‘Awesomeness’ in autism

2018-03-21 06:01
Inside the Durban North Incredible Minds Adaptive Learning Centre foundation phase class.PHOTO: SAmkelisiwe Gumede

Inside the Durban North Incredible Minds Adaptive Learning Centre foundation phase class.PHOTO: SAmkelisiwe Gumede

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WHEN you walk into Yugen Subraya and Sheraine Reddy’s home you are met by a single story wide house but clearly separated in two, the one side filled with learning posters, numbers, books and learning materials while the other half is just your normal home plastered with abstract artistic drawings on the wall.

Subraya and Reddy, parents of 12-year-old Paris Kennedy Subraya who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, now live their lives in an attempt to redefine learning to accommodate autistic children.

Reddy said: “The mainstream curriculum was not for my daughter, I spent years trying to find a place where Paris would be able to flourish with her autism until one year my partner and I decided to open our learning centre for our daughter.”

The duo opened Incredible Minds Adaptive Learning Centre in 2015 where they offer academic, emotional, physical and sensory excellence for children with special educational needs specialising in autistic children.

“Our aim is to have our parents involved as much as possible to give them the training and the knowledge behind what we do so they are empowered to do what we do at home,” said Subraya.

The learning centre has what is called Individualised Education and Development Programmes where it is developed with every role player in the child’s life to determine the child’s strengths that the duo can build on with the child. The dynamic duo is made up of a reserved, caring and courteous Subraya and a feisty, determined and dedicated Reddy who is fighting for autistic children to be what they are destined to be. “At our centre, we focus on teaching kids in a way that suits them. We strive for academic excellence and our method of teaching promotes sensory processing unique to each individual child at our centre. We offer academic, emotional, physical and sensory excellence for children with special educational needs in order for the individual to grow,” said Subraya.

The couple has found the “awesomeness” in autism as they would say, and using what society views as a weakness to benefit autistic children.

When Paris was diagnosed, her parents were clueless about autism but now are the leading power couple that are the game changers for providing adaptable education for autistic children and Paris is the inspiration and a product of the learning centre.

“Some people think people with disabilities are dumb which is so ridiculous because their disability has nothing to do with how their brains function. Special needs people are usually put into this category where it is said that they cannot complete a learning curriculum. We were told by the department that we should be happy that your child has a place to go to at the end of the day even though she was not coping in commercial schools, I then decided to open the centre for my daughter in the beginning but have later moved on to helping other children and parents when we saw how well Paris reacted to the different approach of teaching we tried, the results have been so fulfilling, I can finally say I have found my purpose on the earth.”

Registered as a non-profit organisation Incredible Minds Adaptive Learning Centre is getting the recognition that the couple have worked hard for.

In 2017, Reddy was invited to Namibia to train teachers, therapists and parents around the country and has been invited to train people in Cape Town this coming May.

“The Department of Educations is finally picking up on our curriculum and the fruits it produces, our children are our testimony,” said Reddy.

hey are also proud to be known people who are redefining learning. For more information go to their Facebook Page Incredible Minds Adaptive Learning Centre.

The couple continued to share how autism is a different neuro-type where an autistic individual feels, thinks and interacts far more intensely than the average person, although it is seen as a disability because the challenges an autistic individual goes through can be debilitating. It is simply a different neurological type that requires a change in perception by society.


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