Forum: Assisted living options would lift huge burden off parents of special needs children

Ms Soh Lai Mui brought up the idea of assisted living public housing options for people with disabilities (Extend assisted living option to people with disabilities, Feb 17).

"What if we pass on? What will happen to our special child?" are questions that are always at the back of the minds of these parents - it's an unspoken stress/fear that we have.

Putting my daughter, who has a mild intellectual disability, into institutional care will be quite unnerving for her because she may be fearful of those who are severely disabled.

Being vulnerable and easily taken advantage of, special needs people may face less understanding and tolerance from others.

Having my daughter in a housing project with some form of security, maintenance, support and nursing care, and having similar people of special needs around her, will be more appropriate.

Our special children can hold jobs and travel independently, but they need some attention, for example, when they are sick, when they feel lost or lonely, when they need emotional support and when they feel socially withdrawn.

They should not be totally cut off from the outside world, but can continue to learn and grow at their own pace under good guidance and care.

If Ms Soh's proposed assisted living public housing options were to materialise, a big burden would be lifted off parents of children with special needs, and they will feel more at ease.

Even though I have an elder daughter, I cannot expect her (especially after she has her own family) to care for her special needs sister (now 22) in the long term. It can be burdensome and stressful.

Ng Keng Lian