Schools & Facilities

We have discovered an excellent website with many great links to various services

Speical Needs Directory 

Below is a list of Special Needs schools in the Western Cape that we have personally visited. We have included helpful information for parents such as criteria, programs offered, the size of classes, etc. We hope this assist’s you to find the right school for your child’s needs.


Please note: The opinions expressed our personal opinions formed by Iris House senior staff on visiting premises and not necessarily those of Iris House Children’s Hospice.N.B. Please, not this is not a definitive list of special needs schools or facilities for special needs children and young adults in the Western Cape.

Northern Suburbs

Hands of Hope

1 Goewerneur street

Tel: 062 783 4399

Suzanne & Pam went to visit them, by appointment on 3rd Nov 2015

Hands of Hope does not cater for severe physical disabilities and only those capable of progressing academically on an adapted Impact Curriculum (in line with CAPS). The building was very neat and smart. 

Small classes with carefully selected tutors – the idea is that the special children learn from the mainstream.

They had a fantastic indoor play/learning area with a lot of sensory inputs so that the child can learn through play.

Friends Day Centre   7th April 2016


021 511 5801

Celeste Abrahams (new centre manager) took about 2 hours out of her day to take us on an extended tour of the place. It is deceptively large compared to the look from the outside.

They have children from 1 to 45 at the moment. They do not take new kids in who are over 18, but existing kids can stay there for as long as they want.

They have various therapists – physio, speech, OT, psychologists, sensory room & garden, jacuzzi, etc

They have class programs and monthly themes.

2016 fees are R1100  a month for juniors < 18

                       R1500 a month for seniors > 18

parents supply food and nappies.

Hours are 8:15 – 14:20 school terms

They do have an after care after school.And a holiday care.

Currently, they have space for three more children.

They have three vans that they use for fetching & dropping children

They work with the red school in pinelands to get some kids into mainstream

They take in severe to profound children and young adults.

They can accommodate 120 kids

Personal thoughts

The younger classes seemed organised and happy with a decent level of carer. Every class had singing or physio or some activity happening.

The older classes seemed stagnant. The level of carer seemed lower, and the kids were left mainly to their own devices.

The Jacuzzi that Celeste spoke a lot about was empty

The walls etc. were grubby but with 120 kids, maybe that is inevitable. They had a high number of autistic children.

Celeste seemed to know a lot of the children by name which gives the impression that she is hand on,

They have a large garden and swings and trampoline.

Paarl School

Suzanne & Pam went to visit Paarl school in February 2016

Elzitte,, met us and showed us around.

They take kids that turn five the year they get accepted. They start with an academic curriculum. Some might need a bridging class up to grade 1.

When they turn 7, the decision is made to let them do the academic curriculum or the most practical curriculum (adapted academic).

The academic stream goes to Jan Kriel school once they finish grade 9.

Once the practical stream attains 16 to 18 years of age, they are prepared for the job market.

They have 340 kids in total with one English and one Afrikaans class per grade.

There is a max of 12 kids per class.

They have four physiotherapists with each physio having a case load of 60 kids.

They have 4 Occupational therapists.

They have a nurse on duty.

They have a very nice looking swimming pool.

They enter teams for wheelchair basketball.

They have a boy and girls hostel with 36 children sleeping over.  The girls hostel converts into the high school during the day.

The rooms sleep about six children, but it depends on their disabilities as wheelchairs need more space.

They have a bus/transport system where they fetch & drop kids.

It is a big school, and it seemed to have a proper security system.

The children that are accepted are mainly cp who can follow the academic curriculum or at least a modified academic curriculum. They have a waiting list of about three years.

More facilities available for Special Needs Children and Young Adults 

(click the links for listings)

Government Clinics 

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