Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 62
For a child on the Autism spectrum, life can be much more difficult than for the child that isn’t. Ordinary things such as new sounds or sights, changes in routine, unexpected conversation – these things can be extremely painful to the autistic child. Regular schooling, you might be able to guess, isn’t even an option to many children on the spectrum.
And yet South Africa has a serious lack of schools that cater to children as beautifully different as those on the spectrum. In fact, it is suspected that even the numbers we have for autistic children in the country are a gross underestimation. Of those that we know of, a large number are not attending schools.
In 2018, the Department of Education took steps to rectify that and established Tamarisk Special School for Autism in South Hills, Johannesburg.
Though it is fairly young, there is steadfastness to Tamarisk. Its team of 10 is passionate about making sure that the school’s 62 students reach their goals; whether that is learning how to successfully communicate their needs, or being able to go to the store and buy the ingredients they need for dinner.
This is what education is about, really. It’s about looking at the child as a completely unique individual, assessing their needs, and helping them reach their potential.
As you can imagine, Tamarisk is a costly place to keep going. The R200,000 donation per year from the Department of Education makes a dent in the R50,000 the team needs per month, but only a small one. R250 p/m from parents help to bridge the gap, but these fees aren’t regularly paid and Tamarisk refuses to let children on the spectrum go back to being marginalized and school-less.
Photographer: Leora Hart from Leora Hart Photography | Voice Artist: Thulisa Mayalo | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Development, Disability, Education