Thursday, August 13, 2009

Umairah Bte Abdullah, Group A

(a) What would you reveal to Mrs Kong regarding your professional view about children with Down Syndrome and their future in Singapore? (4 Marks)

Firstly, I would let Mrs Kong know that Down syndrome is not a disease. It is a genetic disorder that can affect anyone regardless of race, religious and any walks of life.
“Nothing done before or during pregnancy can cause Down syndrome. It occurs in all races, social classes and in all countries throughout the world. It can happen to anyone.” (Down Syndrome Association Singapore, 2009). I will assure her that no one is to be blamed in the situation and she should not question why Nicky is different as compared to his siblings who are normal.
Every child needs a good, enriching and stimulating environment to develop holistically and this is even more so for children with Down syndrome who really needs a good, supportive environment to learn and develop in. (Down Syndrome Associate Singapore, 2009). The way children with Down syndrome are brought really plays a vital role in helping them cope with their disability in the future. I will advice Mrs Kong that it is important for her and her husband to look at the situation from a positive perspective and be strong to provide Nicky with the best, supportive environment possible.
I would also let her know that there is definitely a place for Nicky in the education system in Singapore. Regardless if it is in special or mainstream schools, Nicky will definitely have equal opportunity for education as every other child. I will also encourage her to remain positive and let her know that there are ongoing research and studies done by the Down Syndrome Association Singapore to move towards providing a mainstream education opportunity for children with Down syndrome.

(b) Given the limited information provided, what would you advise Mrs Kong about:
(i) Enrolling Nicky into the centre's toddler class; and (2 Marks)

I would definitely advice Mrs Kong to enroll Nicky into the centre’s toddler class. I would reassure her that I am trained to care for and provide an educational setting for children with special needs and I would definitely have them in my class. Moreover, it would also be convenient for her since Nicky’s siblings are already in the centre.

(b) Given the limited information provided, what would you advise Mrs Kong about:
(ii) Nicky's diagnosis of having Down Syndrome. (2 Marks)

I would suggest that Mrs Kong take Nicky for further tests and assessments to know more about where he is in his developmental milestones. It is also important that she knows the final diagnosis on Nicky’s condition in order for her to work towards improving his situation and provide him with the best environment possible. Furthermore, many of the conditions that children with Down syndrome may have can be improved with early intervention. When she is aware of these conditions, she will then be able to make arrangements for interventions that would benefit Nicky in the long run.

(c) What would you disclose to Mrs Kong about special education, special school and inclusive education in Singapore? (6 Marks)

“The education of children with disabilities is provided in special education (SPED) schools. As at January 2009, there are 20 SPED schools run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) receiving funding from the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).” (Ministry of Education, 2009). They are a number of special schools in Singapore which caters to children of various disabilities. SPED schools are under the Ministry of Education while there are other special education schools that are run by private bodies. Regardless, the main goal for these special education schools is to provide children with special needs the best setting possible for them to grow and develop into fully functioning adult that will have their rightful place in the society.
Additionally, the education system is also moving progressively towards providing a mainstream education for children with Down syndrome. As mentioned in a speech made by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport (2009), “Today, you can find children with Down syndrome studying alongside their peers in mainstream kindergartens and schools; adults finding work opportunities in the mainstream society; and community facilities shared by all.” This further proves that there is a place for children with Down syndrome in the education system as well as in the community.
I would advice Mrs Kong to remain positive and keep reassuring her that there are going to be options for her to choose from when the time comes for Nicky to be in school. Whether it is special school or mainstream school, the ultimate decision is hers to place Nicky in an environment that he can fully excel in.


Down Syndrome Education Singapore (2009). What is Down syndrome.
Retrieved 13th August 2009, from

Down Syndrome Education Singapore (2009). All you need to know about Down syndrome. Retrieved 13th August 2009, from

Ministry of Education Singapore (2009). Special education in Singapore.
Retrieved 13th August 2009, from

Ministry of Finance Singapore (2009). Meeting Down syndrome community’s needs
Retrieved 13th August 2009, from

Umairah Bte Abdullah (Group A)


  1. It is indeed not a disease nor it can affect anyone regardless of race, religious and any walks of life. However, there are still a lot of people thinking this way, especially those who did not manage to receive enough education.

    What can we do to stop/reduce people from having this mindsets?

    Tan Wei Sian | Group A

  2. That is where public education takes place to increase the society's awareness and to eliminate misconceptions of people with Down syndrome or any disability for the matter.

    Umairah Bte Abdullah (Group A)