Meet Our Team
Abby- Jade Reason
I am Abby-Jade Reason. I am blessed to be the principal of this very special Centre. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Honours in Psycho-Educational Support. My passion for making a difference in the lives of learners with challenges began when a young adult with an intellectual disability made a difference in my life. It is not possible to put into words the joy that fills your heart working with children and young adults who despite the challenges they may face; show determination, strength, joy and resilience that we can all learn from. Apricot Tree Centre continues to be a place where these very special children and young adults feel safe, loved, stimulated, and cherished. I am so proud to work with such caring, dedicated and passionate staff and will always call Apricot Tree my family.
Annette van Niekerk
I am Annette van Niekerk, the lady behind the phone calls and emails. I am Apricot Tree Centre’s administrator, accounts coordinator, and fundraising Coordinator.
I started my working career as a junior admin clerk at Denel and worked my way up to a technical clerk. I then worked for Lufthansa Cargo where I started as an Import Clerk and worked my way to the Accounting Department.
It is here where my love for numbers began. I proceeded to complete my Diploma in Accounting and I was in the process of studying further in accounting when family responsibilities changed my course.
The Lord blessed me with a daughter who was not meeting her milestones and after trying 4 different schools, I finally found the Apricot Tree Centre in 2013. It was here where we immediately felt at home and in love with this beautiful Centre. I started assisting at the Centre with some bookkeeping and moved over to fundraising. In 2018 I found myself employed as an administrator, fundraiser, and accounts coordinator. I love my work and I am so grateful that my path was changed so that I could be part of this Centre/Family. Each Learner at this Centre forms part of my heart and every day my cup is filled with so much love and gratitude. There is no other place to be!
I am Sitembile Nyatanga, the Head Coordinator at Apricot Centre for Stimulation and Development in Northmead, Benoni. I am honoured to be part of this beautiful and amazing family. Working with special needs was like a calling for me as I initially studied Food Science and Technology before developing an interest in special needs education and developmental disorders. Through dedication and hard work, I ventured into the education arena and have been studying for most of my adult life. I hold a Diploma in Education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, an Honours Degree in Inclusive Education and a Masters Degree in Inclusive Education with speciality in Autism and Developmental Disorders. Throughout my 17-year special needs journey, I have worked with mild to severe intellectually challenged children in government and private centres. Apricot Centre has been my home since 2018 and I have come to love and cherish these children, who despite the challenges they face never give up and always have a smile on their faces. It gives me so much pleasure that I can make a difference in our special children’s lives through educating and stimulating them at our special haven.
I am Honjiswa Majodina. I have my NQF level 5 higher certificate in ECD. I have been part of the Apricot Tree family for 6 years. I started as a facilitator and I am now a teaching facilitator. I love being at the Apricot Tree because I love making a difference in the lives of the learners I teach and it is important that they feel loved and safe.
I am Rose Majodina. I’m 45 years young. I am a Teacher at Apricot Tree. I have my NQF level 5 higher certificate in ECD. I have been part of the Apricot Tree family for 8 years. I do what I do because personally, I like facing challenges and helping those in need.
I am Mary-Ann Vosloo. I am a teacher at Apricot Tree. I have studied and completed a degree in creative arts and am continuing my studies in family and home studies with an emphasis on child development. I love to work with children and use all that I have learned to help them grow and learn. I love the different challenges in teaching as I have the opportunity to help children as best I can when they are at a teachable age. Creative teaching and learning bring unmeasurable joy.
I am Kimlon Hansrod. In previous years I have volunteered at Apricot Tree(this is where I first fell in love with AT). I studied electrical engineering and realised it was not something I was passionate about. I later decided to au pair in the United States assisting a non-verbal autistic boy. My United States family allowed me the opportunity to teach in the school they started up for their son and provided me with training in methods of communication and behaviourism’s. This was a great learning opportunity and fuelled my passion for working with kids to greater heights. I am now pursuing my degree in education. I am an older sister to a 15-year-old down’s syndrome brother that means the world to me. I am family orientated and I enjoy thrill-seeking adventures but also having some downtime to regroup. I am passionate about what I do and love working with kids.
I am proud to be working at Apricot Tree because there is so much joyful, heartwarming and inspirational moments that one would never understand without having spent a day at Apricot Tree. You know your heart is full when you wake up in the morning to do what you love and it’s not considered a job but rather a passion.
I am Sadiyya Peer a Speech-Language Therapist at the Apricot Tree Centre. I specializes in the field of paediatric feeding and communication difficulties. I provide life-improving treatment to special needs children who have a range of communication difficulties. I enable the special needs children to reach their maximum potential by assisting them to improve their communication and/or feeding skills.
I qualified as a Speech-Language Therapist in 2006 and have since specialised in paediatrics, my forte in special needs began in 2014 when I found Apricot Tree. The Centre’s transdisciplinary teamwork, vision and meeting each individual child’s needs rooted me in the centre and I have remained there since.
I have been trained in NDT (neuro-developmental therapies), MakatonSA sign language (level 1-6), PROMPT and DIR floor-time. My love for high and low tech AAC as well as working with the amazingly enthusiastic teachers and other therapists at Apricot Tree helps us create individualised treatment and assessment plans for each of our children’s unique abilities.
It’s amazing to find such a resourceful centre, filled with teachers and facilitators that not only go the extra mile for each child- but assist in follow-through of each child’s targets for communication and feeding skills. This provides quicker growth and provides many more opportunities for generalisation for each child.
I am Ruby-Lynn Hugo and I’m an Occupational Therapist. I believe everyone deserves the best quality of life possible and that being able to complete everyday tasks is a part of creating meaning for ourselves. I enjoy helping individuals identify what gives them meaning and helping them achieve this as independently as possible. It is easy to take everyday tasks for granted and not consider the effect an inability to complete them would have on each individual. Working with the individuals at the Apricot Tree provides me with an opportunity to help individuals to engage and try new and interesting activities with meaning.
I am Perla Epstein, an enthusiastic and passionate physiotherapist with a special interest in NDT and aquatic therapy. I believe every child has the potential to be a superhero and my approach to therapy is to bring that out in everyone. I bring creative and specialised techniques to my sessions and believe in forming strong bonds with my patients. Therapy needs to be holistic and I am privileged to work closely with a team of dedicated therapists and teachers to bring out the best in every child. Working at Apricot Tree is the highlight of my week. It’s a place where I see children grow, where dreams become realities and the sky is the limit. I love that I help make dreams possible.