Being inclusive boosts special needs children's potential

In many respects, special needs children are like all other children.

They are ambitious and strive to seek knowledge and learn all sorts of skills. And I agree that they should be treated equally and not discriminated against (Teach kids, parents how to respond to special needs children, by Dr Rebecca Chan; July 13).

Of course, this group of children will face some obstacles.

But, with support and encouragement, they too will be able to reach a level of success and independence and be productive citizens when they are older.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

Parents and pre-school teachers have an important part to play in nurturing their potential.

Allowing them to interact with other children during activities will help them emulate and behave more like these children. Treating special needs children as normal can also help their social and intellectual development and boost their morale and self-esteem.

With support and encouragement, they too will be able to reach a level of success and independence and be productive citizens when they are older.

An inclusive curriculum should be designed to allow special needs children to achieve their potential. If a suitable environment is given, these children will respond in a positive way.

Syed Alwi Altahir

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2017, with the headline 'Being inclusive boosts special needs children's potential'. Print Edition | Subscribe