Aurora Special Care Centre
The Centre caters for profoundly mentally and physically disabled children and adults.
Our centre started from humble beginnings in 1978, with just 6 children and has since – with the love an support of many caring friends – grown into the caring “home from home” for 40 full time residents, 106 children and adults who attend our stimulation centre daily and 12 mildly disabled adults in our Group Home.
The Aurora Special Care Centre is a Non-Profit Organisation, and we value the support of our wonderful friends, donors, volunteers and the community.
The stimulation centre operates from 8-12 daily following the provincial school calendar. Junior classes are divided according to ability and the Senior’s according to age. A programme of basic self care skills eg eating, toilet training and discipline is crucial to the development of each child and adult. Dedication, training and encouragement from the staff at Aurora enable them to fulfil these needs. The programme includes entertainment, singing, wheelchair dancing, computers, outings, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, light therapy and different educational activities. They enjoy a busy morning at the centre.
Physiotherapy is aimed at using functional activities and play to help each child to reach his/her potential developmental milestones.Therapy helps to maintain mobility and to prevent contractures and deformities. We provide the necessary support and training to staff and parents. Assistive devices, such as standing frames, walkers and orthotics, play a significant and supportive role in the management of most of the children.
Correct seating plays a dynamic role in maintaining good postural control and to prevent or deterioration of deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis, hip dislocation, etc. We have a very good support team of specialists, i.e. pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, orthotist, seating specialists, etc. who assists us in the management of the children and adults. We work as part of a multi-disciplinary team who establishes positive relationships and communication in the best interest of the child. We also provide support, resources and training to the community.
Occupational Therapy plays an essential role to ensure school readiness in children with disabilities. It addresses visual perception and fine motor issues needed for schooling (example reading, writing). This is of vital importance in the early intervention phase and to motivate possible future placement by the Department of Education. Occupational Therapy plays an essential role in improving sensory stimulation and integration in children.
Physiotherapists will find it more difficult to address motor difficulties if a child is not modulated. Sensory integration and more specifically sensory sensitivities will have a huge impact on feeding of the children and their tolerance to different foods. Modulation also has an impact on attention and this has a direct effect on other therapies and schooling possibilities. The Occupational Therapists assists in hand function, something that is a big problem for many of the children with physical disabilities.
The role of the Speech therapist is to: 1) Ensure that are at no risk whatsoever of aspiration and are fed as safely as possible. It is of the utmost importance that these children be assessed on a regular basis to determine if their current feeding posture and feeding utensils as well as texture and consistency of food is ideal for them. 2) Language development. The role of the Speech Therapist at Aurora Stimulation Centre is as follows: a) Assess the language and communication abilities of all new children, b) To provide either individual therapy or group therapy, depending on the needs of each child, c) Assessing learners who are ready for placement by the Education Department and d) Assessing learners who find verbal communication difficult and whom will be better suited to AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). The Speech Therapist plays a vital role in the selection of vocabulary needed for these communication devices as well developing the skills needed for successful communication (making sentences, developing early literacy skills etc).
Eating & Chewing
Simple things like eating and swallowing are crucial to the advancement of some of our children. Did you know that if you don’t learn how to chew you won’t be able to talk? We have children aged 7 yrs who are still learning to chew properly.Every single child has different dietary needs, depending on what they can digest, whether they are able to chew and what their allergies are. Because many children can’t chew, they are fed using a PEG feeding method. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is an endoscopic medical procedure in which a tube (PEG tube) is passed into a patient’s stomach through the abdominal wall, most commonly to provide a means of feeding when oral intake is not adequate (for example, because of dysphagia orsedation). This provides enteral nutrition (making use of the natural digestion process of the gastrointestinal tract) despite bypassing the mouth.
Hydrotherapy & Light Therapy
The warmth, buoyancy and viscosity of the warm water makes movement easier and improves mobility and range of movement. It provides a safe environment to increase strength, improve balance and decrease fear of falling. It is also an excellent opportunity for one on one bonding with the child / adult which enhances socialization and enjoyment. With appropriate light intensity and movement accompanied by specific music we attempt to elicit Beta brainwaves which put the brain at an optimal state of learning.
We have our 2 Charity Shops. These shops are great to browse through, and you can pick up a good bargain. The shop is run by Residents and Volunteers and is one of our primary ongoing fundraisers. The one Charity shop is situated at 68 Worraker Street, Newton Park, and the second charity shop is at Aurora, 52 Alan Drive, Walmer Downs (as you drive in on the left). Trading hours are from 10-4pm
We have lots of interesting goodies for sale from both shops and goods may be dropped off at both shops. We also welcome your donations. Our trading hours are Monday to Friday 10am-6pm.
• Small fridge
• Children’s thick paintbrushes
• Kiddies bean bags
• CD Players
• Plastic crockery and cutlery
• Face cloths & Towels
• Disposable nappies
• Sandpit toys
• Pressure Gun – cleaning
• Big Umbrella’s
• Bathing costumes (all in one, with the zip)
• Pool Toys (Water wings, pool noodles, floating devices)
• Big Yoga Balls
• Plastic containers for storage of toys
• Reams of paper
• Serving trolley
• Jumping Castle
Aurora’s doors are always open to anyone who would like to visit our centre and to spend time volunteering. Our volunteers get involved with various activities.
This is an activity based on the patterns and formations of Scottish Country Dancing which has been adapted to suit the movements possible for wheelchairs. We work with groups of 8 (or sometimes 6) wheelchairs at a time. Each wheelchair has a pusher.
Some of the music we use is traditional happy Scottish or Irish music and some of the music is modern South African music. Our Sessions are enjoyed by the children who smile and beat to the music, and also by the pushers. We all look forward to our wheelchair dancing sessions.
A group of about 10 to 12 people meet on a Wednesday afternoon between 2 and 4pm at the Aurora Special Care Centre to recondition second hand greeting cards which are then sold on behalf of Aurora. We are always in need of greeting cards as well as volunteers to join us on a Wednesday and more outlets to sell the cards (hairdressers, chemists, tea rooms etc) For more information contact Barbara Fowler: 072 079 3846 or 041 360 7781
The warmth, buoyancy and viscosity of the warm water makes movement easier and improves mobility and range of movement. It provides a safe environment to increase strength, improve balance and decrease fear of falling. It is also an excellent opportunity for one on one bonding with the child / adult which enhances socialization and enjoyment. We are always in need of assistance in the swimming pool. Our sessions are Monday to Friday from 08.30 till 10.00.
Playing and spending time with the children:
We always appreciate an extra set of hands in the classroom. Feeding, reading, playing and spending time with the children. Our children need a lot of care and attention, and the volunteers really enjoy spending time with them. The children love playing with their toys, going for walks or looking at pictures. Each child and adult has very individual needs, so the more people spending time with them – the more individual attention each is able to receive.
Telephone: 041 368 6180
Fax: 041 368 6183
Postal Address: PO Box 34368, Newton Park, 6055
Physical Address: 52 Alan Drive, Walmer Downs, Port Elizabeth, 6070
NPO #: 003-605
Charity Shop: 68 Worraker Street, Newton Park, Port Elizabeth