Pupils walk for autism awareness

More than 200 children from Glenridge School marched in Wynberg to spread awareness about autism during World Autism Month.

More than 200 pupils from Glenbridge School walked in Wynberg last week to raise awareness about autism.

April is World Autism Month, and the children and their teachers wanted to draw attention to the school, which moved premises to Wynberg in January.

It helps children with special needs, including autism and intellectual impairment.

Karen Fraser, head of department at the school, said they helped children who struggled to cope with the mainstream national curriculum.

The school was originally at Glendale Home in Diep River but outgrew the premises and then moved Durban Road when the Western Cape Education Department offered the building there to it.

Ms Fraser said the school had initially catered more to children with Down syndrome but had since opened up to most severe intellectual impairments and autism.

The group marched from the school gates, down Durban Road and the busier Wellington Road.

The children and teachers held up placards and posters about autism.

The school’s pupils come from Ottery, Diep River, Plumstead and even Hout Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town. The youngest is 6, the oldest is 14.

Each child’s curriculum is designed to meet their strengths and weaknesses through an individual plan.

The pupil then gets an exit level certificate after they complete their individual plan.

Ms Fraser said people should not dismiss the role people with intellectual disabilities could play in society.

“We’ve all got a place in the world, whether as a mathematician or to empty the bins on a Friday afternoon. People need to
respect differences in ability,” she said.