Childrens Disability Centre
The Children’s Disability Centre has formed a formal partnership with the Johannesburg Hospital school so that the services can be supplemented by the GDE. The JHS offers specialized units for children with Autism and young children with visual impairment. The JHS has a junior school for autistic learners and a senior school for autistic learners. The senior school is called AQUA. It is the only autism-specific senior/secondary school in JHB. The CDC is the fundraising arm of the Autistic units since the high needs of these children means that the GDE provision is insufficient and extra income is needed to cover costs of aides and additional educators to keep class sizes small. The units can help families who need access to schools/services through enrolment. It is necessary to be evaluated first prior to enrollment so that diagnosis of Autism can be determined. By senior school stage, the diagnosis is usually firm but the school is still growing slowly therefore enrolments are slow and families need to make appointments with the hod for assessment. The Contact number for AQUA is 087 720 2131 and for the junior phase is 011 643 3050..
The CDC is the only centre in SA that caters for the needs of blind, visually impaired and autistic children from the time of diagnosis in respect of medical care, early intervention and education in the pre and foundation phase. It is one of the only three that offers diagnostic and consultative services and training to visually impaired and autistic children.
Currently we assist 40 children on a daily basis at the Centre. We ensure that each one is given an opportunity to learn all the important skills that will prepare them for a happy and productive life. Our education programme is the foundation that leads towards an independent adulthood that will provide human dignity and self-reliance.
There has been a surge in demand from parents and mainstream educators for specialised services which has encouraged the CDC to expand its programmes in order to provide support for children throughout South Africa.
Over the next five-years plans are in place to establish more parent support groups, road shows to rural communities, training of educators and special carers as well as public awareness campaigns to heighten understanding about young children who are blind or severely visually impaired who have lost an important source of sensory input. This initiative combines individual intervention, training, pre-school class sessions, foundation phase education, training for child care educators in the community as well as family information and support to help the