• Celebrating Neurodiversity

    Where the abilities and potential of every child is recognized and their neurodiversity accepted, appreciated and celebrated.

How we understand Autism Spectrum Disorder

At the Centre of Grace Foundation, we see autism as a spectrum of neurodevelopmental differences characterized by social, communication and sensory integration challenges and repetitive behaviours.  Autism is a life-long condition and not a disease.  While physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological variations may cause individual functional limitation or impairments, we focus on the strengths and potential of children while supporting their limitations.

Why Centre of Grace Foundation?

Centre of Grace Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, was founded in 2020 after Toyer and Kaylene Jappie’s daughter Grace was identified as being autistic.  After Grace was assessed they realised that there are few services for autistic children and their families in South Africa and no services in the Kouga region where they currently reside.  Toyer and Kaylene learnt that autistic individuals are very often subject to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations including unjust deprivation of health care, education and opportunities to engage and participate in their communities and society.

According to the Neurodevelopmental Foundation, a partner of the Centre of Grace Foundation, the mental health and neurodevelopment of children and adolescents is an underfunded and neglected area in South African and in most low- and middle-income countries.  The ‘assessment and treatment gap’ in low-resource countries is about 90%.  This means that almost no children with mental health problems or neurodevelopmental challenges receive any identification or treatment for their difficulties, often resulting in poor educational, occupational and financial outcomes.  Centre of Grace Foundation was established in direct response to these challenges experienced by autistic children, their families and communities.

Our Vision

Our vision is to ensure that autistic children and their families have access to  appropriate quality and equitable education, health, support services and care.  We are committed to addressing the needs of autistic children and their families in an enriching and caring environment with inclusive programs and support services.  We offer an Assessment Clinic, Early Intervention and Education Programs for children aged 18months – 12 years, Therapies and Family Support services.  We also offer a variety of training opportunities in early autism identification, screening, assessment and diagnostic tools for a South African context to educators, primary healthcare workers, researchers clinicians, social workers, parents and caregivers.

Our Purpose

At the Centre of Grace Foundation, the abilities and gifts of every autistic child is dignified, and their neurodiversity accepted, appreciated and celebrated.  This supports and enhances our mission and purpose to provide equitable access to health, education, support services and care for autistic children and their families.  We are therefore committed to addressing the needs of children with autism through inclusive, person-centred, family-focused and evidence-based education programs and support services.

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071 240 1292

Email

admin@cogf.org.za

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