Programmes and Education


There are many programs and therapies aimed at helping with education and improving quality of life. Some facilities use only one, while others combine them.

How do you choose?

A survey done among parents shows that the majority used programmes based on Applied Behaviour Analysis(i), Picture Exchange Communication System(i), Relationship Developmental Intervention(i), Pivotal Response Training(i) and complementary therapy like music therapy, swimming or horse therapy.

All the above-mentioned programmes were developed out of ABA, but as new techniques in teaching develop, new programmes are formed. Why is ABA so popular? It is considered the programme with the most evidence-based results.

A word of caution: There are a lot of Autistic adults that absolutely HATE ABA and feel it is a form of child abuse.

However, to get the most out of therapy, more than one option can be considered. When we started to think about therapy, it became very clear that it is not a one size fits all strategy. You will eventually mix and match till you get something that fits your child. 

The programme you choose will also depend on which way you decide to go regarding formal education – State or Private (including Homeschooling); and some programmes can be age restrictive as well.

We looked at many centres and eventually went with a company that offered AIMSAwareness, Interest, Movement System: It is an awareness and interest-based intervention that works with autistic children and related disorders to teach concepts, rather than individual skills.

Some of the other programs are:

Formal Education

If you decided to go via State and are already on the school placement list, there are a few creche/ Daycare/ Early intervention centres that assist Autistic children. This you will realise can cause a lot of frustration especially if you are a working parent. There are far more private facilities and home cottage centres, but you are going to pay a lot of money for that- click here. Currently, a team from Vera School or Glenbridge Special School runs the assessments for placements for the Department of Education. Depending on the area you stay in, your child might be placed in any of the schools on this list: Special Needs schools(i)

Ever wonder what the referral process would look like:


Before we started with the therapy, we used the programs like Starfall(i) and Starfall Download Centre(i), Coilbook™/Learning for Children on Youtube(i), Toddler Fun Learning on Youtube(i), ELF Kids Videos on Youtube(i), Caillou- Wildbrain for Social Stories and DLTK’s Crafts for Kids(i), Kids go Flash(i). Also Little Fox on Youtube(i) and EmmGia TV on Youtube for fun read-a-long stories(i)

Listed below are some of the Centres and Programmes we looked at:

We started at KidStart and Kidstart Plus tutors at the KidStart Early Intervention Centre (sadly they are not operating anymore) use AIMS. For a short glimpse into a lesson, click here

GemIIni Education System(i) – They do video modelling.

SNAP (Special Needs Adapted Program)(i) – SNAP Lite (Parent and Care Giver training), SNAP Education Home Programs and SNAP Academy have their own specialised programs.

Broad Horizons Academy uses Makaton, RPM, Alternative Augmentative Communication, RDI, Modelling and PECS. (sadly this centre is not running anymore). Their home-based and facilitator programs are run by Uniqminds(i)

ASAP (AutismSpectrumAdaptivePrograme)(i) – they offer various programmes.

MindStretch(i) – uses HANDLE

Sense-Ability(i) – also uses a mixture of therapies.

Centre 4 Play and Learning(i) – also uses various techniques.

LeftNet (learner facilitator and tutor network)(i) – Willie Erasmus runs this database and can provide you with a list of tutors and facilitators that are fully trained and qualified to create the best program for your child’s needs. LeftNet also runs facilitator courses. They partner with CHAMPS (GROWING CHAMPS Facilitator, Tutor & Au Pair Group)(i)

Chere Botha School(i) – for Autism and Down’s Syndrome

Paarl Skool(i) – for special needs children, but not for Autistic kids, but Aspies are allowed.

Pokkelmander Learning Centre – email: – Stellenberg area, Brackenfell.

Dorothea Special School(i)


Thinking of actually homeschooling your child, it would be wise to join a homeschooling group, also you will need to decide whether you will use CAPS(i) or Impaq(i) (Home Schoolers and private centres choice).

  • Homeschooling SA (Facebook)(i) and website(i)
  • Homeschooling Special Needs in South Africa(i)
  • Western Cape Education Department online resources (Grade R – 12)(i)
  • Department of Education (National Government)(i)

For any disputes regarding homeschooling, it is important to join the Pestalozzi Trust(i).

To read the current homeschooling policy, click here