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Nkazi Stimulation Centre lights a path for children with autism

The centre focuses on early childhood development services and the teaching of life skills, to enable children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to be integrated into the community and lead independent lives.

NKAZI Stimulation Centre, nestled in Yellowwood Park, stands as a beacon of hope and support for families navigating the complexities of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Founded in 2015 by Ntombifuthi Mthethwa, a compassionate advocate with a background in Disability and Rehabilitation, the centre has been a lifeline for the local community.

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Driven by empathy for parents grappling with the challenges of raising children with ASD, Mthethwa embarked on a mission to create a nurturing environment where these children could flourish. Mthethwa said, “I was determined to make a difference and wanted to create a safe space where children with ASD could thrive and receive the specialised care they deserve.”

From its inception, Nkazi Stimulation Centre has been dedicated to providing comprehensive care and education for children with ASD. Initially focusing on early intervention through stimulating activities for toddlers, the centre soon recognised the need for a more encompassing approach. This led to the establishment of a skills wing, offering essential life skills education alongside academic preparation.

“Over time, we need to expand our skills wing into a structured curriculum spanning grades R, 1 and 2. This helped alleviate some of pressure the parents continued to face by catering to their children who may not fit into special education schools due to various reasons,” said Mthethwa.

Central to the centre’s approach is the understanding and management of ‘stimming’, a behaviour commonly associated with ASD. By addressing these self-stimulating behaviours, such as hand-flapping or spinning, Nkazi Stimulation Centre helps children regulate their sensory experiences, fostering an environment conducive to learning.

Despite its indispensable role in the community, the centre operates as a non-profit organisation, relying heavily on community support to sustain its operations. With a dedicated team of 15 staff members serving 30 children, Nkazi Stimulation Centre underscores the significance of individualised care and attention.

As the centre continues its work, it appeals to the community for support and donations to ensure its sustainability and the continuation of essential services for children with ASD.

Those interested in contributing can reach out to the Nkazi Stimulation Centre via email at info@nkazistimulationcentre.co.za. Your support can make a world of difference in the lives of these children and their families.

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