L.U.C.C.A recognises that each child is an individual. We aim to create a safe, caring and respectful multicultural environment for all our learners with challenges. Our objective is to foster a desire to learn, to boost self- confidence and to nurture the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of each child that can best develop the skills and character necessary, to enhance themselves and their communities to achieve success for the future.
Founded by a mother of a special needs child, L.U.C.C.A Support & Care Centre opened its doors in May 2014. After being exposed to numerous Centres and Facilities over the past 6 years, trying to find the “right” place for my son Lucca, has been challenging. We have encountered so many wonderful people over the past years whom have had a huge impact on Lucca’s progress but as a mother of a special needs child there has always been that “something” that has been missing. I have spent many years doing research on the approach, learning methods, therapy intervention and communication methods available for our children BUT what I realised is that we as parents of special needs children seem to expend great efforts on trying to find out how we treat the brain or the body of our children with disabilities that we sometimes lose sight of their hearts and minds.
Would it not be wonderful to know as a parent of a special needs child, that your child’s heart comes first before anything else.
Children with disabilities are children first; the care and love they need is exactly the same as the care typically developing children need.
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Management Team and Therapists
Principal and Founder
Alison Moschetta has spent the last 25 years working in various Executive positions in the service industry and has had the privilege of working with all sorts of individuals at all levels in the corporate environment. In 2006 Alison fell pregnant with her fourth child and on the 22nd June 2007 Lucca entered the world. Lucca was born with a rare disease called Riegers Syndrome as well as being born with septasimea. Lucca’s prognosis for survival beyond the first evening was slim. Being the little fighter he is, Lucca pushed through and spent the first 4 months of his life in Neonate. Besides the challenges of Reigers Syndrome Lucca suffered brain damage and hearing loss aggravated by the length of time spent on life support.
Alison and her family have met with many challenges over the past eight years with regards to Lucca’s progress and she has spent many years doing research on different methods of teaching and the various interventions and facilities available. For the past four years Alison has been planning the opening of L.U.C.C.A which finally come to fruition and opened on the 1st May 2014. As a parent of a special needs child Alison knows what other parents are going through, although the circumstances in each case might be different we all have the same intense love and sometimes fear for our child and we want the very best for them.
Ashley Heine studied sports psychology and completed his honours in sports science at the University of Johannesburg. During undergrad he completed courses in child psychology and has also completed Level 1 first aid, Level 2 first aid and his assistant paramedic course. Working for the university with athletes and children for the past few years, Ashley has gained a lot of experience in gross motor activity and fine motor ball skills.
Living in a home with a special needs brother Ashley has been exposed to the daily challenges this brings and he has come to realise just how special these children are and how special they can enhance your life in their own way. Ashley emanates a wonderful calmness to all the L.U.C.C.A team, children and parents on a daily basis, and it is an absolute pleasure having him as an Executive member of the board.
Cherie Heine is a Registered Counsellor and member of the Health Professions Council of South Africa. She completed a Child and Family Psychology Degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2009, and Honours Degree in Psychology at the North West University of Potchefstroom in 2010.
Cherie’s passion has always been to support and assist children and families. This led her to work at an Autism Specific Centre for 3 years where she gained extensive experience in Special Needs Education. She fulfilled a managerial role within the centre as well as running her own classroom. Cherie also has vast experience in Trauma Counselling and Supportive Services. Cherie fulfils an exceptional role heading up the Educational Programmes for The L.U.C.C.A Centre and assumes a Non Executive role on the board.
Nicky Forssman joined the team in January 2016. Nicky Forssman qualified as an Occupational Therapist at WITS in 2010. She has been a registered member of the Health Professional Council of South Africa since 2010 and the South African Neurodevelopmental Therapy Association since 2015.
Nicky has gained great knowledge and experience working in a large Academic Hospital in Johannesburg for the past 5 ½ years with special time spent working with the paediatric cases as well as working closely with the Neuro-developmental clinic at the hospital. Nicky has worked with a variety of conditions with a special interest in sensory and neurological involvements. Nicky has a special interest in neurological conditions as well as individuals affected by sensory integration difficulties. It is an honour to have Nicky part of our Occupational Therapy team at L.U.C.C.A.
Speech-Language-Feeding Therapist & Audiologist
Master’s of Science in Medicine: Child Health – Neurodevelopment
B.A. Speech & Hearing Therapy
Louise Reed is a qualified Speech-Language-Feeding Therapist & Audiologist. Louise completed her community service at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (a.k.a. Jo’burg Gen). She then stayed on for another two and half years as a permanent Speech Therapist & Audiologist.
While she was at CMJAH, she completed her Neurodevelopmental Therapy course through SANDTA and was part of starting a provincial Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) workgroup. Her passion and love for children who are neurologically impaired grew while she was working at CMJAH.
Louise conducts assessments and provides therapy for children who have difficulties with articulation, auditory processing, feeding, language and those who have neurological impairments. Louise has experience in children with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, language delays and those who require AAC. She is also experienced in feeding therapy and assisting with feeding tubes (PEG).
Jodie Du Plesssis
Our little Girl Jodie du Plessis was born with Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome. With the Grace of God we found a wonderful school for her after a year of searching. Lucca has been an absolute Blessing to us and her. We added new family members to our family with extraordinary, loving and caring teachers, assistants and the owner Alison. In three months of Jodie attending Lucca we could see a difference in her already. Doctors told us she would never speak, eat and live a “normal” life. When we met Alison and her team, we felt comfortable and loved with people who really care. I never for one day worried about my daughter not being safe and taken care of. Jodie has been in LUCCA for a year and 4 months and her progress is absolutely astounding. She is now counting independently from 1 to 30, she recognises her own name in letters and also letters of the alphabet. Her bobbing and movement seeking has improved by 90%.We have now gone from parents that were told that she would never be able to speak to a daughter that speaks two languages and we can see that she is independently able to do many things that doctors told us will never be possible. Without LUCCA we would have drowned as parents. Many nights of crying over a little girl’s future was changed by LUCCA to a little girl that now can have a future.
Vickie Du Plessis
Our son, Tokelo, began at L.U.C.C.A beginning of this year and he is 3 years old. At that time Tokelo had one sounds or two he made and communicated with us when spoken to. From our first evaluation, I was very impressed with the school as well with the therapists at the school, as well as the owner, Alison Moschetta. Alison took a personal interest in Tokelo and assured us that he would get the best care possible for his condition.
Tokelo is now saying two to three sounds and communicating effectively , and while he’s got a ways to go, he has come a long way. My husband and I attribute a great deal of his progress to L.U.C.C.A and the care he receives. He loves his sessions and going to school. L.U.C.C.A not only makes Tokelo feel welcome, but the entire staff—from the front office to the therapist to the owner—is a pleasure to work with. I have recommended L.U.C.C.A to a number of friends and will continue to recommend L.U.C.C.A to anyone looking for outstanding therapy. ”The entire staff has gone above everyday operations to help Tokelo and make us feel welcomed. Every therapist there acknowledges Tokelo and makes him feel he is just like any other child , which is what a lot of our children strive for in life. We thank God for giving our baby an environment that allows him to be a boy and not just a boy with a disability. I will continue to recommend L.U.C.C.A SPECIAL CARE CENTER to anyone looking for exceptional care and therapy for their child.” – Emma and Tholoana Tlhobelo
Lucas Botha Bae
Our son is 3years old and has a rare genetic disorder, a large deletion in chromosome 10q. We joined the LUCCA family in February 2015, and the progress that Lucas has made in the past year is incredible. For example, when we started he was not able to sit and was communicating very little, today our son sits for a few minutes to eat and play. He engages with others and uses non-verbal communication to express himself. We know that our son’s achievements are not only the result of intense therapy, but also because of all the love and dedication with which the staff of LUCCA looks after him. The school has also been an amazing support to our family. As a first time parents we’ve learned a lot from the wise advice and experience of Alison and the therapists that work at LUCCA. Itis also encouraging to see the strong bonds that Lucas is able to form with his teachers and teaching assistants. Undeniably, a significant measure of our son’s development and general contentment can be credited to the care and attention that he receives at his LUCCA family.
Goeun Botha Bae
I often feel that there are no words to describe the difference that LUCCA has made in our lives.
Josh has developed amazingly at school, and he loves to be there. We always feel as though our needs are always put first, and staff go way above and beyond. Staff love our children as if they are their own, and I highly doubt there is another environment as amazing as this. LUCCA changes lives, where life is already challenging.
We can’t thank you enough.
Raylene and Matt Watermeyer
We are writing this testimonial for a wonderful school, LUCCA. We as parents can honestly say LUCCA has improved our quality of life by adding value to our son’s, Tristan. In just 2 weeks at LUCCA, Tristan has already shown improvement in some aspects which was completely mind blowing to us as parents especially because Tristan has already started therapy at 4 months old and has been in therapy and well stimulated since. The small classes and low teacher pupil ratio (1-3) is really beneficial and quite necessary for special needs kids and Tristan really benefits
from it as he becomes very easily over stimulated. LUCCA also provides therapy(absolutely essential) at the school which compliments the program so well. Together the teachers, physio, occupational, hydro and speech therapists
form a wonderful multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team makes sure Tristan’s program integrates all
aspects of his development and delays. What’s more is all these disciplines are in continues communication with
each other to make sure Tristan shows continued progress. So LUCCA is not just a special needs school but a complete approach with therapists working with trained and qualified teachers and assistants that Tristan benefits from so much. But what makes it so much more than just a wonderful school is the love, respect and dedication Tristan is treated with and for this we are so grateful! We are extremely blessed to have found and be able to afford this amazing school for our child. With special needs kids, finding a school that fits their unique needs is
already so difficult, but to find one that fits and treats your child with respect love and so much dedication is very difficult!
Welcome to Holland….Welcome to L.U.C.C.A. On behalf of Carl, myself, Ryder, but mostly Isabella, we would just like to take the time to thank Alison, all the teachers, assistants, other staff and Therapists, for the wonderful family they have created for our special Angel, Isabella. When Isabella was first diagnosed as a CP Quadriplegic, we were too busy trying to keep her well and out of hospital to worry about schools. As she got stronger we started looking at schooling options and were quite despondent as there is not much of an offering for Special Needs Kids. When one of Isabella’s therapist’s gave me a detail for a new school that had opened that was run by a mom of a special needs child, I was quite skeptical. However, after trying and visiting many other facilities and schools, and being told the same thing “she needs individual care and attention and we do not have the applicable resources to cater for that”, we decided that we would at least go and have a look at L.U.C.C.A. And boy, are we glad we did! We were welcomed by warm, smiling faces and shown around, not just a school that has offered my daughter a favourable place and opportunity to grow to her full potential, but a HOME filled with love and family! Since Isabella has been attending L.U.C.C.A., the improvements physically, mentally and socially have been nothing short of astounding.
So again, a sincere and heartfelt thanks to Alison…you are a real life SUPERHERO!
To Ashley…to be met each morning at the front door by your smiling face and warm disposition is a true pleasure, to all the teachers, assistants and other staff at L.U.C.C.A….the love and care you show our children is truly unbelievable and such a joy to witness…our kids could not be in better hands. To all the Therapists…Angela, Mariana & Nicky, Kerryn, Cine’…the work you do with Isabella is invaluable; each one of you has gone beyond any normal requirement…thank you.
And last, but not least, even the caretaker is always pleasant and smiling and really sweet with all the kids.
Your approach to each situation is always with love, care and keeping our children’s best interest at heart.
Thank you to L.U.C.C.A. for showing us so much beauty in Holland!
With much gratitude and appreciation….
Carl, Liesle, Isabella & Ryder Beck