Updated 01 July 2013

Charity fundraiser for autism research

The Centre for Autism Research and Education (CARE) will host a charity fundraiser on 11 July at Katy's Palace Bar in Kramerville, featuring multiple-award winning performer, Lira.


The Centre for Autism Research and Education (CARE) will host a charity fundraiser on Thursday, 11 July at Katy's Palace Bar in Kramerville, featuring multiple-award winning performer, Lira.

The event aims to raise awareness around Autism and to raise funds for children from disadvantaged backgrounds who require the intervention provided by CARE.

CARE is an Early Intervention Therapy Centre, Pre-school and Centre of Focused Learning for learners between the ages of eighteen months to twelve years presenting with features of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The centre offers highly specialised intervention for learners on the Autistic Spectrum. This includes Speech and Occupational Therapy as well as one-on-one and group-based interventions, which have proven to be beneficial.

A fundamental part of CARE's approach is the support they offer to parents of children on the Autistic Spectrum. The centre provides a single point of contact to a full complement of health-care professionals and teachers, catering specifically for learners with Autism all under one roof. This means that parents are assisted in gaining the right interventions for their children, all through the centre.

The most recent statistics suggest an increase in children diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum, with 1 in 88 children affected. This creates a huge demand for specialised services required from an educational and therapeutic point of view.

In South Africa, there are currently very few facilities that cater to the specific needs of learners on the Autistic Spectrum. CARE originally opened its doors in June 2011 to accommodate learners with Autism who had few other educational options. Rozanna Riback, Founder and Occupational Therapist, had envisioned this holistic early intervention centre along with Krishen Samuel, a Speech-Language Pathologist. Since then the team has grown from strength to strength.

The school initially begun in a small premises in Parkwood, but has since expanded to two properties on the busy Bompas Road in Dunkeld, Johannesburg. The centre continues to admit new learners and is constantly expanding due to the high demand for this type of service in South Africa.

 CARE has proven to be a safe haven and therapeutic space for learners and parents alike.

A unique facility for specialised intervention

The treatment of Autism requires specialised knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the learners' areas of core deficits. Riback explains: "There are different treatment approaches for learners on the Autistic Spectrum, each rooted in a specific theoretical and evidence-based background. Certain centres or institutions tend to prefer one method of intervention over another. However, at CARE, we believe that learners respond differently to different methods of intervention.

"We thus offer eclectic interventions which target each learner's specific areas of difficulty. We offer Individualised Education Development Programmes (IEDP) which profile each learners strengths and weaknesses. From this we formulate a management plan based on the learner's needs."

The school is open all year round, closing for a holiday break only once a year and operating hours (7:00 to 17:00) accommodate parents' busy schedules.

About the event

As there are many children currently being diagnosed with Autism and a lack of services in the country, CARE recognises the dire need for service provision in terms of therapy and education. Not all families are able to afford the specialised intervention which is usually required for a learner with Autism. In addition, government-based services often have long waiting lists and crucial time is wasted in attempting to access services.

As an organisation working in the field of Autism, CARE would like to sponsor the tuition of a learner from a disadvantaged background. As this is a costly endeavour, the centre will need to raise funds to do so through the Charity Benefit Evening. CARE also wants to raise general awareness around Autism through the event.

In addition to Lira's performance, there will also be other entertainment and events happening throughout the evening, including performances by Mentalist Gilan Gork and DJ Ashleigh Caradas, and the centre will auction off special items produced by its learners. There will be special prizes up for grabs through raffles which will be taking place during the evening. All funds raised will contribute towards the tuition of a learner with Autism.

All members of public, corporate entities, parents of children with Autism, their families, and professionals working in the field are invited to attend. The event will kick off at 19:00 and tickets are available from CARE costing R500. CARE can be contacted; m: 082 909 0054; t: 011 447 3824.

 Purchasing a ticket will help a child with Autism reach his or her full potential and in so doing, change a child's life.


19:00 - 19:15 p.m: Guests arrive and have a welcome cocktail - Starters to be served

19:30 - 20:15 p.m:  Gilan Gork (Mentalist) - Dinner to be served


20:30 - 21:00 p.m:  Lira


21:05 - 22:00 p.m: Photos, Autographs and final RAFFLE (big prize). Dessert to be served

22:00 - 24:00 p.m: DJ

Visit the website here for more information.




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