SPECIAL NEEDS’ CHILDREN: They’ve right to inclusive education.

THE National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC) would like to highlight the plight of children with special needs who are denied access to inclusive education. We recount real-life of children (names changed to protect their privacy) who struggle through an education system that marginalizes them on the basis of their diasbilities.

Ibrahim’s story

Ibrahim is a delightful boy who has autism. Autism is a condition where the child has difficulties with communication and social interaction. Most children with autism have a normal IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and the potential to succeed in school.

Ibrahim is a good example. He is currently in Form One in a regular government school. Unfortunately, he is repeatedly misunderstood by teachers and peers.

They keep saying he is “inattentive” and does not focus on the teacher. Hence he receives “demerits” and is sometimes physically punished (caned). This is despite repeatedly writing to the school and explaining his situation to his teachers since primary school. They still fail to understand that he is not ignoring the teachers or being stubborn; Ibrahim has autism.

Recently, the school authorities referred him back to the Paediatric Specialist Clinic again, requesting that Ibrahim be registered as an OKU (Orang Kurang Upaya), so that he could be transferred to a special education class.

It is important to note that Ibrahim was placed 130 of 240 in the school’s entire Form One examinations! Out of sheer frustration, we requested the school to send all the other children who scored lower than Ibrahim (all 110 of them) to be registered as OKU before we considered registering him.

Murali’s story

Murali is a cheeky young man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a muscle wasting condition, affecting boys, which usually presents itself around 5 to 7 years of age, with progressive muscle weakness.

Comments are closed.