About Jennifer

Jennifer Southgate (CV)
Jennifer is the only certified HANDLE® (Holistic Approach to Neuro Development and Learning Efficiency) Practitioner in South Africa who has completed the advanced training and is affiliated with The HANDLE Institute, USA. She is also a qualified teacher.

With over 19 years in education, Jennifer is dedicated to assisting children with learning and behaviour challenges. Her multifaceted experience covers therapy, training and teaching, and early child development:

  • Founded the Mindstretch Preschool in Cape Town for mild to moderately challenged learners in 2014 with the ultimate aim of facilitating ‘inclusive education’. 
  • Over a decade of experience in tailored therapeutic plans for children and young adults, with delivery both nationally and internationally.
  • Over 65 workshops, training and teaching events, together with numerous community information lectures, delivered nationally and internationally. These include events for the South African Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training. HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa) and SACE (South African Council of Educators) accreditation awarded to select courses.
  • Previously founded Funda Fun, an extramural movement-based playgroup designed to stimulate learning through interactive activities targeting gross and fine motor skills.

Selected Mindstretch Programme Highlights
2020: Launched the Mindstretch Remote Outreach Programme within three days of SA’s Covid-19 lockdown: including individual student check-in and four tailored activity sheets per week.

2019: Bridging Class added in response to parents of graduating parents requesting another year at Mindstretch Preschool; this in particular for the children who await Grade 1 placement at appropriate schools.

2017: Assisted Learning Programme (ALP) added to the Mindstretch Preschool class offerings.

2016: Mindstretch Preschool launches Grade RR Intermediate class to prepare learners for a successful transition into Grade R.

2015: Mindstretch Preschool launches Grade R Remedial & Enhancement class; at year-end, all learners applying to schools offering mainstream Grade 1 curricula are accepted.

2014: Principal and Director of Mindstretch Preschool for children with mild to moderate learning challenges, including autism.

2013: SACE-accredited educator’s workshop on “Overcoming Barriers to Learning”, with numerous additional seminars and workshops delivered for schools and educators, including Autism South Africa and SAGSA (South African Girls’ Schools Association).

2013: Introduced Mindstretch to the Mauritian Ministry of Education; included delivering therapy to autistic learners in Mauritius.

2013: Initiated and implemented a support project for hearing impaired students at the King Sabata Dalindyebo FET (Further Education and Training) College, Eastern Cape.

2012: Trained and mentored over 60 nurses and carers at the Woodside Special Needs Centre, Cape Town.

2011: Designed, initiated and facilitated training for the Eden and Central Karoo Education District.

2010-2012: Delivered training for FET Colleges in the Eastern Cape, with a focus on understanding barriers to learning, cognitive screening and curriculum adaptation.

2010: Developed a “Cognitive Screening Tool” for application at FET Colleges; the Tool provides an accessible test to help guide new students in selecting appropriate vocational studies.

2009-2010: Presentation of multiple, tailored HANDLE seminars (HPCSA accredited) in all key South African provinces.

2009-2010: Extensive programme of work conceived and delivered for the Western Cape Education Department. A 2010 special initiative involved assisting Metropole South Education District in introducing HANDLE into all their full service schools.

2009-2010: Initiated and ran two charity initiatives, including assistance for children at the Agape School for cerebral palsy learners and the Alpha School for children with Autism, with dedicated follow-up over a 12-month period.

2008: Presented as the keynote speaker at the conference of Principals Association of South Africa (PASA).

2008: Delivered a HANDLE seminar to speech therapists in Mumbai, India.