This project is an ongoing collaboration between government special needs schools, private facilities and Autism Western Cape. It focuses on the need for inclusion and aims to support mainstream schools with the training they need to better cater for learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The schools involved will receive support with teacher training and resources.
This project is a partnership between Autism Western Cape, Chere Botha School and the Special Needs Adapted Program (SNAP).
What does the project involve?
Initially facilitated by Autism Western Cape, SNAP will supply Chere Botha with intern psychology students to assist with assessments of learners at the school. They will also offer complementary training opportunities to the staff of the school, focusing on Applied Behavioural Analysis.
Autism Western Cape will run teacher training workshops on TEACCH and other teaching methods. In addition, Autism Western Cape will help with the fundraising requirements of the school, helping them to purchase a prefab classroom which will be turned into an autism-specific classroom. Once this class opens, Autism Western Cape will supply Chere Botha with a qualified facilitator for a limited period.
Why is there a need for this?
As it stands, there are a limited number of Autism-specific resources in the Western Cape, and this is largely due to a lack of funding and resources, especially for government funded schools and facilities. While there is a large pool of expertise, there is limited sharing of knowledge and expertise across the government and private facilities and organisations working hard to make a difference in the field of Autism. Facilitated sharing of resources and expertise will build relationships between all parties and, in doing so, increase the impact of their efforts. While a joining of forces seems to be the obvious solution to this problem, it requires time and expertise to faciliate amongst busy and resource-stretched organisations.
We hope that piloting this way of working will have ripple effects across organisations and facilities, increasing the impact of their efforts to the benefit of all those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.
What some of this project’s challenges?
Funding is the biggest challenge for this project. We are raising funds for the prefab classroom at Chere Botha. We also need funding to cover the costs of running a TEACCH workshop at Chere Botha later this year.
How can it be replicated?
Any interested organisations, schools and private facilities can contact Autism Western Cape to discuss replicating this kind of collaboration with various parties in and around their specific area.
Monetary donations will go a long way to assisting with the establishment of the prefab classroom, as well as to fund the TEACCH workshop. Professionals can volunteer their time and expertise for projects and facilities.