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Ernie Els Centre for Autism, South Africa

Ernie and Liezl Els embarked on a goal, in early January 2011, to create a service that would allow lower-resourced families of children on the spectrum in South Africa with free access to effective treatment. The Ernie Els Centre for Autism (EEC) believes that every child with autism can learn and deserves access to effective education. The EEC recognizes that every parent and family member plays an important role in helping their child reach his or her fullest potential. This is done by offering families comprehensive guidance on how to use best practices in education and autism treatment to teach their child. The Centre provides each family with free access to an online focused treatment tool called Rethink First. This intervention utilises Applied Behaviour Analysis principles, which has been shown to be the most effective teaching tool for individuals with autism. The EEC trained facilitators use this multi-faceted e-learning solution to provide customized interventions for each family. Given that the centres reach is Nationwide, EEC provides support in numerous ways, including in-centre sessions (in Braamfontein, Gauteng), as well as telephonic and Skype guidance. This is done on average every 2 to 4 weeks, with the intention of participants practicing and incorporating these skills into their daily life .

EEC services include training caregivers using structured written and video computer based guidelines, along with active role play and facilitator-caregiver-child sessions. EEC's primary goal is to help empower caregivers teach a plethora of skills-from toileting, to matching colours or throwing a ball, to comprehension skills and social understanding. Each child's progress is closely monitored, to ensure that they are receiving the most individualised and most successful support possible.

For more information on the Ernie Els Centre, please visit the EEC website: , or email the centre co-ordinator:


Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a science in which procedures are systematically applied to improve socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree. An ABA program is a systematic teaching approach that involves breaking skills down into small, easy-to-learn steps. Praise or other rewards are used to motivate the child, and progress is continuously measured so the teaching program can be adjusted as needed. ABA is widely recognized as the single most effective treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder and the only treatment shown to lead to substantial, lasting improvements in the lives of individuals with autism. ABA-based treatment strategies maximize the learning potential of persons with ASD, and are flexible, individualized and dynamic.


Rethink First is a video-based treatment tool that shows parents, caregivers and educators how to teach a child with autism using Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). ABA treatments have the most scientific evidence proving their effectiveness and are based on breaking skills down into small teachable steps, using effective ways to help a child learn successfully and positive rewards and motivation. Rethink First provides you with a customized learning plan for your child, hundreds of easy-to follow, step-by-step video lessons and lesson plans that show you exactly how to teach your child and automated progress tracking so you can track your child's progress.

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Thank you for your interest in the Ernie Els Centre for Autism in South Africa. We appreciate any/all donations, which go towards ensuring the families we support can continue to get the guidance they so deserve.

Bank: Investec
Branch: Sandton
Branch Code: 580105
Account No: 50006458816
Account Name: Els For Autism Charitable Foundation
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