12 Feb Autism schools near me (not always an easy find)
Google is our friend! It is a tool we all use daily to find information that we are looking for, but when you search “autism schools near me” – you may not find any… or very few.
Finding a specialist Autism School in South Africa can be very challenging. Many schools don’t accept learners with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some special needs schools will accept learners with autism (ASD) but their speciality will not be autism education.
So what advice do we have for parents struggling to find a suitable school for their autistic child:
- If you can’t place your child into a specialist autism school (for which ever reason) consider homeschooling your child;
- Never stop searching because not all centres are advertised on the internet and if you look long enough you may in fact find the perfect “local” solution;
- If a school is prepared to help you with your child but they are not fully equipped to do so then think twice about the enrolment into that school. Autism is a unique disorders that required Autism Specific Early Intervention and Autism Therapy, rather consider online autism education support;
- Consult newspapers and talk to the local medical professionals including the pharmacists in your area of residence; if anybody will know about other families, support groups or autism day care facilities – they will!
- Don’t rely on the DBE to place your child in a government school because there are not many of them and those that do exist often has long waiting lists. If you rely and wait for Government Autism School Placements – your child may in fact never get the help they need!
- Consider homeschooling and work with a reputable Autism Curriculum Provider or Autism Training Support Specialist. You can also work with local therapists.
- Find local autism support groups to join. Other parents that have already walked the journey will always be willing to help a new mommy or daddy with information or guidance;
- Don’t believe everything you read on Social Media! Take time to research information and formulate your own opinions;
- Find a good speech therapist and occupational therapist and talk to them about home based programs that can help your child whilst you search for a suitable autism school.
- Reach out to NGO’S such as Autism South Africa for information packs and even autism training for yourself of your helper / autism au pair.
Your main goal should always be intervention for your autistic child. The earlier the child receives specialised therapies and intervention the better the long term prognosis.