School impassioned to change lives

School of Transformation dedicated to providing a comprehensive, inclusive and supportive environment for learners with autism and learning difficulties.

Through specialised educational programmes, the School of Transformation on Trichardts Road, Parkdene, is dedicated to providing a comprehensive, inclusive and supportive environment for learners with autism and learning difficulties.

Autism is a developmental condition that affects social and communication skills, and the symptoms’ scope and intensity can differ. Common symptoms include repetitive behaviours, obsessions, and trouble interacting and communicating with others.

Gwen McKechnie, a director at the School of Transformation, said the school with 250 learners offers personalised learning in small classes to meet every learner’s needs. However, McKechnie said they can only take in learners who are at a functional level (can read and learn).

They have a team of psychologists and occupational therapists on board to help address the diverse needs of learners on the spectrum. The school designed an individual educational programme, the Robo Programme, according to the Comprehensive Autism Planning System (CAPS) for children with autism and learning difficulties.

A continual assessment method tracks the learners’ progress.McKechnie said those who cannot learn and are enrolled for skills could be referred to schools catering for their respective levels. “We brought in a skills-based vocational line accredited by the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and currently offer hospitality and office administration up to NQF1, and may also offer electro technology at a later stage.”

School principal Johan Bloem and the senior management team ensure regular staff training to keep up to date with the developments in teaching children on the spectrum. While offering quality individual learning is costly because it demands a larger teacher ratio, McKechnie said they try to make their school as affordable as possible.

“We have many learners who have achieved success at our school and are now working. Learners in our remedial stream have managed to write Grade 12 and even obtained university degrees. Many have also completed our skills-based programmes successfully and are employed.

“Children know when they are loved. Learners flourish in a caring environment. It is the heart that counts,” said McKechnie

Lee-Anne Pretorius, a content developer of the Robo Programme, added that during her remedial teaching experience, she learnt patience and flexibility with her learners.

Buy a key ring
As April is Autism Awareness Month, the School of Transformation is selling key holders to raise awareness and fundraise for the NPO for intellectually handicapped people in Alberton called Place of Purpose.
For more information, call the school on 011 892 5597.

Also Read: Can CBD help kids with autism?

Also Read: Everything you need to know about service, guide and autism support dogs


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