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

01 Oct

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. GameON clinic brings golf to an appreciative new audience
On Friday 8 June, The Ernie Els Centre for Autism held one of its now well-established GameON golf clinics, inviting children from the Randburg Primary School as our guests. The event was at Kensington Golf Club, where a chilly winter morning did nothing to prevent everyone from enjoying an incredible day. All the children were thrilled to learn how to play golf and fuel their dreams of becoming the next Ernie Els! The specialised equipment provided by SNAG, along with the professional assistance of coaches from The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation, proved a powerful combination.

“It brings pure joy to our hearts to see the children take on the challenge of learning a new skill with such enthusiasm,” commented Shani Lits, Program Director at The Ernie Els Centre for Autism in South Africa. “This reminds us of one of the many reasons we have the GameON golf clinics for children on the ASD spectrum. Not only is it a sport near and dear to Ernie’s heart, but it also teaches the children life skills while they have fun, such being able to wait your turn to play, listening to instructions and also it moves at a pace that is easy to follow.”

After the GameON clinic the children were treated to nutritious snacks and received medals and certificates for their participation. We are thankful and grateful for all the assistance we had during the day and to all those who came to help us.

2. Coffee Conversations continue with colourful results
Coffee Conversations is a monthly support group offered to the parents of the Johannesburg branch of The Ernie Els Centre for Autism. Typically, these groups are hosted by the Centre’s team members and we use the opportunity to explore topics that might be shared between parents of an ASD child.

We have had a great response since starting these groups in 2017 and so we decided to shine the spotlight directly on our fearless parent participants. Thus, July’s Coffee Conversations focused on the importance of relaxation for the parents of an ASD child, exploring various researched reasons as to why we need to make sure that we all get enough relaxation and ‘personal time’ for ourselves.

It was only with the incredible generosity of Sam Dreyer that we were able to help our parents explore a specific relaxation strategy. Thanks to her donation of colouring books, pencils, markers and all the other bits needed when we get crafty. The parents loved the experience and some, being ‘seasoned colourers’ were grateful for the new goodies, while those that had never coloured before experienced the joy of rediscovering childhood favourites.

“Thank you again to Sam, who allowed our parents to reap the full benefits of a guided support group,” commented Shani Lits. “Here’s to many more happy hours of colouring!”

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