Understand Autism
Ivor Weiner

Visiting scholar seeks to illuminate the possibilities for those living with Autism via innovative lecture series

Autism South Africa, Action in Autism and Autism Western Cape are extremely pleased to present Dr. Ivor Weiner, a US-based educator promoting a message of hope and possibility via a three-city lecture tour beginning in July.Dr. Weiner is donating his time and travel costs, with funds raised from the lectures to support the organizations and their work.

Dr. Weiner, who was born in South Africa, has both professional and personal experience working with special-needs students. His own daughter, Layla, was diagnosed with autism when she was 19-months-old. Despite his extensive scholarly background in the field, Dr. Weiner struggled with the diagnosis, worried about the potentially limited future facing his daughter. As their journey continued, he realized that she could excel in life with the help of her family and through access to support services. Today, she is a high-functioning senior school student with great aspirations for her future.

"My hope is for people to understand that autism is a neurological variance," said Dr Weiner. "People who are autistic are different, not damaged; they simply present with different strengths. It’s important to embrace these strengths and nurture areas for improvement, just like with any other child. Support for these children and their families is critical. That’s why I’m honored to partner with Autism South Africa to support its mission of ensuring a meaningful quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorder."

"I want families to understand that it’s okay to have hope," said Weiner. "Hope is what allows parents to open up to all sorts of possibilities. If, after attending these lectures, just one parent says, ‘I can look at my child a little differently,’ where that parent embraces her child’s strengths, I’ll be happy."

Dr. Weiner will present three different workshops....

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Mission Statement

To ensure a meaningful quality of life for people with an Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD)

Organisation Description

Autism South Africa is the national body striving to be a positive and proactive voice representing those with autism across South Africa.

Organisation Background

Autism South Africa was founded in 1989 by concerned parents and professionals as a lobbying and networking organisation. A full-time head office was established in 1997 and Community Branches covering 6 of the 9 nine provinces were opened in 2010.


  • Focusing Autism South Africa's programmes to improve the quality of life for people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Developing and strengthening Autism South Africa's services on a national basis;
  • Increasing public concern and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders and the efforts of Autism South Africa.


  • Promote the interests and needs of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and protect their rights, irrespective of race, sex or creed;
  • Promote a nationwide provision of facilities for the education, training and intervention of people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Negotiate and liaise with International/National/Provincial/Government and/or other institutions, affiliated bodies or similar organisations on matters concerning the needs of people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families;
  • Facilitate the establishment and maintenance of facilities for people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and advocate for adequate services for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Promote and assist with research into the causes, incidence, management and intervention techniques for people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Promote the awareness, understanding and support of Autism Spectrum Disorders at all levels;
  • Organise conferences and workshops on Autism Spectrum Disorders throughout South Africa;
  • Facilitate training and education of parents, primary care givers and professionals living with or assisting people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Act as a coordinating and mediating body for all members of Autism South Africa as and when required.