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Running head: CARING FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM 1 Caring For Children with Autism Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Date
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CARING FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM 2 CARING FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM Introduction In Singapore, special needs children are mainly served by Voluntary Welfare Organizations (VWO) and some private providers. From the time when inclusive education was introduced in Singapore in the early 1990s where it was limited to children who have a higher intellectual ability (Lim & Tan, 1999, as cited in Yeo, Tang, Neihart, Chong, & Huan, 2011). However, the recent change to embrace inclusion occurred when our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced “all communities will progress, and no one will be left behind…” We must also have a place in our hearts and our lives for the disabled, who are our brothers and sisters too” (Walker, & Musti-Rao, 2016). There was a discussion on how to include this group of learners into regular schools and the Ministry of Education had responded by focusing on teacher’s training on special needs, teacher’s awareness and to raise the number of specialists in the schools. According to another newspaper article, it was mentioned that there were 2600 children who were require to attend Early Intervention Programme for Infants & Children (EIPIC) and about 70 per cent of them are unable to enroll in a pre-school. It added that there was a need for skilled manpower and the necessary resources should be make available for inclusive education to be more all- embracing (Ng, 2016). While the shift is starting to take place, the success of inclusive education depends largely on the responsibility of a classroom teacher. According to Avramidis, Bayliss & Burden, 2000; Treder, Morse, & Ferron, 2000, as cited in Sharma, Forlin, & Loreman, 2007, they indicated that teachers with negative attitude towards inclusive education will unlikely to be successful for diverse learn to take place. There were studies showing that teachers were concern on the
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CARING FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM 3 responsibility on how to respond to this group of learners, the type of support and resources available. The readings taken from Lopes, Monterio, and Sil, 2004, as cited in Cassady, 2011, mentioned that many teachers are not ready to accept inclusion because they do not have the knowledge to differentiate instruction or to support children with disabilities. Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion as well as their beliefs can affect their performance in their classroom. Avramidis et al. found that teachers who disagree with inclusion are less likely to be involved to plan to meet the needs of the individual, unconfident and have negative attitudes towards inclusion and accepting students with disabilities in their classroom. Hence, they may not provide the essential support to benefit this group of learners.
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