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Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 14 Mar 2016 8:35 am

ecureilx wrote:
PNGMK wrote: The fortunate thing is that the younger generation of parents are not so apt just to shove them in homes or let them 'accidentally' fall out of the HDB windows as the older generation PLUS they're vocal about needing government support AND the rising number of Autistic childen cannot be ignored.
Do you think the rise of Autistic kids here is related to the social engineering / selective breeding that was encouraged in the past ? Idle thought ...
No, the rise is a global epidemic in developed and developing countries. Israel has recorded an almost 100 fold increase in the last decade. As others mention though Autism is better defined that what it was. When I was a kid 40 years ago there were plenty of spastic/retarded kids around (as they were called then). Most of them didn't survive childhood it seemed or they were in a home and not seen/counted.
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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by x9200 » Mon, 14 Mar 2016 9:12 am

It is surely related to improved and/or broaden diagnostic criteria and overall awareness, but also very likely to environmental factors. And yes, the "rise" in the No of cases is a global trend.

Having said that, local-wise, the society does not really tolerate well people with difficulties especially if somebody is not so called neuro-typical. They would be happy to sweep the problem under the carpet as they had done it for the past decades. And IMHO It's a huge kiasu factor. Just think about the rat race the public education in Singapore is about and then try to position any children with difficulties within such ill competitive landscape. Also, think about the culture where children are often brought up to be a pension plan for their parents. Think about income level as the major local indicator of being successful, etc etc. This is a bad bad place to be a kid with such problems and bad for the parents, even worse if they are locals. Some people may just prefer not to have their kids diagnosed or are stronger pre-conditioned to stay in self-denial.

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 14 Mar 2016 9:16 am

I'm not prepared or qualified to answer whether or not environmental factors (or the dozens of other supposed factors) are linked to a rise in Autism. Just remember that correlation is not causation. I'm just very fortunate neither of my kids or my sisters have been affected....
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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by x9200 » Mon, 14 Mar 2016 9:19 am

That's why I said "likely".
I have to take a look at the statistics once again, but IIRC the rise was more steep than what could be attributed to the improvements/changes in the diagnostics, so without any specific differentiation it seems there are some other factors.

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by ecureilx » Mon, 14 Mar 2016 9:52 am

Since I am back on my desktop, I can address some of my thoughts.

Once in a blue moon, I do volunteer for organisations taking care of special needs children, again that happens once in a blue moon, or when the winds blows ....

So far, lately I haven't seen any locals twitching their nose or giving the passive/angry stare at the kids who are intellectually challenged or the like.

The one's I have seen giving the 'stare' are pretty much the old grandmas and grandpas, who do give the look at anything they don't fancy, including guys with different skin colour, dress colour, or just for no reason.

Years ago, it used to be really stressful when helping the kids for outings, when even regular kids occasionally give the 'look' and once a kid asked his mother loudly why the grown up child is behaving like a baby. Awkward moments, and the mother totally ignored the question of the child and started to give the look, as if the other kid doesn't have any right outside the house.

Things have improved a lot, pretty much - lot. Plus add in the thankless efforts of the various support groups and NGOs, public understanding too has improved.

And rare are those days when a intellectually challenged kid gets into the bus, and people pretend they don't want the kid to sit next to them.

Of course, experience may vary, as unlike a parent or somebody who is closely associated with an Autistic kid, my time with them is very limited, so I won't really be able to say the public totally embraces them.

A lot of organisations now are employing special needs folks and the taboo is being erased, slowly but surely.

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 14 Mar 2016 12:13 pm

thanks Ecureilx....
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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by movingtospore » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 11:53 am

Put it this way...my daughter is not autistic, and not on the spectrum. She does have a mild learning disability that she's thankfully grown out of for the most part. While we were still working through this one of the things recommended to us was to send her for occupational therapy to help with her fine and gross motor skills. Sounded reasonable enough, but I was APPALLED by the facility we took her to. I mean, there are no words. All these poor kids with a range of severe disabilities, in a very crowded room, screaming and shouting (which was clearly upsetting for a number of them), and being put through forced physical therapy by people who did not seem to have a clue what they were doing. And this was at a "highly recommended place" in the centre of town.We walked out and never went back. I looked up some exercises online and we did them at home.

If your situation is such that you really need qualified support and can't provide that at home, this is definitely something you should think through before you come.

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 11:55 am

Holy cow. Thanks MTS.
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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by ecureilx » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 12:01 pm

movingtospore wrote:Sounded reasonable enough, but I was APPALLED by the facility we took her to. I mean, there are no words. All these poor kids with a range of severe disabilities, in a very crowded room, screaming and shouting (which was clearly upsetting for a number of them), and being put through forced physical therapy by people who did not seem to have a clue what they were doing. And this was at a "highly recommended place" in the centre of town.We walked out and never went back. I looked up some exercises online and we did them at home.
WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by movingtospore » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 12:13 pm

I've seen this place advertised around town, which may be better. No personal experience with it though: http://www.winstedt.edu.sg

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by x9200 » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 12:14 pm

Unfortunately. I've heard enough stories like this one. There are many places that not allow parents to have any glimpse of the therapy sessions. You may wonder why. The common mentality of many local therapist is to fix different issues based on discipline what of course for kids with problems may work exactly the opposite way.

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by movingtospore » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 12:24 pm

Hmm I should clarify it was the kids doing the screaming and shouting for the most part, not the adults. But it was still awful. :cry: It was way too crowded, and none of the adults seemed equipped to deal with anything other than trying to (literally) physically push the kids through their programs. Very sad. My poor daughter was traumatized by the whole experience and terrified we were going to send her back.

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by merichan » Mon, 21 Mar 2016 2:33 pm

I agree with ecureilx, in terms of general acceptance and awareness things are changing for the better.

I wouldn't worry to much about that.


But on the question should you consider the move from the US here, I would also agree with other posters... don't do it, especially with a teen and a tween!


While local system has made huge improvements to cater to special needs, they cater to locals not expats. Schools like Pathlight are not even accepting application from PR as they are already full/ with wait lists with only citizens.

Only schooling solution viable for expats will be Dover Court ( which has a special needs stream and a mainstream, but the special needs stream is usually full with a waitlist) or sometimes in light cases other International Schools may take them ( but you might have to lie through your teeth to get through the admission process and not disclose anything and taking the risk of being kicked out when they realise you hadn't been forthcoming.) and you have to imagine that some of those schools are 2000+ students schools, which might prove to be too much in case of sensory issues.

And then there's the question of out of school therapies... if you have deep pockets ( or a good insurance) you may or may not find appropriate therapies...

That's because a lot of therapists that cater to expat kids are expat themselves and come and go. Expect in average to change therapist every year and every now and then one just disappears from one day to the next ( true story), or suddenly all of those who had experience in ASD in teens go back home and you make do with whomever is left...

And so on...

So if you're a long time expat, that your child is used to this, or that you come from a country that's even worse of... Singapore will seem ok... but coming from the US, I doubt that's going to feel like an upgrade.

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 21 Mar 2016 3:13 pm

merichan wrote:I agree with ecureilx, in terms of general acceptance and awareness things are changing for the better.

Only schooling solution viable for expats will be Dover Court ( which has a special needs stream and a mainstream, but the special needs stream is usually full with a waitlist) or sometimes in light cases other International Schools may take them ( but you might have to lie through your teeth to get through the admission process and not disclose anything and taking the risk of being kicked out when they realise you hadn't been forthcoming.) and you have to imagine that some of those schools are 2000+ students schools, which might prove to be too much in case of sensory issues.
an upgrade.
The underlined portion will most likely end up with your deposit and up front fees revoked as well. I recommend full disclosure. My wife who has taught in a few IS here has had really disabled kids in her normal classes (one Helen Keller wannabe - really deaf, blind and essentially mute) but with the school insisting that a qualified helper be there in some cases to assist. My wife also has tutored a few supposedly autistic or aspie spectrum kids (more like special snowflakes with the exception of one 14 yo clearly aspie girl who did extremely well with home tutoring and has gone onto University in Norway with great results) - your mileage may vary with that style of tutoring.
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!

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Re: Considering a move from the US to Singapore with an autistic child

Post by merichan » Mon, 21 Mar 2016 3:20 pm

PNGMK wrote:
merichan wrote:I agree with ecureilx, in terms of general acceptance and awareness things are changing for the better.

Only schooling solution viable for expats will be Dover Court ( which has a special needs stream and a mainstream, but the special needs stream is usually full with a waitlist) or sometimes in light cases other International Schools may take them ( but you might have to lie through your teeth to get through the admission process and not disclose anything and taking the risk of being kicked out when they realise you hadn't been forthcoming.) and you have to imagine that some of those schools are 2000+ students schools, which might prove to be too much in case of sensory issues.
an upgrade.
The underlined portion will most likely end up with your deposit and up front fees revoked as well. I recommend full disclosure. My wife who has taught in a few IS here has had really disabled kids in her normal classes (one Helen Keller wannabe - really deaf, blind and essentially mute) but with the school insisting that a qualified helper be there in some cases to assist. My wife also has tutored a few supposedly autistic or aspie spectrum kids (more like special snowflakes with the exception of one 14 yo clearly aspie girl who did extremely well with home tutoring and has gone onto University in Norway with great results) - your mileage may vary with that style of tutoring.

I agree with you. In a perfect world you go the full disclosure way.

Though in desperation, quite a few parents, especially with young kids where it's more plausible to be unaware yet, do go the lie-through-your-teeth way, because they got rejected from so many schools that they feel like they don't have a choice...

A little like many people lie on their insurance health questionnaire...


edited to add: been there, lived that it gets old fast to be rejected from all the IS you apply to because they are at full capacity for their special needs quota... but we were applying on our own, not with a corporate sponsor i.e. employer paying the fees. That's how we ended up going the local school way ( that was before current tightening of inscription), they were the only ones not asking what conditions our child had, only interested to know if child could keep up with academic level.

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