(a) What would you reveal to Mrs Kong regarding your professional view about children with Down Syndrome and their future in Singapore?
I will first explain to Mrs Kong that children with Down syndrome may have physical impairments and developmental delay ranging from mild to severe depending from child to child. These developmental delays include motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking in infancy and delayed cognitive skills such as speech and language acquisition and short-term memory abilities (Down Syndrome Association Singapore, 2009). I would explain to her that Down Syndrome is a genetic condition and no one is to be blame. It happened to anyone of all races, social classes and in all countries throughout the world. Singapore is slowing progressing inclusion in schools that can help children with special needs be able to help child with their difficulties as early as possible (early interventions). It depends on how severe is Nicky’s developmental delay, if it is mild he will be able to lead a life like the other children. If not he will need to enter a special school to cater to his needs and then according to his progress it might help him to cope into mainstream school.
(b) Given the limited information provided, what would you advise Mrs Kong about:
(i) Enrolling Nicky into the centre's toddler class; and
I will agree to include Nicky in my class, and observe the process of interaction and is he able comfortable with his classmates. I feel that teacher-parent partnership is essential in Nicky’s progress. Hence, I will need Mrs Kong to work with me in coming up strategies for Nicky in class and at home. She have to be prepared to spend time communicating and updating me with Nicky’s behavior and attitude at home so that customized strategies can help Nicky in the most effective way. In addition, Down Syndrome Association Singapore state that it is common to use routine to help children with Down syndrome controls their lives which I will be having in my toddles class. This will certainly benefit Nicky in his development and learning. I will persuade her to get a device to help Nicky as he has difficulties sitting upright, by having addressing this difficulty it may minimize the percentage in Nicky have other difficulty in future.
(ii) Nicky's diagnosis of having Down Syndrome.
As a teacher, I could not assess Nicky’s conditions hence I would persuade Mrs Kong to make further appointment with the professional therapist and physiologist to assess Nicky’s situation. The professional will advice Mrs Kong, and if Mrs Kong decide to enroll Nicky in my class I can work together with the professionals to come up with a plan to help Nicky development.
(c) What would you disclose to Mrs Kong about special education, special school and inclusive education in Singapore?
I would tell Mrs Kong about the education of children with disabilities is provided in special education (SPED) schools in Singapore. And currently the Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) run 20 SPED schools which receive funding from the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). SPED schools provide customised educational programmes and training for different disability groups. Individualised Educational Plans (IEPs) are drawn up for all pupils helping pupils develop their potential and being independent, self-supporting and contributing members of society. Other then teacher using differentiate instructions pupils also receive help and training from paramedical professionals such as psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers.
According to Ministry of Education, “Pupils who are able, sit for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). If successful, they leave SPED schools to continue their education in mainstream secondary schools. These pupils attend regular classes and follow the curriculum of mainstream schools. Special resource teachers are deployed to designated mainstream secondary schools to assist these pupils.Pupils who are unable to continue their education in secondary schools will proceed to one of the training centres or workshops run by VWOs. Such training equips them with the necessary skills for employment. Those who are able are placed in open employment whilst those who require more supervision attend production sheltered workshops or work activity centres.”
I will also provide Ministry of Education (MOE) website to Mrs Kong on the list of special education schools in Singapore as a resource which includes the school name, contact information, and the address in case she needs to talk to specialize professionals.
Down Syndrome Accociation Singapore. (2009). What is Down syndrome. Retrieved on 2009, 12 August from http://downsyndrome-singapore.org/content/view/34/111/
Down Syndrome Accociation Singapore. (2009). All you need to know about Down syndrome. Retrieved on 2009, 12 August from http://downsyndrome-singapore.org/content/view/35/111/
Ministry of Education. (2009). List of Special Education Schools. Retrieved on 2009, 12 August from
Ministry of Education. (2009). Special Education in Singapore. Retrieved on 2009, 12 August from
Eda Heng Shi Wen =)