special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Discuss issues related to children who have special needs or learning difficulties

special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby Audvis » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:06 am

My boy is going to mainstream Pr 1 next year. He has high-functioning ASD. Would like to check with parents of special needs children - did u declare yr child's special need to the school/ MOE? If yes, what did the allied educator do to help yr child? What benefit did yr child get?
I am now struggling with this decision. On the one hand, I think it's better to declare to ensure he gets some support (of course, how gd the support is is another issue). On the other hand, I am concerned that by declaring, he will be "blacklisted" forever in MOE's database. Next time he will not be given opportunities due to his ASD, eg entry to a competitive course at University (assuming that he can make it till there). Also, some teachers may not be discreet. They may announce the child's ASD to the whole class and the chil suffers incessant bullying from the classmates as a result. I have spoken to some young ASD adults and they told me this was their experience.
Any experience to share?

Audvis
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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby mum02 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:52 am

If the symptoms are very obvious and not possible to hide, you shd declare. At least, the teacher can try to help and be more understanding.
If the symptoms are mild, I would strongly advise not to declare.
If you think that by declaring, it will benefit your child, plus it will not harm other children, then by all means declare. It all boils down to how obvious the symptoms are.

You are right. Bullying is very real in schools. Even in "brand-name" schools.
Your child will be stigmatised by teachers and students alike.

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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby Audvis » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:05 pm

Hi mum02
Thanks for yr reply. Are u speaking from the perspective of a teacher, or perhaps a parent with ASD child? If the latter, did u declare? How different it has been for yr kid as compared to if u did not declare?
I agree with u it boils down to how obvious are his symptoms. His 2 current school teachers did not know he was asd until I told them. So I guess it is not very obvious.

Audvis
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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby mum02 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:23 pm

My kid is mildly ADHD i think.
I told the teachers of my suspicion so that they know how to handle him.
But I did not get it checked.
All the symptoms are pointing towards ADHD.

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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby verykiasu2010 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:38 pm

you should declare so that special consideration and / or could be applied and due consideration given by school. no stigma to worry about

and in the event of medical emergencies, you won't be "blamed" for non-declaration

in case of doubt, declare
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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby MandyMummy » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:23 pm

Hi, Audvis, you should declare your ds condition to the school like what vk2010 has said. The pros outweigh the cons.
If your ds has problems taking exams within the stipulated time due to his condition, the school may allow extra time. Also, if he needs to be seated separately or isolated, this can also be done.
You need to produce valid medical records to support your application for special consideration in PSLE, so pls keep his medical history for this purpose. :smile:

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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby Audvis » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:35 am

Would like to point out that requesting extra time during PSLE exam will cause the child's certificate to be annotated. I have confirmed this with MOE. Thus, I do not intend to ask for extra time unless absolutely necessary.
I guess why we are more inclined to not declare is because not declaring is reversible decision, but declaring is not. We will most probably let him try out without declaring first; only if he can't cope and needs support, then we will declare.

Audvis
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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby phtthp » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:12 am

My friend's son is autistic, in a prominent all boys school.

in school he was bullied, sometimes being ridiculed by classmates - because his classmates (mostly coming from rich background) dun understand his medical condition, dun understand why he is behaving like that.

during PSLE exams - he was given extended hours to finish his papers, as he can't sit still. Today, he is in Express stream.
Last edited by phtthp on Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby MandyMummy » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:54 am

Yes, the certificate will be annotated when a candidate takes the exams under special condition/ arrangement in PSLE ( or other national exams) but the T-score will not be affected.
Admission to secondary schools is based on T-score assuming no DSA (for DSA, only a minimum T-score is required.

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Re: special Needs- to declare or not declare?

Postby Audvis » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:01 am

I think the certificate will not be annonated as long as the special arrangement is quite minor, ie not asking for extra time. Eg MOE told me no annotation for asking for bigger font in exam paper, for those with visual impairments.

It is very sad right, those boys in that prominent boys school who are future leaders of the country, bullying the disadvantaged segments of the population. I think MOE's push to focus on values and character is a step in the right direction.

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