An inspiring South African with Autism is working to improve the lives of children and adults with Autism in South Africa, doing everything in his power.
Johannesburg, South Africa – Meet Emile Gouws, a brilliant South African who despite his Autism, has overcome many obstacles to fight for the rights of people with Autism.
Emile has spent his life working to make the lives of children better. He did a masters in Education and currently works as a remedial teacher. Emile is now doing his PhD in Education with a specialised focus on Autism. At the age of 26, he is an incredibly inspiring person.
According to Kim Rundle, founder of the Special Kneads Cafe, he is breaking the box of Autism. At this moment, Emile is in New York addressing the United Nations about Autism rights in South Africa.
“I am in awe of his accomplishments in life. He has literally broken the box. He is living a full life, in a beautiful pure relationship with Sammi Rundle who is also autistic. He is Special Knead Cafe (The Centre of Justice for Special Needs NPO) Ambassador and on the NEC of Autism SA. He drives and lives an independent life with the incredible support from his mother Marie Gouws.”
“He is by birth Afrikaans but wrote his masters and is doing his PhD in English. He is a motivational speaker and I had the honour of hearing him speak at Wits Medical School to the academics and doctors on his life and struggles.”
Emile believes every autistic person deserves a voice and an education. Through his work, he is changing not only lives but also perceptions.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Every autistic child is different, while there are many similarities, each child’s treatment and coping mechanisms differ.
This means that the work Emile is doing is vital to creating understanding and awareness in South Africa. Having the life experience to back up his work helps immeasurably!
Emile brings out the best in people, his girlfriend Sammi is semi-verbal and he helped her share her story with Academics at Wits University. Today, they are known by the doctors at the university as the “Power Couple”.