Parliament: Show understanding to special needs children encountered outdoors – AutismSTEP
SINGAPORE – Children with special needs, accompanied by their parents, also need to get outdoors for some fresh air during this circuit breaker period, said Second Minister for Education Indranee Rajah.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in particular need this for self-regulation, she said.
“I call on everyone to be more understanding when they see a parent with a child with special educational needs in a park or public space getting a bit of fresh air.
“Sometimes, the children – and they could be adult children – will not be wearing a mask. The Government understands and has stated that enforcement will be flexible for such persons,” Ms Indranee said in Parliament on Tuesday (May 5).
“Give them a smile and a friendly wave to show you understand.”
Special needs children requiring some time outdoors was also one of the findings from a survey of more than 200 parents of such children, led by Ms Sun Mei Lan from Friends of ASD Families, a Facebook community group. The feedback was shared with the Education Ministry (MOE).
In response to Ms Rahayu Mahzam (Jurong GRC) who had asked how the special needs community was supported with home-based learning, Ms Indranee acknowledged the challenges that parents and caregivers of special needs children faced, especially if they have to work from home or have multiple children.
“I would like to assure them that they do not journey alone. They should feel free to reach out to their child’s school for guidance, help and support,” she said.
She noted that therapy services can continue as the MOH recategorised allied health services out of the public healthcare institutions as essential services in April 29.
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