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The Buddy Programme: Collaboration at its Best

The Special Child Trust (TSCT) in partnership with the Heritage School has pioneered a specialised school programme for children special children. The Autism Centre for Excellence (ACE), created in collaboration with the New England Center for Children (NECC), a Boston-based institution with over 40 years of experience in the field, applies ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) in training students with autism. ABA is a highly structured behaviour modification programme based on the scientific principles of behaviour used to address real-world problems by building adaptive skills while decreasing appropriate behaviour.

In addition, students also have access to occupational, speech, and physical therapy. The teachers consult the Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) to create a functional curriculum, into which these therapies are interwoven into daily activities and learning. The physical therapy programme works towards building a student’s repertoire of common activities such as cycling and swimming, and sports. These activities are modified according to an individual’s abilities. Other activities such as sculpture, arts and crafts, yoga, and cooking are included in the schedule, based on individual needs and functionality.

A recent addition to the ACE framework is the Buddy Programme. This is a unique programme pairs a student of psychology with a student from ACE; this team will work closely together for a period of three months.

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