Unlocking Greatness in each learner through an eclectic approach of methods formulating an Individualised Education and Development Programme with the aim of reaching their full potential.
Autism Connect Learning Centre aims to function as a learning and resource centre within our community providing a specialized early learning programme that is Autism Specific. Our ethos encompasses neurodiversity and advocacy of inclusion focusing on learner intervention.
In order to achieve this vision and mission, and cater for the ever-increasing list of Autistic children falling outside the parameters of school acceptance, we would love your help!
This Due Diligence Report will give you further insight into Autism Connect – its History, its Success, the challenges of the South African and Mitchells Plain communities, as well as the Education system which offers limited possibilities, especially for those on the low-functioning end of the Autism Spectrum.
Our greatest need in order to ensure the sustainability of Autism Connect and its impact is to operate from our own premises, preferably and ideally in Mitchells Plain. This is possible, but we are not able to achieve this without external help. This report shows the history of premises for Autism Connect, and the desperate need for stability for these affected children.
There are many opportunities for growth and development for a learning centre like Autism Connect, we would ask of you to participate in this after reading the compelling evidence in this report.
Autism Connect was started by Nicolette Ripepi in January 2012, with just 3 learners. It was birthed out of a need for children on the ASD spectrum to attend a facility, where they have been denied acceptance to attend state run schools. Children are expected to meet certain criteria in order to attend state run schools, and many fall outside of these requirements. Nicolette identified the huge need to “bridge the gap” in the education of these “out-of-sync” Autistic children. This was her own personal story and experience with her son Tyler that is on the Autism Spectrum.
The focus of Autism Connect is to offer a holistic approach to development, and ensure each child is equipped with tools for school readiness, in the hopes that they can be integrated into the State Run Autistic Schools in the area. All intervention programs are tailored to the specific needs of the learners. Over the past 5 years Autism Connect has grown significantly and now boasts 30 children – 5 girls and the rest boys. Their ages range from 3-13 years.
Autism Connect endeavours to empower and uplift educators, learners and parents within the Mitchells Plain community through its connections to the greater Autistic Community.
Autism Connect works closely with Autism Western Cape and Red Cross Children’s Hospital, receiving referrals for the many children looking to be placed in the school system. Beacon School is the only “Autism specific” School in the Mitchells Plain/Strandfontein area. There is a waiting list of over +/- 1000+ children in the Western Cape currently waiting placement in ASD specific government schools, and many of these children are not accepted according to the stipulated entrance criteria. The problem is that studies have shown that early intervention is critical for the development of children on the ASD spectrum. So what happens to these children? A missed opportunity….