How will Budget 2015 help those with special needs?

If budget 2015 is about empowering every individual to learn, as well as building a fair and inclusive society, I wonder why there are no specific provisions to help people with special needs.

The recent announcement of more support for students with dyslexia ("60 more schools to have dyslexia programme"; Wednesday) is a welcome relief for affected parents.

But what are the specific action plans of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and SG Enable - an agency that provides services for the disabled - for those with autism?

There is a need for a radical change in thinking, especially in the support for autistic people.

For instance, occupational and speech therapies can help autistic people to cope better with the environment, and increase their awareness and learning abilities.

But these therapies do not come cheap.

Can the Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) or the SkillsFuture Credit account be used for these, as part of their training?

The age limit for special education schools is now 18.

So, would a 19-year-old with special needs - who would be out of the school system - be eligible for the top-up to the PSEA since he is within the age group of 17 to 20?

- Koh Soek Ying (Mrs)

This article was first published on March 06, 2015.
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