A special school for special needs

2018-02-28 06:02
The staff and children from the Cerebral Palsy Association wave at the camera. PHOTO: byrone athman

The staff and children from the Cerebral Palsy Association wave at the camera. PHOTO: byrone athman

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A CLOSER look at number 320 Prince Alfred Street revealed a home away from home, a type of haven where those affected by the nerve-wrecking disease of cerebral palsy can go to, to find peace and happiness.

Cerebral palsy is a permanent move disorder that appears in early childhood and symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors.

Upon entry to the building that houses these miraculous children one is greeted by smiling, enthusiastic faces beaming with happiness to see an unfamiliar stranger. Speaking to Pietermaritzburg Cerebral Palsy Association administrator Irene Dugmore, we found that this was a very special school with special needs as she showed us around.

“Basically we are a registered school that can look after up to 30 children and no more because we are a very hands-on staff that encourage and see to it that our children are well cared for,” said Dugmore.

Dugmore said that their program offers proper learning for those who are challenged, such as how to hold a pencil, sit properly and follow instructions.

“Our students are just like any other child who needs attention, affection and recognition it’s just that our children are extra special,” said Dugmore.

Every single child that attends the school is affected in a different way where one might not be able to speak and another might not be able to move.

“We have one-on-one sessions with our children which take a lot of dedication and hard work. We love working with the children here because they put such a big smile on our faces,” said one staff member. With a designated physiotherapy room, special toilets and a one-on-one centre the school is able to tend to the needs of the children but also lacks certain things that could make the experience of these special children a bit better.

“We do need our playground to be upgraded because at the moment our children play in the heat outside without a proper shelter and there are other things that we could use funding for,” said Dugmore.

The school which runs on school fees paid by the parents and donations or grants is open to any funding from the public and the banking details are as follows: Nedbank account number 1341 043 606.

“This school is very important to us, the parents and grandparents. It offers a very caring and safe place for our children. We are comforted to know that our children are in the hands of these warms people,” said a parent who wished to remain anonymous.

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