In May 10 year-old Gabriel was seen leaving his school, Snap Autistic Acadamy, in Raapkraal road, Kirstenhof. Being autistic he was therefore non-verbal.
Gabriel's father George had arrived to fetch his son, only to be told the child had left the premises.
He called into The John Maytham Show for help. Soon after John Maytham and Gabriel's dad pleaded with the public to help find the autistic child, Michael from Lakeside called in to say they had found him.
At the time an emotional John Maytham applauded the community spirit that had helped find the boy so quickly.
Now, dad George talks to John about challenges he says he faces with regard to placing his autistic child in a mainstream school.
There is currently a long waiting list to get into mainstream schools which cater for autism, but even these schools are refusing learners with higher support needs, he says.
If your child is difficult they are not going to take him.— George, dad of autistic child
It is just up to the WCED have the mainstream schools adapted for these higher (needs) kids.— George, dad of autistic child
You need to be thick skinned literally and figuratively because these children lash out.— George, dad of autistic child
But teachers can be trained to deal with this, he says.
A caller also called George, explained the benefits of special units within mainstream schools.
A special needs teacher Cath called in and said she has opened her own special school because she was so frustrated with mainstream options. She says the costs are high and the red tape with the department is difficult to overcome.
Listen to the challenges parents like George face: