Forum: Services available to support parents of special needs children

The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds) agrees with Straits Times education correspondent Amelia Teng that caregivers require more support in areas such as childcare, independent living, finding a job and planning (Parents of children with special needs call for more support, Feb 7).

Being a caregiver is challenging but it need not be a lonely journey. At Minds, our 800 staff members and more than 4,800 volunteers are committed to supporting persons with intellectual disability (PWIDs) and their caregivers throughout their lifespan.

We facilitate their access to public services, enhance their quality of life and help integrate them into society.

One example is the Minds Care Circle, which has helped more than 500 caregivers through regular workshops and networking sessions. Caregivers can come together and draw strength from one another's experiences, gain access to resources and gather information to make informed decisions.

Caregiving can quickly take a toll, and so we provide respite services so that caregivers receive temporary relief while their charges receive professional care and training.

Our Special Student Care Centres provide before- and after-school enrichment programmes, and Me Too! Club offers social activities and befriending services for PWIDs while offering caregivers valuable time for self-care and to look after their own needs.

We understand how challenging it is for caregivers who feel that they need professional help to cope with their caregiving.

Our multidisciplinary team of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists and social workers are here to help. We help bridge access to healthcare services, map out care plans for children, assist with financial planning and link caregivers with relevant agencies for assistance.

Families of PWIDs can visit or contact us at to find out more about Minds' programmes and services.

Kelvin Koh

Chief Executive Officer

Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds)

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