walked this road with us, but a special thank you to our family.
My mom fought for Lexi’s recovery until her last day. She made countless sacrifices for us on a daily basis and made Lexi her first priority. She was Lexi’s biggest supporter! We wish she could be here to rejoice with us, but we know that she is celebrating up in Heaven.
Dad, your sacrificial support, month after month, has made this all possible. You have given of yourself in every possible way and have been an example of Godliness to us. Lexi would not have gotten this far if it weren’t for you!
Melanie and Jay-Jay, your constant support, love and selflessness has been a blessing to us. You have loved Lexi as if she was your own and she adores your family!
And then to everyone from ‘The Star Academy’, you have been phenomenal from day 1. You truly were a God-send and we couldn’t be more grateful that you came along our Path.
We appreciate all your guidance, love, hard work, and everything that you have done to get Lexi here. You have been such a big part of our lives and we are going to miss you.
Finally, Lexi is a living reminder that miracles do happen and that all things are possible through God who strengthens us! Our hearts are bursting with joy and pride and we give all glory to God!
Francois’s Success Story
Kai Naidoo’s Graduation from The Star Academy
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