Every child has the right to formal education, including children with special needs. In fact, Article 28 of Malaysia’s Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 says that special needs children are to be given the necessary support to “facilitate their full and equal participation in education”.
However, the majority of the people aren’t even aware of who can be considered a child with special needs.
According to www.specialneedsplanning.net, “special needs” is an umbrella term that can point to a vast array of disabilities and diagnoses.
A child born with a syndrome, or severe cognitive impairment, or with a serious illness requiring extra assistance as well as support for learning, is classified as a child with special needs.
Based on the observation of many countries, such children integrate better into mainstream society when they attend an inclusive school that caters to all children regardless of their learning capabilities.
Only in this setting is it possible for children with special needs to achieve the highest education advancement along with social integration.
Placing them in a classroom together with peers can also help other students interact with each other while they learn to understand and accept differences.
This in turn will assist in building a more empathetic and inclusive society that accepts everyone as they are.
However, finding inclusive schools that can fit perfectly with your child’s special needs can be hard.
While public schools’ teachers are trained to help these students through a special education programme, the lack of facilities can only allow them to do so much.
Hence, the best option is to enrol your child in an international school with better facilities to accommodate their requirements.
Here are some inclusive international schools that offer special education programmes as part of their curriculum.
1. Nexus International School
Located in Presint 15, Putrajaya, this school’s inclusive admission policy lets students learn together despite their different learning capabilities.
Different types of education plans are designed to meet students’ needs and capabilities so they can develop their confidence and achieve their best.
For example, teachers trained in special education will work closely with either subject or classroom teachers to assist students who require extra help in their learning journey.
With their world-class facilities, there is no doubt that children with special needs will be able to make the most of their education at the school.
2. The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)
Located in Ampang Hilir, ISKL has a programme called Life-Centred Education (LCE) designed to meet the requirements of students with special education needs.
Customised guidance and assistance from certified special educators and assistant teachers are provided for students accepted into the programme.
The focus of this programme is to teach students with special educational needs literacy, mathematics, social skills and life skills to prepare them for their future out in the world.
3. The British International School of Kuala Lumpur (BSKL)
While BSKL accepts students with special education needs, having a small team means they can only admit a limited number.
They have a Learning Support department to handle students with special needs, comprising of experienced teachers and assistants to help students through their learning journey at BSKL.
With advanced facilities available at the campus, parents can rest assured that their children are in good hands.
Not all international schools accept children with special needs, but it has more to do with their limited resources such as lack of specially trained teachers or facilities that can accommodate to the needs of these children, than discrimination.
Hence, it is advisable for parents with special needs children to research international schools that do have the facilities to meet their requirements.
By attending these schools, those with special needs will not only receive quality education but will also be a part of a community that accepts them, cares for them and nurtures them to achieve their best.
SchoolAdvisor.my provides information on private and international schools, extra-curricular activities as well as other education-related topics in Malaysia.