School for autistic boy?

Are you looking for a Special Needs School for your child? Discuss the options here.
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linz75
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School for autistic boy?

Post by linz75 » Mon, 18 Jun 2012 4:55 am

Hi everyone.. New to the forum and looking for some advice. My husband looks likely to be offered a job in Singapore in the coming week and we are desperately trying to do research to aid our decision.
Our only real concern is that our eldest son, 7 next month, is autistic. Here in the UK he is in main stream school but has a statement and is supported 1 to 1 for 16 hours a week. I need to feel comfortable that his needs are going to be met if were to make the move that we desperately want to do.
It looks likely to be a local package so no help with school fees :( I would like some advice on local schools and there suitability. And also some advice on suitable International Schools as well. We are open to both options.
I have a 5 year old daughter who is very bright and a 21 month old son as well, although the youngest will be at home with me.
Thank you in advance for you help. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!
xx
I need all the advice I can get... Thanks for helping! x

Robnc
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hi

Post by Robnc » Sun, 24 Jun 2012 11:46 pm

hi Linz..

Wow.. First off, unless your husband is on mega money, think hard about your decision - especially if there is no help with school fees. It's very hard to get your kids into local school if they are not local, let alone have any type of disabiilty. I have not heard of many local schools offering assistance or extra learning support for autistic kids. Dover Court, Genesis School or the Integrated International School would all be a good match, but are upwards of 25k per year as are most International Schools, which your younger kids will also be going into soon. My best advise, for what its worth, is try to Renegotiate. Try to get school fees in there if at all possible. Singapore is bloody expensive! Housing, cars, ( with three kids you will want one) and school fees are the three biggies that will go out at the beginning of each month. You might also call St Andrews Centre for Autism for further info. Its one of the only places ive seen here who openly discuss these issues. Singapore is NOT the place to be for assistance. I am not trying to be discouraging, but as the mother of a child wi disabilities whose only been here a year i was in your place this time last year and wish someone had told me straight waht difficulties I would face. I wish you luck with your decision. Feel free to ask qns, I'll help where I can.

curiousgeorge
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Post by curiousgeorge » Mon, 25 Jun 2012 9:50 am

There are a few schools in Singapore that support children with ASD, two that I have worked with:

The Pathlight School is for high-functioning kids and teaches a normal academic curriculum with lifeskills. http://pathlight.org.sg/main/index.php

The Eden School is a vocational school for more severely affected kids with ASD. http://www.edenschool.edu.sg/main/index.php

Fees are less than $6k a year I think, but waiting lists...thats the problem. Wouldn't hurt to inquire from abroad to help your decision to relocate.

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ecureilx
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Post by ecureilx » Mon, 25 Jun 2012 8:54 pm

There was a similar thread a while ago.

let me try to find it .. and it was discussed in detail

freespirit22
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Post by freespirit22 » Fri, 29 Jun 2012 8:57 am

Singapore is not a great place to arrive in with a school age autistic child, even more so if your child is on the mild end of the spectrum.

There are no laws in place that acknowledge the right of the expat special needs child's to an education, therefore, they fall outside the net.

As the previous people mentioned, your only options will be private schools and even if you do find one that will accept your child, they are expensive and most of the time, probably not as good as your free schools in the UK.

The options for a mainstream education are very limited, and as outrageous as it sounds, most schools will not even meet with you if you mention your child is on the spectrum. Private schools want to make a profit, and they dont want any pesky special needs children costing them extra bucks.

Dover Court is a mainstream school with a british curriculum, but it segregates its special needs kids into small classes of 5 or 6. Segregation goes against other methodologies in western countries but I guess it is cheaper for them than having to hire one-on-one aids. If you want to go that route, then bear in mind that the admissions department there is pretty difficult to deal with. and getting information will be like getting blood out of a stone.

The other British curriculum school is Tanglin Trust, and it's a good school, but dont even bother trying them unless you enjoy being rejected.

The other schools mentioned are for special needs kids solely. If your son is functioning well in a mainstream environment then I doubt you would want him to go to a school that has no typical kids.

There is a shortage of special ed teachers here.

We decided to move somewhere else & I am so glad we did, the level of expertise, staffing, understanding and support, is far ahead of what we experienced in singapore. Having been through some trying times dealing with singaporean schools who had no idea about autism, I would say that your son would probably be better off in the UK.

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gravida
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Post by gravida » Sun, 01 Jul 2012 12:44 am

Agree with the above posts. Be careful and check your options (there aren't many).
If I were in your shoes I would immediately forget about Genesis (principal-teacher issues in the past, serious ones, half of the staff left) and Integrated International (fresh, use "naturalistic ABA" aka one therapy fits all approach...). Dover court is picky, it's truth. Nobody (from outside) knows what are their admission rules, apart from the fact you will have to spend $$$ just for the assessment/evaluation done without your presence and without any feedback/written report. If your child will not qualify, you may be given a chance to get back after a year or so (and pay again) or not. BUT Dover Court is (in my opinion) very good place. If your child will be accepted they will provide the best care. It seems the most reasonable option unless you have tins of $ to spend on private therapy and education support (and time to find out who is actually worth the money).

I doubt you will be able (especially with the recent changes to MCYS/MOE responsibilities in regards to the age of the child) to get your child into Pathlight or Autism Resource Centre program (which are good).

mules
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Post by mules » Tue, 10 Jul 2012 4:56 pm

take a look at http://www.learndifferent.com.sg/

I have a friend who works here and she is a brilliant teacher.

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skipper
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Post by skipper » Wed, 11 Jul 2012 4:00 pm

My youngest son has some sort of mild autism (the diagnosis was PDD-NOS) and he's attending Canadian International School (just finished Grade 1). He has supplemental weekly therapy and, in fact, the psychologist has gone to the school and observed him. She left with the impression that the school has adequate capabilities to handle his case. We've also spoken to the teachers and principal on several occasions and learned that there are also other cases in the school.

Just sharing our experience and but it will also depend on the level of your child's autism.

lizziewine
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PATHLIGHT SHCOOL! Hands-down for me...

Post by lizziewine » Wed, 10 Apr 2013 12:55 pm

I have two special needs kids - my son is in Pathlight school now and hands-down it provides great support for my son ... my daughter has Asperger's Syndrome and is faring well in a regular school although issues arises for her from time to time... other than that, very happy to have them where they are! Pathlight is great if your child can handle academics and has reasonable IQ levels to cope with academics and curriculum work :-) Good luck!

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