Friday, August 14, 2009

Ng Bee Ying, Group B

a) What would you reveal to Mrs Kong regarding your professional view about children with Down Syndrome and their future in Singapore?

I will firstly empathize with Mrs Kong and remind her that it is not their fault that Nicky has Down syndrome. I will then share the information on the disability, for instance, Down Syndrome Association (2009) stated that “children with Down syndrome may have physical impairments and developmental delay ranging from mild to severe” and the disability is caused by genetic factors, such as the presence of an extra chromosome.

I will assure Mrs Kong that Singapore is working towards the goal of becoming an inclusive society. One such example is the ‘Enabling Masterplan 2007 – 2011’ policy, whereby children with special needs will receive early intervention programs, maximizing the child’s ability in living independently. Equal job opportunities will also be provided to people with special needs in this plan (MCYS, 2008). I will also provide her with online job database links which provide job opportunities for people with down syndrome or other disabilities to support the mentioned policy, for example

(b) Given the limited information provided, what would you advise Mrs Kong about:
(i) Enrolling Nicky into the centre's toddler class

The centre will definitely allow Nicky to be enrolled in the centre as we know the importance of early intervention, as well as inclusion and have designed the learning environment and curriculum for diversity, but I will advise to Mrs Kong to arrange for further assessments with the doctor to find out the severity of and seek for medical assistance in Nicky’s situation. The Health Promotion Board (2009) stated that “children with Down syndrome do benefit from medical help and early interventions starting in infancy which improve the life expectancy and quality of life”. Hence, by planning appropriate early intervention programs according to the child’s needs and different aspects of his development, as well as collaborating with and getting support or help from professionals and therapists, teachers will be able to help Nicky to benefit from the early intervention programs.

(b) Given the limited information provided, what would you advise Mrs Kong about:
(ii) Nicky's diagnosis of having Down Syndrome.

I will strongly encourage Mrs Kong to allow Nicky to go for further assessments for accuracy of the diagnosis and allow parents and teachers to be aware of the severity of Nicky’s condition. By doing so, teachers will be able to collaborate with the specialists and design for individualized education plan to maximize Nicky’s potential.

(c) What would you disclose to Mrs Kong about special education, special school and inclusive education in Singapore?

According to Lim and Quah (2004), children with special needs who have difficulty coping in mainstream settings require special education taught in special schools. I would explain to Mrs Kong that special schools are schools that cater only to children with special needs and an example of a special school that accommodates children with Down syndrome is Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS).

Heward (2009) defines special education as an effective intervention which is planned to help children with special needs to overcome obstacles that hinders their learning. Educators, who are teaching in special education, are specially trained to teach children with special needs. Whereas for inclusive education, children with disabilities are included in a general education classroom whereby curriculum and environment is adapted to suit the child’s needs with the help of assistive technology, allied educators, therapists, etc (Lim & Quah, 2004).

I will inform Mrs Kong that Singapore is slowly working on their education system towards inclusion in mainstream. However, Daipi (2004) mentioned that some children are more suitable for and learn better in special education. Therefore, I will remind Mrs Kong to think about and discuss with specialists to find out which of the education system is more suitable for Nicky in the future.


Daipi, H. (2004). Singapore’s journey to “inclusive education”. Speech delivered at Ministerial Forum, Thailand, May 26, 2004. Retrieved August 14, 2009 from Ministry of Education (MOE) Speeches website at

Down Syndrome Association (2009). All you need to know about down syndrome. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Health Promotion Board (2009). Down syndrome. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Heward, W. L. (2009). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education (9th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Lim, L., & Quah, M. M. (2004). Educating learners with diverse abilities. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Education (Asia)

MCYS (2008). Enabling masterplan 2007 – 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from


  1. I agree that medical advice given by the doctor is the next step that is needed to be taken. Following that, a transdisciplinary team can be set up to help Nicky learn in the least restrictive environment and be successful in future in the community. Go Singapore! :P
    See Pei Yu, Michele. Group B

  2. I agree that although inclusive education might be a good way to help children stay included in mainstream education, however I also agree that some children with special needs might benefit more from special education.
    Therefore, I agree with you to first introduce Mrs Kong to both types of education before she decide on where she would want to let Nicky receive early education.
    Edwina Huang, Group B