Hello everyone! My name is Angie and we need your help.
Our son Cameron was diagnosed with mild Autism when he was 4 years old. The Autism specific schools are very rare in South Africa and comes at a huge price. Nevertheless, Cameron was placed in various government special needs schools with no hope of ever going to “mainstream school”, although he was high functioning which means that he could read, write, talk, walk and perform tasks independently. Continuous assessments and assisted training has proven that Cameron has the ability to learn and can be prepared to be placed into mainstream schooling and that Autism is not a life sentence to doom and gloom. We, as the parents are confident that Cameron will grow up to be an independent young man, earning his own money and will able to take care of himself.
I have resigned from my job in order to provide Cameron with extra attention and assistance, as we found out that the Administration at Cameron’s school were not placing enough emphasis on helping the children reach their potential academically and that more focus was put on life skills training which Cameron is unable to cope well with. There is also limited aids available for training and little or no feedback given to parents.
Cameron has been disadvantaged over the recent years as he only received a limited number of 30 minute group sessions in Occupational and Speech Therapy. Although he required much more, this was all the government could provide. With very little concentration placed on academics, Cameron is now only at a Grade 3 level at the age of 12, while he should already be in Grade 6.
We are now left without a suitable school for Cameron and the few that are available are extremely expensive options. We do not believe it is fair to leave him in an environment which does not provide enough opportunity or chance for the minimum of a high school qualification. Some Mainstream schools won’t accept Cameron because he has been at a Special Needs School and other Special Needs Schools have a waiting list of 40 to 60 children which doesn’t look promising for him. We are currently using the department of education curriculum which we purchased to home school Cameron. Unfortunately, we do not have the relevant professional skills required to teach a child with Autism or provide the intense therapy that he requires.
Sadly, with only 1 income, we are unable to pay the school fees for a Specialised Schooling and the intense therapy that is required for Cameron to have the option of basic education in the future.
We feel passionate about our son’s future and will not back down or give up on him just because he has a learning disability. Learning disability does not mean that he is unable to learn. It just means that he needs that extra support and assistance which only small classes and a loving, stimulating, positive environment can bring.
Your contribution to this campaign will assist to pay for the following:
- Monthly tuition fees for a Special School for children with Autism
- Applied Behavioural Therapy that is required at least 3 times a week
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
Should you require any information about Cameron’s diagnosis or the school and therapy costs, I will be happy to send this to you. You can email me at [email protected]
You can send me questions and I would be happy to answer all of them.
Thank you for the time taken to view this campaign and thank you for your support and any assistance you can contribute :).
The Pillay Family
Angie, Trevor, Cameron and Caden