Our School


Autism Specialist School

Cornerstone Learning Centre is an English medium school, catering for the needs of pupils diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or developmental delays, which prohibit them from benefiting from mainstream education.

Cornerstone Learning Centre is the only school between Durban and East London which has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as the predominant criteria for admission. Children with developmental delays may also be admitted for assessment purposes, whilst being observed and assessed for the likelihood of a diagnosis of ASD.

Professional Teachers

Our teachers all have fully recognised 4 year teaching degrees or 4 year full time diplomas as minimum qualifications. They are assigned to teach the correct Grades according to their qualifications. Teachers are trained to work with children with autism.

Professional Therapists

We have a psychologist who is available for baseline assessments, diagnosis, and counselling. We also have an occupational therapist who offers weekly sessions which are available at the school. Our speech therapist also provides weekly sessions from our school premises.

If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.
— Ignacio Estrada


Cornerstone Learning Centre follows the South African Department of Education Syllabus delivered in a thematic programme at a manageable pace. Individual Educational Programmes (IEP) are designed for every unique child and their specific educational needs.

The school’s educational programme is aligned with the South African Department of Basic Education’s CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement). The curriculum is delivered at a pace adapted to suit the individual child’s needs and abilities.

Not all of our pupils can fully access the CAPS as prescribed by the Department of Education, however many learners are able to access certain aspects of CAPS and we will strive to give each child the opportunity to achieve academically to the best of their abilities.

The multi-sensory Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) programme is used to teach literacy and writing skills.


Children are offered the following enrichment programmes as part of the curriculum:

  • Art classes

  • Computer skills

  • Cooking skills

  • LEGO therapy sessions

  • Library class

  • Music and movement, percussion classes

  • Music academy, including guitar and drumming

  • Physical education classes

  • Social skills curriculum

Autism Specific Learning Programme

Cornerstone Learning Centre aims to deliver a well-balanced, relevant educational program which addresses the quadrant of impairments of ASD. The quadrant of impairments causes delays in development and ongoing challenges in:

  1. Language and communication

  2. Social interaction

  3. Behaviour and imagination

  4. Sensory integration

Interventions are evidence based and recognised as best practice

We believe in an eclectic approach to ASD intervention. All of our intervention methods rely on empirical research and are recognised world-wide as best practice.

  • TEACCH | The 5 basic principles are Physical Structure; Schedules; Work Systems; Routine; Visual Structure.

  • Makaton | Language Programme using signs and symbols together with speech to help people communicate.

  • Picture Communication | Use of photos/pictures/symbols to aid verbal communication.

  • Social Stories | To share social information in a way that is easily understood and which improves an individual’s understanding of events.

  • Positive Behaviour Support | Low Arousal, ABC of behaviour.