Special needs children in Singapore's education system

Do more to support special needs kids in schools, say parents

Starting from this year, children with moderate to severe special needs have to attend a government-funded school under the Compulsory Education Act, unless they apply for an exemption. How have students with special needs been coping in mainstream schools? What are the options for those in special education schools after they graduate? The Sunday Times examines the issue.

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Eight-year-old Ashwin has autism but goes to a mainstream school. His mother, Ms Lillian Kuan, talks about the challenges and benefits of going to such a school – a decision she says every parent of a special needs child must make when he turns six.
Consultant Lilian Kuan, 49, and her son Ashwin, eight, who has autism. Ms Kuan's efforts to educate Ashwin's teachers about his condition paid off and they were able to support him in class, like letting him take short breaks to draw if he became res
Consultant Lilian Kuan, 49, and her son Ashwin, eight, who has autism. Ms Kuan's efforts to educate Ashwin's teachers about his condition paid off and they were able to support him in class, like letting him take short breaks to draw if he became restless. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH
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Two years ago, Mrs J. Liu packed her bags and moved with her two children to Manila.

She gave up a successful career running a recruitment agency, and lives apart from her husband, who remained in Singapore and works in the banking industry.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 26, 2019, with the headline Do more to support special needs kids in schools, say parents. Subscribe