This article was first published in February 2018.
Parenting is daunting enough, but having a child with special needs or special educational needs (SEN, as it is usually abbreviated to in the education system) often adds to the worries of parenting.
However, I truly believe that the correct team and support around you allows you to focus on enjoying those precious years with your little one. So I decided to do some research into what is available currently in Malaysia.
There is often an assumption that private and international schools are highly selective (or perhaps that was just mine), however, many International schools do have SEN bases. The amount and type of support differs from school to school, so best to be open with them about your child’s support needs and take it from there. You may want to do this face to face if possible, to get a better representation of a school and their philosophy.
After some research we discovered KL is a hub of highly trained professionals and hugely supportive parent networks. We have collated a pool of resources that may be useful to parents in KL – some of these have come recommended by our readers and some by our own research.
As always, I’d encourage parents to do their own research into a professional’s registration and qualifications before using their services. There are many out there who may be practicing as professionals without formal training. We cannot give personal accounts of these services but for opinions we’d advise asking the very helpful parents in one of the support forums listed below.
These are centres with more than one service under one roof – typically consisting of Physcology, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Some offer ABA therapy, play/music therapy and more. Good for children with complex needs as various professionals under one roof can work together.
Speech therapy (see also multi-disciplinary)
Occupational therapy (also those in multi-diciplinary)
- Teo Theraputic Centre – 0377274503
- The Energy Source
Special Needs Schools
Green Apple Hippotherapy are offering Hippotherapy here in Malaysia. Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy used by medical professionals (Doctors, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech Therapists) for treating neuromuscular, cognitive dysfunction, vestibular, psychological and developmental dysfunction using the movement of horses.
We Rock the Spectrum at Ara Damansara is a place for children of all ability levels to play and grow together with equipment designed to aid children with sensory processing disorders.
This is by no means a comprehensive list and there are no doubt many more services out there to explore, especially in the inclusive schools and learning centres offering support.
Parent support groups in KL
My ND support group KL
Started by two parents who saw a need for families to be supported on their journeys, this is a friendly group of parents who get together, share resources and tips and also organise workshops and talks from various professionals. They also have a WhatsApp group, where people can share their experiences and support each other through their parenting journey. Having met with them, I can assure they are a wealth of knowledge and very helpful, so don’t hesitate to join the group and get involved.
Special Educational Network in Malaysia – SENIM
An official board in Malaysia with a Facebook page and group that are very good at staying up to date with what is going on in Malaysia and again, a great place to ask for parent opinions.
Oasis Place holds parent support groups and also hosts talks and workshops by both local and visiting specialists. Get in touch with them via the link above to find out more.