Ms He Ting Ru asked the Minister for Education (a) how many places are available in Special Education (SPED) schools for students with autism in (i) schools that serve children with other disabilities and (ii) schools that only serve children with autism; and (b) what is the average waiting time for enrolment in these schools.
Mr Chan Chun Sing: Nineteen of our 22 SPED schools have programmes to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with the exception of Canossian School, Lighthouse School and Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School. Of these 19 SPED schools, six focus specifically on supporting students with ASD, while others take in students with ASD as well as those who have other Special Educational Needs (SEN). For instance, MINDS – Fernvale Gardens School supports students with intellectual disability but over half of its students also have ASD.
There are sufficient places in our SPED schools for children with ASD. Most applicants have a confirmed place within three months of applying. However, the application processing time can extend to six months if more assessment is required. And some families do choose to be waitlisted at their preferred school.
To help parents choose a suitable SPED school, MOE organises a Parent Forum together with KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital once a year in October/November for parents of K1 students. SPED schools also conduct open houses. Parents are encouraged to indicate their top three choices on the SPED application form.
MOE continually monitors the demand for SPED school places and plans ahead with the Social Service Agencies that run the schools to cater to different SEN profiles, including ASD.
Ministry of Education
14 February 2022