Thursday, 19 March 2015

Angels for Autism

Thursday, the 5th March 2015 - a very, very special day.

Why so special?

Because, after 8 months of homeschooling, Gabriel started attending a brand new school.  

I am going to bestow my own name on this school (albeit for privacy issues, the main reason is 'cos it's fun!)

Let's call it - Angels for Autism.

So our little angel is attending Angels for Autism, twice a week, along with G-Mary Poppins (his Facilitator).

Bear with me while I digress for a few lines - it's important ;).

This school is the second school started up by an angel I shall call Angel K.  She saw the urgent need and demand for such a school, since there is such a shortage of schools for children with special needs in Cape Town, especially for those with autism.  

But her schools are extra special.  

How so?  Well, Angel K didn't decide to just go with the flow and incorporate a traditional school curriculum.  No.  Instead she took what autistic adults told her and created her own curriculum.  

She listened.    

She has created an environment where all children feel accepted, while learning. A happy environment.  An understanding environment.  A loving and patient environment.  

Angel K has filled this environment with the most patient, tolerant, special angels for teachers and assistants.  These teacher and assistants have our utmost respect because, to be honest, working in a special needs school, is hard, HARD work.  

And the children.  Those beautiful children.  They are the cherry on top of this school.  Spending a little time with them changes your whole perspective on life. 

Because of this great new school, this great new opportunity, Gabriel is happier than we have seen him in a long time.  There are less meltdowns (touch wood!) and he is so very 'chatty'.  He is trying so hard to talk, touching his tongue, moving his lips around, mimicking words.   And he is playing WITH other children. 

We can see that Gabriel has found a place he feels he belongs - a place where he feels loved and accepted.  Just the way he is.

After all, isn't that what we all want?