Forum: Should there be a way to identify special needs kids?

The recent Forum letters urging the public to be more sympathetic and helpful to parents and caregivers of special needs children are timely (Public often quick to judge autistic kids and their parents, Feb 8; and Shift entrenched attitudes towards autistic people, Feb 14).

Thanks to such letters, Singaporeans are more aware of the subject.

I was once chided by a mother after I told her son, who had been causing a ruckus on the train, that he was old enough to know better than to behave that way.

She considered my response to be inappropriate, and told me that I was destroying his confidence.

She did not explain the reason for the behaviour, but I guessed later that he might have been someone with autism.

How was I to know?

Since there is sometimes no visible means for the public to identify and be more caring towards children with special needs, I wonder if an easily identifiable one can be created.

Perhaps a sunflower badge? A colourful wristband?

Amy Loh Chee Seen

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