In the late 2010s, Ben Truter, Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of the Neurodiversity Centre (NDC) in the Western Cape, South Africa, approached Christopher Gillberg from the Gilberg Neuropsychiatry Centre (GNC) in Sweden with a vision to establish a South African GNC hub for research and clinical development in the field of ESSENCE (Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations). The NDC, in collaboration with Amy Slogrove at Stellenbosch University, has since become one of the major GNC hubs.

Ben Truter is now a PhD-student at the GNC and, together with Amy Slogrove, Eva Billstedt, Lucy Thompson and Christopher Gillberg, is performing groundbreaking South African research into ESSENCE in both young impoverished infants and amongst families across all socio-economic and sociocultural strata in the Cape, particularly in the Breede Valley region.