Els for Autism South Africa Newsletter – November 2014

03 Nov

Latest news from the Ernie Els Centre for Autism in SA, providing lower resourced families of children on the autism spectrum with free access to effective education for their child via e-learning programs.

1. Els for Autism South Africa hosts first #GameOn clinic at Glendower
In 2013 The Els for Autism Golf Challenge in the US established the #GameON Autism Golf Program, in the form of clinics focusing on life skill development, healthy eating and lifestyles. Endorsed by The PGA of America and The First Tee, the schedule dovetails with that of the Golf Challenge and operates in conjunction with the Let’s Move program. It has proved to be a very successful way of introducing golf to children on the autism spectrum and we are excited to announce that the program has now been introduced to South Africa, with Glendower Golf Club being the kind hosts for our first ever #GameON clinic on 30 October.

Ernie spoke in glowing terms about the #GameON program while attending one of the clinics at the recent Golf Challenge Grand Finale in Las Vegas. “It was wonderful seeing the amazing feedback from the kids and the smiles on their faces,” commented Ernie. “This is great for golf and great for kids on the spectrum to be able to be active and have fun. The team has created an excellent and adaptable curriculum and program, which allows us to have a real impact on kids’ lives in whatever city we take these #GameON Autism clinics to. It is infectious to see how much fun everyone has.”

The #GameON clinic at Glendower Golf Club was attended by 14 children who are part of The Ernie Els Centre for Autism program. Each clinic is typically one hour in duration and includes 30 minutes of golf, 15 minutes of bodily/kinesthetic activity and a 15-minute healthy refreshment break. All the children, and the parents, had an amazing and fun-filled day and many parents could not be more proud of how their wonderful children have succeeded in playing golf.

The whole team at Els for Autism South Africa would like to extend their gratitude to Glendower Golf Club for hosting this first #GameON event and to the coaches, who assisted the children on the day. A big thank you also to SNAGSA for the equipment, Youngman Attorneys for the food, and ECE Steels for the trophies.

Click here for more images and information on the #GameON clinics.

2. Sibling Support Group
On Saturday 22 November The Ernie Els Centre for Autism, in association with Autism South Africa and the Johannesburg Hospital School, will be hosting its second sibling support group. Being the sibling of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be both a challenging and enriching experience. The sibling support group has been put into place to assist the siblings who have brothers and sisters on the autism spectrum. These group sessions allow them the opportunity to express their emotions and feelings and to get the support that is necessary.

For more information please contact: claire.youngman@ernieels.com.

3. The Ernie Els Centre for Autism works on ‘MyAppointment’
My Appointment is a new website that allows users to book appointments at any of our registered businesses, hassle-free and for free! This website will not only allow you to book your appointments on the internet with instant confirmation, it will also manage a list of your appointments and send you email or SMS reminders. We are truly grateful to Shani Leon, the owner and founder of MyAppointment, who has been so kind to let The Ernie Els Centre for Autism use this wonderful service for free.

For more information please contact: info@myappointment.co.za.

4. Ride for a purpose; ride for the Els for Autism Foundation
We are excited to have 10 riders registered and ready to ride in support of The Ernie Els Centre for Autism in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge 2014 on 16 November. They will all be dressed in the Els for Autism Foundation cycling jersey. Speaking on behalf of the Ernie Els Centre for Autism, Claire Youngman said, “riding for the Els for Autism Foundation will greatly reinforce the efforts of our hard working parents. Moreover, the funds will contribute towards the Centre’s overall growth and expansion so that our service can be as effective and reachable as possible for families who need support. To our 10 riders I would like to express our utmost gratitude for their valued donations and their support for South Africa’s autism community.”

It is estimated that one child every hour is born with autism in South Africa. More shockingly, less than .001 per cent of these children is expected to receive access to beneficial education. Ernie and Liezl Els embarked on a goal, in early January 2011, to create a service that would allow lower-resourced families of children on the spectrum in South Africa with free access to effective treatment. Thus the Ernie Els Centre for Autism was established. We believe that every child with autism can learn and deserves access to effective education, at the same time recognising that every parent and family member plays an important role in helping their child reach his or her fullest potential.

The Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa provides families of children on the autism spectrum with comprehensive training on how to use best practices in education and autism treatment to teach their child. All participants receive free access to an online treatment tool called Rethink Autism as well as monthly group and one-on-one sessions with a trained facilitator.

5. About Els for Autism in South Africa
The Els for Autism Foundation was established in 2009 by Ernie and Liezl Els to focus on the issue of autism. The Els’ son Ben is severely touched by the disorder, which in the U.S affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. For the last five years Ernie and Liezl have devoted their efforts to a catalytic philanthropic project, The Els Center of Excellence. This first-of-its-kind Center will focus on a digital e-learning platform that gives children on the spectrum around the world access to best practices in education and therapy. It will also help connect the international autism community with best practices and the very latest information and research. South Africa currently boasts the first international link to the Center of Excellence. Located in Johannesburg, the Ernie Els Centre for Autism provides lower resourced families of children on the spectrum with FREE access to effective education for their child via e-learning programs.

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