Our Services

Woodside SCC is an NGO situated in Rondebosch East, Cape Town, South Africa. Established in 1976 and after more than 35 years of phenomenal service Woodside Special Care Centre is still the leader in providing excellent care to intellectually disabled children and young adults as well as their families.

Many of our children know only Woodside as their home and the staff as their families. 19 of our children have been abandoned and orphaned and the courts, as a result of abuse or neglect (against the child), have placed others here. It is for this reason we try and give them a life that is a close to normal as they can have.

The service levels at Woodside SCC are top notch and comprises of in house therapeutic activities such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, self-help skills, 24 hour professional nursing as well respite care to parents with children who are intellectually and physically disabled.

Children's Activities

Our Children’s daily programme comprises of:

  • Sensory & motor stimulation
  • Outside play / music
  • Physiotherapy
  • Feeding and toilet training skills
  • Walks and correct positioning in their wheelchairs
  • Indoor play to prevent boredom


Our Recreation Rooms

Each dorm has its own recreation room. This is a place where the children all sit together and watch TV; listen to the radio. Other activities such as puzzle building; block building and story telling also take place here. The recreation rooms also double up as a dining room at mealtimes and their meals are served and fed to them there.


Our Sensory Room

A specially equipped sensory room is just off the Day Centre which is a visual treat for the children fitted with fish tanks; colorful chairs; special lighting and revolving image lamps. Sensory training is vitally important to our children because it assists with their visual and auditory input (a re-education of vision and hearing).

Medizone Health Spa

Each bathroom is fitted with a 4-in-1 Medizone Health Spa, which provides hydro-heat therapy, aromatherapy, active air massage and oxygen/ozone therapy. The benefits of this system are certainly clear and caregivers are encouraged to treat the residents to this experience on a regular basis.

Nursing Care

24 hour specialised care is provided by professional nurses, staff nurses and trained care-givers. Nursing and care-worker staff provides basic care such as bathing, feeding, oral hygiene and tending to minor illnesses such as influenza and common colds. Our residents are not able to dress, feed, bathe or toilet themselves – all these daily tasks have to be done for them by the Woodside care-givers, all of whom have received training in first aid and home based care. Provision of nutritious meals are a priority and input has been received from a dietitian to ensure that a balanced diet & specialised needs are met well. It is notable that our residents’ overall conditions and immune systems reflect this good intake, as general health is good. Caregivers receive ongoing training regarding appropriate feeding methods to ensure that mealtimes are a good experience for our residents. Our residents are taken to several other health practitioners for services we cannot provide ourselves, as follows:
  • Dental care – residents are taken to the Tygerberg Dental Faculty for dental assessments and treatments
  • Re-boarding of medication – residents are taken to the nearest community health Centre’s for re-boarding of medication
  • Doctor’s visits – residents are taken to private doctors (if on medical aid) and to community health centre’s (if not on medical aid)

Occupational Therapy

Woodside Special Care Centre is very fortunate in receiving Occupational Therapy students every year… These students are in various years of study but all serving one goal / purpose, and here at Woodside this is to provide a good quality of therapy to individuals with physical and intellectual needs in various areas of occupational engagement. Thus far we have received 70 UCT OT students all performing different time framed practice learning practicals. This allows our residents to receive individual and group therapy focusing on specific therapeutic intervention in activities of daily living. Woodside’s residents will continue to benefit from this additional service, as four different groups of students will be spending 5 weeks each at our centre in providing one-on-one therapy.

All Occupational Therapy stimulation sessions takes place in the Day Centre or our pool.

  • Water play – pool facilities are available during sunny days to facilitate a stimulating and socially stimulating environment.
  • Dressing Programme – to facilitate skills to improve dressing.
  • Feeding Programme – to facilitate skills to improve independent feeding.
  • Building of puzzles
  • Music/dance therapy – social interaction amongst residents together with staff.
  • Sensory training– to facilitate visual and auditory input.


Our Physiotherapy department is equipped with assistive devices that provides 24 hour postural control for our residents as to allow effective and efficient functioning in everyday activities.

  • Specialized seating (in wheelchairs/buggies)
  • Standing and lying adaptive devices are provided for each individual to promote correct alignment and assist with preventing the development of deformities.
  • A daily positioning programme contributes to maintaining/improving correct positioning.

Respite Care

Woodside provides hourly, daily and monthly respite care to the families of children with mental disabilities. In the event of a family going on holiday or in a crisis and need our services for longer than the period mentioned they can apply for 3 month respite care.

How to apply for respite care?

An application form can be obtained from our reception office and once completed form should be returned to the Centre for the attention of the General Manager. Please Indicate “for respite care” on the form.

If the application is successful and we have a vacancy the General Manager will call you to set up a meeting.

What services are offered during the respite care?

  • Activity time
  • Skills development (dressing; feeding; self help)
  • Social interaction
  • Play time
  • Water therapy
  • Outdoor play
  • Outdoor walks

Speech and Language Therapy

The speech and language pathology department has been up and running since September 2011. The speech therapist is involved in assessment and treatment of the communication and feeding difficulties. The children of Woodside Special Care Centre essentially present with severe to profound cognitive and physical disability. This level of disability impacts on each child’s communication and feeding skills. Severe oral motor difficulties negatively impact on articulation (production of individual speech sounds) as well as: chewing, drinking and swallowing. Speech production among our children is largely minimal or non-existent. In this situation, the speech therapy aims to develop communication by: stimulation of residual basic speech, introducing sign language, picture-pointing and other forms of augmentive alternative communication.

Sign language and picture-pointing are low tech forms of augmentive alternative communication but high tech augmentive alternative communication may also be introduced. These are applications and augmentive alternative communication devices such as the “go talk”.

Speech therapy at Woodside Special Care Centre also focusses on training of staff (caregivers). Staff are equipped with knowledge regarding; specific feeding techniques. These include: head stabilization, lip closure, pacing of liquid intake for safer drinking, facial massage for chewing stimulation, manipulation of solid food, upgrading of textured diet.

Other communication skills which are introduced to the higher functioning children are: reading of braille, listening comprehension, rote oral counting, number symbol recognition and alphabet symbol recognition.

Woodside SCC