- Loss of balance or orientation
- Skin flushes, or suddenly goes pale
- Child is saying “Stop!”
- Child refuses to do the activity
- Racing heartbeat or sudden drop in pulse
- Hysteria, crying
- Stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting
- Profuse sweating
- Child becomes agitated or angry
- Child begins repeating echolalic phrases or a familiar non-relevant phrase over and over again
- Child begins stimming
- Child lashes out, hits or bites
Sensory integration dysfunctions means that a child with autism experiences sights, sounds, touches, smells and tastes in a manner that is profoundly different from that of typical children due to a complex series of atypical signals or connections between the sensory organs and the brain.
Every minute can be a battle against invasive sensations that overwhelm their hyper-acute sensory systems. Or conversely, their senses may be hypoactive, requiring a lot of effort to alert their bodies so that learning and social interaction can take place. On top of that, they may have the inability to filter and process more than one sensory modality at a time.
According to UNICEF, Inclusive Education means:
“a child-centered pedagogy capable of successfully educating all children, including those who have serious disadvantages and disabilities. The merit of such schools is not only that they are capable of providing quality education to all children; their establishment is a crucial step in helping to change discriminatory attitudes, in creating welcoming communities and in developing an inclusive society. A change in social perspective is imperative.”
UNESCO defines Inclusive Education as:
“a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion within and from education. It involves changes and modifications in content, approaches, structures and strategies, with a common vision which covers all children of the appropriate age range and a conviction that it is the responsibility of the state to educate all children.”
Inclusive education is not a marginal issue, but is central to the achievement of high-quality education for all learners and the development of more inclusive societies.
There has been a 76% increase for cases diagnosed between 2010 and 2014 for children with special needs such as development delays, speech and language delays, learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The top 2 conditions diagnosed among preschooler are speech and language delays and ASD. ASD make up about 20 to 25% of the cases diagnosed. Globally, the incidence rates for ASD cases has been on the rise. The World Health Organisation declared the rate to be 1 out of 160 children. The rate of ASD in Singapore is 1 out of 150 people.
In 2011, the reported waiting time to see a doctor to get a diagnosis was 2 months. In 2016, the Ministry of Social and Family Development reported that the waiting time has shortened to between 7 days and 3 weeks.
Every year, 700 preschoolers in Singapore are diagnosed with autism. Autism is a baffling condition, even for those who spend their lives around it. Here’s a peek into the mind of a 17-year-old girl with autism, through the eyes of her loving mother.
“Instead of punishing anything that strives from normal, why not celebrate uniqueness and cheer every time someone unleashes their imagination?” says 16-year-old Rosie King who has Autism (i.e. Asperger’s). She wants to know: Why is everyone so worried about being normal? She’s a soaring testament to the potential of human diversity.
13-year-old Rosie takes viewers into her world to explain what it’s like to grow up with autism – a condition which affects how children see life, and the way they relate to others around them.
Rosie introduces other children who have the condition: Tony, who gets totally obsessed with things but struggles to make friends, Ben, who has suffered from terrible bullying, and Rosie’s own little brother Lenny, who turns the house upside-down daily to try and make sense of things.
These children tell their own stories in their own words to give a vivid and moving insight into what it’s like to be autistic.