When parents first receive the diagnosis it can be scary and overwhelming. Often SNAP is their last hope. Parents are therefore seen by our director and given emotional support in making decisions about the child’s immediate future. Practical advice and guidance how to deal with the child’s difficult behaviours, questions of family and friends and future decisions are given.
One-on-one Intervention and Tutoring
When a child starts on the SNAP Programme it is highly recommended that one-on-one intervention is given by way of tutoring in order to help improve the developmental delays these children often struggle with. A variety of methods are used with a high success rate. Interventions include Applied Behaviour Analysis, TEACHH, Floortime, RDI, PECS and many other internationally proven methods. Each child receives a unique tutoring program designed specific for the needs of the particular child. This program is monitored and adapted by an assigned program manager that monitors the tutor who works with the child. The program is adapted to match the child’s achievements or further deficits.
Foundation Phase Schooling
SNAP has the following classes available with a maximum of 8 children per class. Staff includes a teacher and usually two teachers assistants. The normal WCED Curriculum is used but adapted for the special needs of our learners.
Facilitation of a child at a Mainstream School
The role of a facilitator is to assist and support the learner in situations that is too difficult for him/her to deal with in a class/group situation. This helps the learner to stay focused on a task. The facilitator also assists and supports the teacher that has to deal with an autistic child in her class. The child’s progress in the school environment is strictly monitored by a Program Manager and suggestions and advice given to both parents, the facilitator and teachers.
The Hi 5 Groups/ Social Groups
Both the Senior and Junior Hi 5 Groups focus on skills needed to make friends and cope in various social settings. The Hi 5 Groups provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere for children to identify and understand other people’s perspectives; encourage team work; adapting social interaction/ behaviour to a specific situation; coping with constant change; anticipation and prediction. Hi 5 provides children with the tools to deal with various emotions that effect impulse control; self image and confidence.
Who can attend?
Junior Hi 5: Between the ages of 3 and 6 years of age.
Senior Hi 5: Children who attend school and have the necessary language skills to cope in a group.
Workshops for local and international visitors
Due to the great need and the very limited help available for children on the Autism spectrum the SNAP centre offers intensive workshops.The workshops provides parents and caregivers the opportunity to receive intensive training in working with their children and dealing with developmental, behavioural, social, emotional and sensory challenges. The parents work hand-in-hand with a trained tutor. Every child is assessed and receives a program to address his or her challenges with which the parents can continue working at home. Long-distance support and program upgrades are provided by a program manager. Families from all over South Africa and many other countries like Nigeria, Namibia, Australia, Canada and the USA have attended and benefited from SNAP workshops.
SNAP endeavours to involve and support everyone that is part of a child’s treatment team, be that other therapists, the parents or extended family. Support Groups Evenings are hosted regularly to assist parents with coping strategies and introduce them to other parents that can assist with practical advice and experience.
Training of Parents, Teachers and Professionals
With autism spectrum disorders on the rise, there is an increasing need for specialised training for teachers, tutors as well as professionals such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and doctors in dealing with this complex disorder. These professionals are the first contact that a parent of a child with autism will have and therefore they need to be able to diagnose the symptoms early and to offer practical and effective interventions and advice.
SNAP offers various types of training such as tutor training, parent and teacher workshops as well as training for professionals working with autism.
For more information on any of the above options, please email Ursula Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.