Whilst autism spectrum disorder can be diagnosed by age 2 years – the average age of an autism diagnosis in South Africa still seems to be from age 4 years onwards. Early screening and the diagnosis for autism can make a lifetime of difference for the child.
There are a few online autism screening checklist tools that can help parents determine whether further evaluation for autism may be needed. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is however a complex development disability and we would recommend that you consult with a specialist medical professional or organisation if you are concerned about your child’s development.
Who can I speak to about Development Delays in Johannesburg?
Autism Resources in South Africa
Speech delays or speech difficulties:
There are a number of development problems that can accompany delayed onset of speech. The quickest 1st step would be for the parent to consult with a Speech Therapist. The Therapist will then do a speech and language evaluation and will be able to recommend the next step. There are also brilliant Audiology Medical Centres in Johannesburg that will be able to do an assessment on not just your child’s hearing but also their speech development.
Blocking of ears, food sensitivities or other sensory problem in young children:
Consult with an experienced Occupational Therapist and have a Sensory assessment done. The OT will also assess the child’s motor planning and will be able to provide you with intervention strategies. In some instances they may refer you to a Physio Therapist, Audiologist or Development Paediatrician.
Eating or feeding issues:
If you have a feeding clinic in your area of residence this would be first prize. Should you not have a feeding clinic then you can consult with a Speech Therapist that has feeding therapy training. A well known feeding therapy is the SOS (Sequential-Oran-Sensory) approach and many therapists use this method very successfully.
Clumsy, bumping into things, falling or any other motor planning delay:
Occupational Therapists are a great 1st point of reference if your child is experiencing any of these delays or problems.
Social, Emotional and Behavioural Delays:
Neurobehavioral disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, often also have social, emotional or behavioural delays or difficulties. A Developmental Paediatrician would be a great place to start.
For autism assessment or autism diagnosis at State hospitals:
Edenvale Hospital, South Rand Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and the Charlottle Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospitals all have units that will be able to assist.
Educational placement is Government Schools for diagnosed Autistic children:
Educational district offices for the GDE are responsible for ensuring that all learners have access to education. You can contact your local GDE District office for school placement.
Private education for autistic pre-schooler or private autism schools:
Look for autism early intervention centres and autism schools in your area of residence. You can also speak to Autism South Africa who has a comprehensive list of schools that specialise in autism. Make sure to consult with a variety of schools before deciding on the one best suited to your child’s needs.
Amazing K Autism School
Amazing K Autism School has two branches in the Randburg, Johannesburg. If you live in or around the area and want to pop in for a coffee and some advice – our door is always open! You can phone Amazing K Northwold Autism Pre-school on +2711 793 4053 to arrange an appointment.
Amazing K is a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. We are a private autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 years. Our learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. We offer Individualized Education Programs involved, ABA, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum. Read more about this Johannesburg Autism school here.