Singapore Expats Forum

Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Child

Discuss about childcare, parenthood, playschools, educational, family & international school issues.

Sponsored by:

Canadian International School
carimichaels
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 8:35 am

Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Child

Post by carimichaels » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 9:19 am

Hi,

I have been trying to find even one school in Singapore which truly provides 'integrated' environment for autistic children.

We live in US and are considering a move to Singapore (we don't have to but its a choice we have). Getting a good job that pays well is not an issue but we have a son and daughter and our son is on the spectrum.

For more than a year we have been trying to identify any schools there where they have a mix of typical and special need kids and special need kids spend 'integration time' with their typical peers almost on a daily basis.

Many schools in US have this integrated setup and in fact many experts in this area say any child who does not get an integrated setup is highly unlikely to know what the 'real world is like' as they are mostly around peers who are similar.

My son gets this integrated time everyday (almost an hour now) at school and the time is going to be increased as he makes progress.

FYI, I have directly spoken to almost 5-6 families and staff at Genesis, American school and so far my findings have been what I expect that most schools are either special needs only or typical kids only or typical with very high functioning kids only and none of those options are good for us. I have also read many posts on this forum which have been very discouraging when it comes to finding what we have been looking for(besides the financial costs which is very high in Singapore)

My question is assuming there are no such schools in Singapore, if one were to move there or consider it, what schools would you recommend we target and contact as 'best out of not ideal options'?

I ask because we are planning our 1st trip to Singapore in summer primarily to meet family and also to visit some targeted schools to be able to either rule out Singapore or consider it seriously assuming we get some reasonable school options.

curiousgeorge
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu, 03 Jan 2008 1:12 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by curiousgeorge » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:07 am

See if this helps at all...

I am not familiar with a mixed typical/special needs school in Singapore, but I am familiar with the following two schools:

http://www.edenschool.edu.sg/main/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Eden is a vocational school for kids with ASD

http://www.pathlight.org.sg/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Pathlight school is a standard MoM curriculum with additional curriculum for kids with ASD.

In both cases, social skills/interaction is a large part of the curriculum.

For further/better advice, suggest you speak with the Autism Resource Centre: http://www.autism.org.sg/main/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

carimichaels
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 8:35 am

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by carimichaels » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:22 am

My son is 4 now so path light won't work as I think it starts at 7 and also it's almost impossible for non citizens to get in. I had read about Eden briefly but did not think it had similar setup but will check again.

Any others worth considering?

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9410
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by x9200 » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:01 am

Don't move to Singapore. Seriously. My wife is an ST predominantly working with children on the spectrum and she says there is nothing in Singapore that could compare to the complex and good ASD oriented support system you have in the States.

If you really have to, below are her recommendations (as of what is available in Singapore). She is not associated with any of them. She says the first two may provide some level of integration environment but not necessary anything you, again, have in the States.
- Winstedt (it's for highly functioning)
- Dover
- Mighty Oaks

carimichaels
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 8:35 am

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by carimichaels » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:23 am

Fortunately we don't have to move. Have been trying to find similar schools for over a year now since we have family there but disappointed so far. I think it also has to do a lot with the social system there as there is a tendency to hide such issues under the carpet unlike US where it's very open and ok to discuss issues.

I was just trying to visit some schools while there in summer so we can at least put the option to rest instead of keeping it open.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9410
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by x9200 » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:43 am

carimichaels wrote:Fortunately we don't have to move. Have been trying to find similar schools for over a year now since we have family there but disappointed so far. I think it also has to do a lot with the social system there as there is a tendency to hide such issues under the carpet unlike US where it's very open and ok to discuss issues.

I was just trying to visit some schools while there in summer so we can at least put the option to rest instead of keeping it open.
Yes, you are right about the under carpet sweeping but actually it seems to be getting better in that respect. Unfortunately the problem is also elsewhere. If the case of your son is very typical, then maybe, just maybe it would not be that bad, but if he requires anything that would demand from the therapist any level of creativity or out of box thinking, then just forget it.
Yet another problem is, there are not so many therapists going anywhere beyond ABA. Approaches involving RDI/DIR/Floortime are rather uncommon.

Our son has SPD and with my wife being the professional and knowing well the environment we still struggle to provide him with quality services. Enough to say, she arranges regular consultancy sessions with an OT from the State and also she gets distance trained from the States.

curiousgeorge
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu, 03 Jan 2008 1:12 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by curiousgeorge » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:07 pm

Yes, Pathlight takes admissions from Primary school level.

So you're not looking for a school at all - you're looking for what is known in Singapore as a Pre-school. You might want to re-phrase your question because all the advice you will get will be wrong.

Suggest you take a closer look at the ARC website I linked and the Early Intervention Program info which is targeted a pre-schoolers.

However, I did go to the effort of speaking to the Pathlight school staff I know, and can add some more:
Primary age students have an integration programme that includes recess, joint events and daily enrichment activities with neuro-typical kids at the school next door.
Secondary age students have a "buddy school" model where ASD students take their core subjects alongside neuro-typical peers at a MoM secondary school enrolled in the programme.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9410
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by x9200 » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:28 pm

Curiousgeorge is right (I did not notice you mentioned the age) but unfortunatelly I believe it makes it even more difficult. I can send you some comments over PM if you are interested - preffering this way, as unfortunatelly, this would be about some negative selection.

carimichaels
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 8:35 am

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by carimichaels » Tue, 03 Mar 2015 8:28 pm

Yes sorry for the question relating to schools and not pre-schools. So I assume pre-school goes upto age 5 and then its regular school. So yes we are looking for pre-school at least for next year (my son is 4 now) and then for schools because if we move we will have to look at long term options for him.

I know the only school people talk about as good is Pathlight but if it is not even an option until he turns 7 (3 yrs from now) then we would not make the move unless another good option exists. I wish there were more schools like the Pathlight school for everyone there.

I also know from my family members who live in Singapore is that Singapore is great for standard out of the box services for almost everything but if standard services do not work for you there are no good options. As we know for someone on the spectrum there is almost nothing 'standard' and at least here in US they have a very customized ISP and this can always be customized if services are not working.

ginger_bread
Member
Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 12:58 am

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by ginger_bread » Wed, 04 Mar 2015 3:17 pm

Try Dover Court. It takes special needs children from 4 or 5 years of age (not necessarily high functioning .... e.g. they take children with Down's Syndrome).

They integrate them with mainstream children during recess, lunch, assemblies, classroom activities, etc. Maybe not at the same level as in the US, but certainly they are doing it.

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6508
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 9:06 pm
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 06 Mar 2015 12:20 pm

Don't move here. Seriously; this is a country where one leader preached eugenics FFS (until he had his own Albino and Autistic descendants). Your offspring might find a place but he/she will not progress.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

carimichaels
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 8:35 am

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by carimichaels » Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:33 am

Hi All,

Sorry I fell sick and was not able to respond for the last week. Thanks to everyone for their very honest and frank opinions.

Will all that has been said, we do feel that SIN might not be the best place for our son unfortunately. Its sad for us as for almost all other reason besides our son's health it makes a lot of sense but our son's health is obviously the most important consideration.

Having said that, I will look to visit a few schools anyways when we visit in summer just to compare services but we will probably not make a move anyways.

I feel sad for so many people in such a developed country like SIN who are not able to get the services they deserve because of so many issues and just wish everyone the best in dealing with such issues for anyone related to them.

Thanks again to all of you for your contributions to our thought and decision making process.

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6508
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 9:06 pm
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:41 am

carimichaels wrote:Hi All,

Sorry I fell sick and was not able to respond for the last week. Thanks to everyone for their very honest and frank opinions.

Will all that has been said, we do feel that SIN might not be the best place for our son unfortunately. Its sad for us as for almost all other reason besides our son's health it makes a lot of sense but our son's health is obviously the most important consideration.

Having said that, I will look to visit a few schools anyways when we visit in summer just to compare services but we will probably not make a move anyways.

I feel sad for so many people in such a developed country like SIN who are not able to get the services they deserve because of so many issues and just wish everyone the best in dealing with such issues for anyone related to them.

Thanks again to all of you for your contributions to our thought and decision making process.
There is another option you may not have considered, my best friend has a 15 YO autistic son (cannot speak, but self feeds and dresses). He had him in Genisis etc and then gave up a few years ago as his son was very distressed and not progressing. He hired a maid who had some basic training in dealing with Autism and got her some more training. He son is MUCH happier now and far more settled and the cost was far less. The maid has the son on an almost military like schedule but that's what the boy needed.

A maid costs $500 per month roughly.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

carimichaels
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 8:35 am

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Ch

Post by carimichaels » Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:25 am

Thanks for the option. We know the cost of a maid there as we have family who have 2 maids. If we moved we would have got a couple ourselves. But for our son, fortunately he is not in a very severe situation as of now as is just about 4 yrs old so need to look at schools as options a d we do hope that with the right service he may become 'typical' but thats obviously our thought now and we do not know how his progress will be.

Sally_Sally
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun, 20 Mar 2016 1:54 am

Re: Considering Move to SIN-Schools to Visit for Autistic Child

Post by Sally_Sally » Thu, 31 Mar 2016 6:27 am

I have had Singaporeans ask me why I would leave the US with ASD child and move to SG? There are Singaporeans who would give up everything to get their ASD child to the USA where education is so much better. Singapore Universities offer teaching degrees - but do not have Spec Needs Teaching on curriculum! They are just not understanding that spec needs kids can be educated (govt does not require spec needs kids to attend school at all)
Also, Pathlight as you might expect in SG is a SELECTIVE school, only taking gifted/high functioning children.

Post Reply


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Parenting, Family & Schools”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests