Special Needs School

Amathemba means ‘our hope’ in the Xhosa language – one of South Africa’s 11 national languages. We opened Amathemba in 2010 to address the educational needs of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) who, as a result of cognitive, behavioural and emotional difficulties, cannot cope within the mainstream educational system. It is one of only a few schools in South Africa catering for the special needs of FASD and neurologically challenged children.

At Amathemba, our trained teachers, therapists and support staff provide language, literacy, numeracy, life skills and social skills from the core curriculum, which consists of different learning programs carefully chosen and tailored to our children’s specific needs.

From the outset, each child’s specific needs are identified in an individualised education plan (IEP), which is constantly adapted as the child develops. This individualised approach to learning ensures the child is prepared for either integration into a mainstream academically focused curriculum or a vocational curriculum with the aim of obtaining vocational employment.

The progress that the children attending Amathema School are making is truly remarkable. We are immensely proud of our students, some of whom were deemed to be uneducable by mainstream schools, but have shown steady improvement and, against all odds, are now reading and writing.

Every child with special needs should have the right to access education.

For more information on how to attend Amathemba School, contact education@homeofhope.co.za

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