The Autism Project

Meet The Team

Get to know us a little better.

  • Tam Bennett

    Tam Bennett has extensive training in Autism specific interventions and education, 20 years of experience on the ground with numerous children with ASD, and hands on experience in a wide variety of settings. She has been involved in the set ups of Autism units around the world as well as two Carousel Units and an Early Intervention Class locally. She is passionate about advocating for the neurodiverse community on a variety of levels, and has been strategically involved in founding Autism Botswana. She has co-authored the Hands On Autism course and trained numerous educators, parents, and professionals nationwide for Autism; South Africa. The Autism Project was birthed out of a local need for personalised and individualised programs for children with ASD. Tam believes strongly in trans-disciplinary intervention where therapists and practitioners work closely with families to provide a consistent and collaborative programme in all settings. Unlike many purists, Tam does not believe in a one fits all approach to treating Autism. She sees every child as unique and tailors their home and centre based programme to ensure that the child reaches their potential. Tam is committed to both sharing and continuing to extend her knowledge and has collaborated with other key professionals in the field of Autism to design comprehensive, practical, and invaluable Autism specific courses and workshops, including the 5 Day Autism Project Course. 


  • Michelle Braithwaite

    Supervising Practitioner

    With eight years of experience with neurodiverse children, Michelle brings significant experience to this team.  She has a strong psychology background and additional training in a variety of autism specific interventions.  Michelle has a never ending thirst to learn more about how better to serve the children in her care and this, together with her passion for supporting the neurodiverse community makes her an excellent practitioner.  She has been instrumental in the set up of a local Carousel Stream and Early Intervention Class and remains responsible for their ongoing supervision and support.  Michelle provides training and supervision not just for The Autism Project Team but also ensures the individual programmes are updated, extended and well supported.  She is the person our team turn to in a crisis, for support, for golden nuggets of ideas and advice and inspiration.  She is the both the heart and the muscle of this team and we would be lost without her.



  • Chanel Subramoney

    Senior Practitioner

    Chanel arrived at The Autism Project with a strong foundation in Psychology and with several years of autism specific intervention experience behind her. In the years she has been with this team, she has grown into a reliable Senior Practitioner.  Chanel is a bubbly, funny and loving young woman who easily finds the smile in her children, resulting in rapid rapport and strong connections with her kids. She is calm, quiet and steady, making her an asset in challenging situations and a leader her team can turn to with confidence.  Chanel is a practitioner who can always be relied upon to have her children’s best interests at heart and that along with her strong skill set, she is an asset to any child in her care.  Chanel is easily the brightest light in the room when she smiles and we are lucky to have her at The Autism Project.

  • Michelle Thackray 

    Junior Practitioner

    Michelle joined our team in 2022 and we have yet to meet anyone as enthusiastic as this young woman.  She never hesitates to ask questions, add her opinion or suggest new ideas and her energy and clear affection for her children make her a firm favourite with our children.  She is smart and creative, takes the initiative whenever she gets the chance and isn’t afraid to work hard. Michelle’s passion and drive to be the best and learn more everyday makes her a practitioner we can trust to not only champion her children but also learn from each child every day.  She is always smiling, always joyful and we love the sunshine she brings to the centre.

  • Nokwazi Hlongwa 

    Junior Practitioner

    Nokwazi is bright and eager and always ready to jump in to anything going on at the centre.  She has been responsible for running our Ready Set Go Club and is incredible at providing an environment rich with opportunities for learning in both a 1:1 and group environment.  Nokwazi has high energy and a huge sense of fun and the kids in her care love to play with their “Kwazi”!  Nokwazi is always ready to learn more, do more and get involved more.  She can be relied upon to show and up and step up every single time with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step.  She arrived as an intern, but instead of a six month internship, she was a Junior Practitioner in less than three.  Nokwazi is a valued member of this team and brightens our day every day!

  • Keshni Mandrie

    Junior Practitioner

    “Slow and steady wins the race” is the phrase written for our Keshni.  She knows that intervention isn’t a sprint and pays attention to the details.  Keshni is methodical and steady.  She fits easily into any team and connects well with the children in her care.  With several years of experience under her belt, Keshni has a solid foundation which she continues to build on by learning and honing new skills every day.  She has been an awesome addition to our team this year and if you pay attention, Keshni’s dry humour will have you smiling in no time. 

  • Constance Gumbo

    Junior Practitioner

    Connie is a bright and shiny soul who has walked into this team as though she was always meant to be here.  She has a seemingly endless desire to learn more and be a better practitioner for her children.  Connie is a qualified teacher and has seven years of experience working in special needs and independently ran an autism specific classroom for four years.  As a mother of two boys, she brings with her an incredible ability to multi-task and spread herself wherever she is needed.  Connie has brought fresh ideas into the Ready Set Go Club already and spends much of her time thinking up new projects or special events for RSG.  Connie joined us in April 2023 and within a few short weeks, she managed to adapt her engagements with the children in her care with ease and with joy.  In a team full of people with psychology backgrounds, Connie is special gift of a teacher’s mind and extra large heart. She is indispensable – and well loved - already.


  • Thandeka Mthethwa


    Thandeka’s journey to her internship has been an unusual one, but we know that the kids and our team are very lucky she found us.  Thandeka is passionate about her children, about learning and supporting this team in any way she can and that makes her indispensable.  She is patiently working and learning under supervision and watching her apply her knowledge every day is a joy.  In addition to her internship, Thandeka manages the centre, ensuring we have everything we need from themed resources to rusks and always making sure she has a secret stash of chocolate for us when we need it most.

  • Arjun Maharaj

    Intern Junior Practitioner

    Arjun is our very own Big Friendly Giant – smart and tech savvy, he loves coding, Dungeons and Dragons and seems to come with his very own version of Mary Poppins’s bag, full of snacks and a plethora of random items we never knew we needed.  He holds an honours degree in psychology out of Stellenbosch University and is ready to put it to use.  Always keen to be of service, Arjun learns at every possible opportunity. Already our BFG holds a special place in our children’s hearts and his company is often sought after by several of our kids on a daily basis.  His nurturing nature and big heart has earned him a very special place in this team and he is loved by us all.

  • Sabrina Ferreira

    Junior Intern Practitioner

    Sabrina comes to us fresh off the boat, having graduated with honours from the University of Southampton.  She is bubbly and smart and tends to sing or dance (or both) at any given opportunity.  As a talented singer and ballet dancer, she incorporates her own magic into her sessions and honestly if there were a modern-day Snow White, she would be Sabrina. 

    Sabrina’s ability to play comes naturally to her and has made her journey as a practitioner a joy to watch.  She is loved by her children and her team for her dedication, joy and sparkle she brings with her every day.

  • Busisiwe Gumede

    Centre Keeper

    Busi is the quiet, efficient and always busy woman who keeps our centre in tip top condition.  She is at work before us all and gets everything in order to make sure our team can work in a clean, orderly and organised environment.  She jumps into each room between sessions, keeps our playground neat and tidy and she does all this while smiling and so quickly we really do have to watch what we put down – because if we leave it one place too long, Busi will have cleaned it and put it away before you know it.  Busi is the busiest of us all, we are grateful for her smiley efficient presence every single day.