Individual Educational Developmental Plan (IEDP)
Each child is different and develops in a unique way, therefore having only one program in a classroom is not suitable. We work out a program for each child’s developmental stage not necessarily their chronological age. We believe that a multi-disciplinary team ensures the best results for each learner, therefore we encourage parents and therapists to take hands with the school.
We follow the national curriculum from Gr R - Gr 7 when learners reach that level of development. As far as possible, we implement the curriculum and adapt it where necessary, keeping in mind that our learners have different learning needs and capabilities.
Pre-school program (Teaching Activities for Autistic Children)
This is a pre-school program that has been developed in the UK and is for learners from the developmental age of 1-6 years.
We support the T.E.A.C.C.H (treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped CHILDREN) teaching method. Learners with ASD learn better visually. Processing verbal information may be more challenging. The learners need to be able to work independently and manage their own learning task by the time they leave the school. The daily schedule visually tells the learner in a way that they can easily understand, what activities will occur and in what sequence.
Depending on each learners developmental plan, we offer basic skills in a variety of areas such as gardening, wood-work, paper-making, baking & cooking, needlework, weaving, car wash, arts & crafts, house holding (for example cleaning the bathroom, kitchen etc.) Keeping in mind that our learners grow up and will benefit from being exposed to a variety of vocational skills as far as possible, these practical skills can be used throughout their life.
Apart from focusing on the children’s emotional needs, social-, life- and cognitive skills, physical exercise is a vital part of our daily program as well. It helps develop body awareness, aids in physical development, and in some learners reduces anxiety levels. Exercise is part of our holistic approach to develop the learners.
Read the short excerpt from the book, Ido in Autismland, to get a better understanding of the physical challenges the learners face.
"My body is its own challenge, all by itself. It’s not only always restless, it’s not coordinated. I have trouble doing basic tasks such as tying my shoes or tearing open a bag of chips. It’s hard for me to do the tiny hand movement needed to write or do precise tasks. It’s like my hands are baseball mitts or banana fingers."
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On a daily basis different self-help skills are being taught to our learners to help them become more independent in life. These skills are broken down into a step-by-step process that the learners follow with the aim that they eventually achieve these skills. Amongst others, we teach our learners how to dress themselves, use the toilet, brush their teeth and eat at a table.
Every month we expose our learners to a specific theme for example road safety, fruit and vegetables, careers and seasons. At the end of each theme, learners prepare an oral with the help of their parents and/or teachers which they present to their class. As we have verbal and pre-verbal learners, they do make use of various methods to convey their message. These methods include Makaton, incorporating pictures and/or videos as well as using objects to convey a message. Our aim is for this activity to be a lot of fun for the learners and their parents. We have found that this activity helps pre-verbal learners to find their voice and it improves our learners’ self-confidence and motivates them to communicate according to their individual abilities.
Annual Prize-giving Ceremony
At the end of the school year, every learner receives recognition for their unique abilities and skills. This is an opportunity for parents to celebrate with their children what they have achieved during the year.