People affected by Aspergers in South Africa may have limited resources to consider. Online resource may help families in this South Africa find the support and guidance they need.
Aspergers in South Africa
Challenges that families affected by Asperger's syndrome face can be overwhelming, and when the community lacks the necessary resources, challenges can lead to frustration and feelings of hopelessness. Three areas of concern for families are:
The following are resources for families affected by Asperger's syndrome in South Africa. These resources may lead to other helpful organizations and programs.
Education and Asperger's Syndrome
The education system can be a challenge for families affected by Asperger's syndrome. The AS child most likely has normal to above normal intelligence. However, problems with sensory processing, gross motor skills, social interaction and social communication can significantly interfere with the student's ability to excel in the school setting. Girls with Aspergers have considerable hurdles to overcome in the classroom.
A Parent's Guide to Schooling offers information for parents of students in South Africa, including information about special needs in school settings. Mainstreaming children with special needs is the general policy in ordinary schools but remedial schools are an option to consider. The challenge in ordinary school settings is the lack of necessary resources to follow through with the mainstreaming policy.
The challenge with remedial schools in this region is the wide spectrum of abilities in the autism spectrum. Students with AS may not require a remedial curriculum but they may require special teaching strategies.
Equalizing the Education System
UNICEF South Africa is putting forth great effort to equalize the education system in South Africa. Challenges the organization faces in rural, township and peri-urban schools include:
- Lack of funds
- Lack basics (water, sanitation…)
On the other end of the spectrum are schools that boast many resources, swimming pools and outstanding educators. The disparities within South Africa's school system are remarkable, and the privileged schools are in the minority.
Homeschooling is an appealing option for many families affected by Asperger's syndrome. A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling offers helpful information for families considering homeschooling including:
- Legal Information
- Programs and Curriculum Providers
- Special needs
The problem with homeschooling in South Africa is getting access to online resources like A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling. Educating children in the home setting can be difficult for parents who don't have access to the necessary books, supplies and resources to meet curriculum standards. The added challenge of teaching a child with AS without guidance and support in addition to a lack of resources makes the proposition seem weak.
Treatment and Support
Families affected by Aspergers in South Africa can benefit from gaining access to every resource they can. Following are organizations that offer connections to treatment and support in South Africia.
ASCON Asperger's Connection is located in Cape Town, South Africa. People interested in learning more about this organization may contact them through Tony Atwood's website.
Autism Western Cape, also headquartered in Cape Town, provides services to adults and children in Western Cape. The organization depends on donations to run the following services for residents:
- Services for children
- Residential care for adults
- Educating parents and professionals about autism
Autism South Africa's mission is to develop and support autism services in South Africa, with the goal of making services sustainable and affordable across the nation. The organization seeks to represent people on the autism spectrum of disorders.
Autism Support Network
Aside from Autism South Africa, each organization is based in Cape Town, which can be frustrating for people living in other areas. The Autism Support Network features a searchable database that contains contact information for resources available for families affected by Aspergers in South Africa. Listings include services, professionals and educational institutions such as:
- Occupational therapists
- Speech therapy
- Autism schools