With help, children with disabilities can excel

With help, children with disabilities can excel
Disabled children working on computers.

It is good to know that the Ministry of Education is looking at ways to help children with disabilities learn better in mainstream schools ("MOE exploring ways to help kids with disabilities"; last Sunday).

These children are disadvantaged from infancy and it is our responsibility to help them all the way.

Children who are born with all their physical and intellectual abilities intact do not need special assistance plans. Our pioneers have proved this.

It is indeed a credit to the voluntary welfare sector that, over the years, it has provided for the needs of children with disabilities.

Several years ago, the Asian Women's Welfare Association (AWWA) started Teach Me, an integration programme for children with physical disabilities to be absorbed into mainstream schools.

It had been found that several of these children were not doing as well as they could at school, because their parents could not afford the money or the time to send them for therapy.

AWWA offered them a mobile therapy service, and some of them have earned their places at Raffles Girls' School and other top schools.

Many of these children have grown up to become responsible young adults working in banks, the National Library Board and government ministries. The most famous of the Teach Me youth are sailor Jovin Tan and swimmers Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu.

Indeed, Tan and his sailing partner recently returned from Incheon, South Korea, with Singapore's only gold medal at the Asian Para Games.

Leaena Tambyah (Mrs)

Reader, The Straits Times

This article was first published on January 11, 2015.
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