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Phuket special needs center facing crisis

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The Center for Special Education in Phuket is facing a budgetary and staffing crisis because the number of disabled children on the island is going up every year, its director says.

Wanida Suraban said the center, in Kathu, now looks looked after 191 children with problems including blindness, learning disabilities, communication problems, deafness, autism and other conditions.

The center has 15 teachers who provide education both on and off-site. About 40 to 50 children come to the center every day, where they are taught in preparation to join their peers in mainstream education.

At the same time, the center also runs an off-site education program in which teachers visit children at their homes. Most of the children who receive this service have serious conditions that prevent their parents or guardians from bringing them to the center.

“We also run a knowledge training program for parents and guardians under our ‘Turning Homes into Schools, Turning Parents into Teachers’ program,” said Mrs Wanida.

The center has been running the program for two years and now has 82 families enrolled, she said.

The program aims to teach parents to address their children’s educational needs in the home. The center also helps families to reconfigure their homes so they are suitable for for the care of disabled children.

“Parents and guardians of the children have to submit a daily report on how their child is developing and what problems they face. Our teachers then go in and help them look after the children and fix those problems,” she said.

— Nation Breaking News

 

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