Tamarisk Special School for Autism

Tamarisk Special School for Autism was previously a Pre-School that was converted into a Special School for Autism in 02/02/2018 .


The School started operating on 12th Feb 2018 with no budget allocation from the GDE. Learners are from disadvantaged families and sometimes go to school without having food.


There are between 70 - 80 learners aged between 3  to 13 years of age. The Principal is Busi Nthoba and she has +- 8 teachers, 6 class assistants, 2 admin staff, 1 driver and 1 general staff member that work at the school.

The Puzzle Foundation SA has  assisted Tamarisk with educational study packs for its learners and will continue to support them on an ongoing basis.

Tshepo & Tumelo Peete

Tshepo (born in 2012) and Tumelo (born in 2011)  Peete  are brothers, who are both severely intellectually disabled and autistic. They are enrolled learners at Felicitas School. They live with their parents. 

The family of four live in a small rented two bedroom dwelling. There is limited running water and toilet facilities for the family. The floor is bare concrete, which makes the room very cold. 

The children are not able to play outside as there is no fence and the room opens up onto a road making it unsafe should they be outside. As both children are on the Autism Spectrum they do not always respond to their names and having both children outside becomes challenging and they may run into the road. Since the children have been diagnosed with Autism, the family has been ostracized and they receive no support from other family members. Both children have special needs and require constant care and supervision. 

Currently, the mother is not working as she needs to be at home when the children return from school. She is unable to find a job that allows her to work half day. The father is currently doing "piece" jobs to earn an income to support his family. 

Felicitas School is supporting the family through food parcels, blankets, clothes, etc. but the school's funds are also limited and we do have a great number of families in need. 

The Puzzle Foundation SA is committed to paying for aftercare, additional therapy and transport for both children, which allows the mother to get a full time job.

Alexis Lilly Botha

​Parents: Jacques & Rachelle Botha

Alexis was diagnosed with a moderate degree of Autism by Dr. M.M. Lippert on 22 Feb 2016 at the age of 2years.

Her main obstacle at present was her verbal communication, but it is the opinion of her Therapists and family alike that she will soon conquer this problem, as she has been improving in leaps and bounds since her original diagnosis.

Alexis has made great progress. She is now more talkative and conversational. She is more aware of her environment and is keeping up with her peers academically. 

The combination of ABA, biomedical treatment, Occupational Therapy and speech therapy is really working for Alexis. 

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