The Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa Newsletter – February 2018

12 Feb

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. Services Spotlight: Els for Autism Cape Town 2018
We are proud to see the Els for Autism Cape Town satellite office growing from strength to strength since its conception in 2016. This collaborative project began out of a desire to spread our support, and we felt that Professor de Vries and his Unit were the perfect partners. In 2018, we welcome back our families for what is going to be a wonderful and hard-working year. We currently have 11 families spread over two programs that the Cape Town office offer, namely Rethink Ed and The RUBI Autism Network. The programs require dedication from parents or caregivers to provide appropriate coaching to their child at home and to take data so that progress can be monitored.

Rethink Ed is a program that assists in the training and coaching of the parent, as well as empowering the parent to better teach their child skills in the home environment. The RUBI Autism Network is a program that offers training to parents that have Autistic children, where their main concern is that of behaviour of a challenging nature. This program guides parents by providing and implementing evidence-based strategies around decreasing behaviour that is challenging in the home. This is a shorter term, caregiver-only program. We have received such a lot of positive feedback from our families regarding these two programs and we can see the progress that our children are making.

We are also fortunate to be working with Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital and Autism Western Cape in recruiting new, dedicated families into our programs. Red Cross Hospital offers medical assistance and will look after the medical concerns of the child and family; while Autism Western Cape will be looking after the wellbeing of the family and offer emotional support, should they require it. We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity, as an organisation, to be participating in such a holistic support service as we are currently doing in the Western Cape. Here’s to a great 2018 and may the office continue to grow and be inspired by our wonderful and eager families.

For more information regarding our services, please visit our website on: Please also follow up on Facebook and Twitter, where we post frequent updates.

2. Golf Day Fundraisers
The 2018 Drive to Sun City, Els for Autism Series, supported by KWS Logistics
The Els for Autism Charitable Foundation of South Africa is proud to invite you and your friends/colleagues/family to come and play a round of golf for a good cause! We have events all over the country, on some of South Africa’s best golf courses. All funds raised throughout the 2018 Drive to Sun City will go directly towards The Ernie Els Centre for Autism in South Africa. Our mission is to continue to provide support to parents/caregivers, by empowering them with learning strategies that will guide them to reach their potential.

Winners at each golf event will qualify to play in the final at Lost City on 31 October to 1 November 2018. The winners from this final will then qualify to play in the well-known and enjoyable 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge Pro Am. A big thank you to our main Sponsors: Imperial Logistics, Sun International and Ernie Els Wines.

For entries or further information,  please e-mail

See you there!

3. #GameON Clinic and Hats & Heels kick off wonderful BMW SA Open week
On the morning of 11 January, during the BMW SA Open hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni, we were fortunate to have the twin virtues of glitz and giving in the spotlight at Liezl Els’ third annual Hats & Heels Champagne Breakfast. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of BMW South Africa, the team at Els for Autism hosted a ladies event…with a difference! From the glamorous Joanne Strauss who MC’d the event, to the gregarious winner of best hats and heels, the latter of which embellished her heels in beautiful Ndebele beading herself, fun and ‘fabulosity’ was had by all.

The ladies were in for a treat, as they were mesmerised by celebrity chef Matt Manning’s delightful demonstration. Liezl herself shared her inspirational story of passion regarding the global Els for Autism Foundation, leaving the crowd considering the many ways they can support this incredible initiative, particularly in South Africa. Tables were filled with some introductory information about the Autism spectrum, and included some play items and sweets, to help guests to try get a practical experience to help explain the condition.

Thus, despite the beauty and bubbles, the purpose of the event was not forgotten, and the ladies contributed generously to the fundraising for The Ernie Els Centre for Autism, South Africa. Moreover, Counsellor Dora Mlambo attended the event, and expressed the commitment that the City of Ekurhuleni aims to provide for the Autism community of South Africa.

So, a huge thank you goes out to all our sponsors who made this event possible. To Siemens, who not only ensured that the latest in-kitchen technology was at Matt’s fingertips on the 18th hole, but who also provided the auction item that generated the most chatter and charity. The esteemed Carrol Boyes, the elegant Emperor’s Palace, and our own Ernie Els Wines, all contributed hugely to the success of our fundraising. Special thanks must go to Glendower Golf Club, the City of Ekurhuleni and BMW South Africa, for once again hosting this incredible, world-class event.

#GameON Golf Clinics
As has become traditional during the BMW SA Open, The Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa had the opportunity to take a group of 18 students between the ages of 6 and 18 to experience the #GameON Golf clinic on the beautiful Glendower Golf Course.

After a stunning clinic was set up, the lightning siren sounded, and everyone had to get off the course. Routine is important for children on the Autism spectrum and this could have been a disaster. However, thanks to the quick thinking of the event organisers and the extensive planning and practice already done by the students’ parents, the day was saved with the speedy serving of lunch and the allocation of an indoor space to ensure some #GameON golf elements were experienced by all participants.

A new clinic was set up indoors (a first for us!), and the students had the opportunity to learn about golf using the specialized training equipment supplied by SNAG and the extensive expertise and experience provided by the coaches from Glendower and The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation.

A huge thank you must go to the players and their guests of the SA Open Pro Am, who kindly respected the space and surroundings our students needed considering the sudden changes. A wonderful day was topped off by the beaming smiles on the faces of our students and their parents when they all received trophies for their participation and excellent performance during the clinic.




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