History of Special Education in Singapore

1947 – Trafalgar Home conducted by volunteers for children physically disabled with leprosy.

1949 – British Red Cross Society set up home for children who were crippled.

In 1950s and 60s, the children with disabilities were mostly treated at the Singapore General Hospital. The Singapore Children’s Society conducted an enquiry into the needs of children who appeared unable to benefit from regular schooling. Hence, Schools Social Work and School Psychological Services within the Ministry of Education was set up.

1951 – British Red Cross Society started provisions for deaf education.
– Singapore Association for the Blind was founded

1952 – The Singapore Children’s Society provided services for children with a multitude of social problems.

1956 – Singapore Association for the Blind raised enough funds to set up a school.

1957 – Spastic Children’s Association attended children with cerebral palsy

1960 – Inclusion International was established

1962 – Singapore Association of Retarded Children was established for children with intellectual disabilities.

1964 – International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities was formed.

1968 – Woodbridge Hospital initiated a service for child guidance.
– special school built on the land leased out by the Singapore government at 844 Margaret Drive

1970 – the 1st Child Guidance Clinic to help children with emotional disturbance and their families was established under the aid of the Ministry of Health
– the Asian Women’s Welfare Association provided playgroup for children with severe handicaps.

1987 – Margaret Drive Special School was established for children with multiple handicaps

1988 – Structured Teaching for Exceptional Students (STEP) programme for language delayed children, especially those with Autism was added to MDSS.

1995 – Balestier Special School was set up to accommodate a long waiting list for admission

2001 – Metta School for children with mild intellectual disability and mild autism ages between 6 to 18 years were run by Metta Welfare Association.

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