Autistic children require our special attention and love

Busi Khumalo and Quincy Mghunyula.

Quincy Mghunyula, Margaret Matlhase in the autism class.

One autistic learner equates to six normal learners from mainstream schools.

Dealing with only seven learners from one of the two autism classes in Elitheni Primary School is just like having 42 learners to deal with for the teachers.

The teachers require love, patience and understanding in order for them to help the young autistic learners.

One of the teachers who has admitted to having fallen in love with the young learners in her classroom is Mpho Moeng who explained that autistic learners’ minds function at different rates.

Research has found that autism is caused by brain overgrowth and it is a genetic thing.

Moeng said, “We use our own language to communicate with the children but above all else, we must love and understand them and I honestly love them.”

Autistic children learn through their senses and require special attention.

Elitheni Primary School in Diepkloof often hosts workshops for the community and parents where they are taught about autism and Mildly Intellectual Disabilities (MID).

Margaret Matlhase who teaches at the school elaborated that autistic learners have barriers which differ from psychological to physical challenges.

The school compensates academic subjects with hand work like woodwork, soap-making, bead-making and chocolate-making because some can’t write but comprehend visual art.

Matlhase said, “People should know that Autism SA is here and they are part of our society.”

A fundraiser for the school will be held in September at the school to help the children feel motivated and fall more in love with their schooling years.

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Mandlakayise Hlatshwayo

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