Navigating Autism in Johannesburg: Support for Parents of Children with Autism

Receiving an autism diagnosis for your child can be overwhelming and emotional to say the very least.  Ask me I know from personal experience.   I remember feeling isolated and alone, not knowing where to turn for help and support.

It’s so important for you to know that you are NOT alone in this journey, and that there are resources available to help you and your family navigate this complex neurodevelopmental disorder.  You just need to know where to look.

One of my first steps towards getting help for my child with autism (some 14 years ago) was to connect with people that understood her autism – people who could provide me with valuable information and resources.

So here is my advice on how to get support for your family:

  1. Connect with the autism professionals – it would be a Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, or you can reach out to your local Autism Therapy Centre, Autism School or Autism Early Intervention centres.
  2. They will all be able able to help you understand your child’s specific needs better.  They will provide you with guidance on interventions and therapies, and in many cases help you to connect you with other resources in your community.
  3. The next step is for you to find like-minded people and even a support group. Connecting with families who have children with autism really does help.  You may even find it helpful to join local organizations or advocacy groups that focus on autism awareness and support, as they can also provide valuable information and resources to help you and your family.
  4. Find the right school or therapy centre. When it comes to autism education, it’s important to consider the best options for your child. While mainstream schools may seem appealing, they often lack the specialized support and resources that children with autism require.
    Autism specific schools and preschools, LSEN schools or special needs schools offer a safe and supportive environment where your child can thrive. Make sure that the school you choose  focusses on the strengths and abilities of children with autism and that they provide individualized support and tailored learning experiences that are designed to meet your child and families unique needs.

Finding the right autism school can be a sanctuary for families because they offer a community of like-minded families and professionals who understand the challenges of raising a child with autism.

They also provide opportunities for parents to learn more about ASD and how to support their child’s development, as well as access to a wide range of therapies and interventions.

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Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.