Nirasha Dhaniram Psychologist, with her son Mikhail. Nirasha is the Founder the Imbalito Hope College Centre and Connect Special Needs Autism Forum.
THE CONNECT SPECIAL NEEDS & AUTISM FORUM IS A COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT OF IMBALITO HOPE COLLEGE.
- • To unite all stakeholders (professionals, parents and people in the community) to, learn and work together and form a common platform of interdisciplinary understanding
- • To empower the lives of children and adults who have disorders of learning and development so that they achieve their full potential
- • To support and enrich the quality of life of families affected by special needs.
- • To reach out to disadvantaged communities affected by disorders of childhood development and learning
- • To advocate and create community awareness on matters related to disorders of development and learning
BACKGROUND OF CONNECT SPECIAL NEEDS
Connect Special Needs and Autism Forum is based on the founding works of Nirasha Dhaniram a Psychologist and her husband Dr Basil Dhaniram (Medical Practitioner) parents of son Mikhail (now 14 years old) with autism . Nirasha and Basil started the Community Support Group, Ballito Autism Centre of Excellence, in 2008 in Ballito in KZN which now goes by the name Connect Special Needs Joint Forum. They are also founders of the Imbalito Hope College and Assessment & Therapy Centre. They have played a key role in providing information and support to our community and bringing the international "Light It Up Blue" campaign of Autism Speaks, to KZN to celebrate World Autism Day on 02 April since 2012.
WHY JOIN THE FORUM:
- • The forum provides a hub of information, training and support pertinent to best practice and evidence based knowledge in special needs and autism.
- • It forms a common platform for collaborating and conversation amongst health professionals, educators, parents, persons with special needs and the community.
- • It is a tool for ongoing research and development. Most seminars are CPD accredited.
- • To be part of like-minded community committed to changing the lives of children, adults and families with developmental and learning disorders so they may achieve their full potential with our support.
FORMAT OF CONNECT:
- • Three national information seminars and webinars per year with national and international speakers. Calendar / venue and topics available to members of the forum. Membership is free, please register on Connect and the calendar will be circulated to you.
- • A web-based, virtual training opportunity for members in remote locations.
- • Free Diagnostic clinics for qualifying families, see calendar
- • Free family support group meetings, see calendar
- • Community outreach training and coaching, see calendar
Previous Topics Presented via our Project:
- • ASD 101, What is autism, symptoms, treatment
- • Parental and caregiver copying in special needs
- • Dyslexia, Unravelling the mystery
- • Understanding Principals in Reading and Learning
- • Social stories and Autism
- • Writing an Individual Developmental Plan
- • TEACCH
- • Makaton
- • Behavioral Therapy and Early Intervention, an introduction for parents
- • Strategies for the Holidays
- • Creating Resilience in families of children with special needs
- • Communication strategies
- • Do's and Don’ts in the consulting room
- • Augmentative communication strategies: a toolkit