Local news

Family of Autistic girl seeks special needs school

SCH Local News | Her family wants her to attend a special needs school and they don't mind her boarding because she is old enough now.

Amahle Khomo (12), who is Autistic, hasn’t been to school since the age of nine, and her family is concerned about her lack of education.

Zandile Khomo said she gave birth to Amahle in December 2011 and growing up in the deep rural area of Mahwaqa in Mtwalume she reached milestones but was unable to talk.

“I took her to a local clinic where speech therapists told me that she could be a bit delayed.”

They were referred to Port Shepstone Regional Hospital where Amahle was diagnosed with Autism.

“After taking medication for her condition, she started talking, even though she was unclear. However, I noticed that she was speaking in English and not IsiZulu, which is our home language.”

Khomo said her daughter regularly watches cartoons which she believes is where she learned English.

“She needs a special school because she is smart and a fast learner.”

Amahle attended a special needs school in Umzinto a few years ago but dropped out because it changed to a boarding facility.

“I could not let her go to boarding school because at that time she was unable to take care of herself. I decided that she will stay at home until she was ready to live outside the home.”

Amahle’s grandmother, Elizabeth Khomo, said the family has suffered raising her granddaughter, especially as they live so far from towns.

“We were struggling as she could not speak, and then suddenly she speaks English only. She is demanding and has expensive needs. Some of the things she wants, we cannot afford. All we want for Amahle is a suitable school because she is such a smart child.”

The family wants her to attend a special needs school, and they don’t mind her boarding because she is old enough now. They are pleading for help from the public or a non-profit.

The Herald was contacted about Amahle’s plight by the Lizwi Maphumulo Foundation.

The KZN Department of Education spokesperson, Muzi Mahlambi, said he will forward Amahle’s needs to the relevant authorities.

If anyone can help, contact Zandile Khomo on 079 7628114.

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