Yes U Can Be Included
HOW CAN CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES BE BETTER INCLUDED?
By reaching out to them where they are. “Yes U Can…Be Included” programme is a joint initiative with the Educational Support Unit (ESU) of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) that demonstrated such a model.
It caters to kids with mild learning disabilities, creating a conducive environment within mainstream preschools where children with special needs can be appropriately supported on-site.
HOW DO THE CHILDREN BENEFIT?
With intervention in an early childhood setting, these children with special needs can be better armed with fundamental skills to adapt to the dynamic and challenging surrounding of their next phase of learning and education.
ANY CASE IN POINT?
Little Seann Yeo is one child who benefited from the programme. Brought into the ESU by his parents when he stopped talking and became withdrawn and moody, he was admitted into the ESU’s Initial Educational Plan (IEP) after an assessment by the Unit’s psychologist. The IEP is a pupil-specific education plan designed with input from the psychologist, learning-support teachers, school principal and parents. He was then officially diagnosed as having Autism Spectrum Disorder, a neurological disorder that affects his ability to communicate, understand language, play and interact with others.
In an interview with Family (Jan 2006) magazine, his mother was quoted as saying that the boy had “improved by leaps and bounds…he is even prepared to initiate communication.” Little Seann could “follow instructions better” and was also “able to participate in many class activities.” She added, “I am confident that Seann will have a better chance to have a mainstream education, adapt socially and go on to lead an independent and fruitful life. What more could a mother want for her child?”