Search Directory

Schools for Special Needs Children in Malaysia

on 12/09/2013

We now have several types of education systems in Malaysia, all harmoniously living under the same roof. From Government Schools, Private School, Chinese and Tamil Schools, International Schools with curriculums from Britain, America, Australia and France and many others. The one type of school that is still lacking in many ways is schools for special needs children. Special needs children often fall through the cracks of our education system. These children vary, from ‘mild’ learning disability cases like dyslexia and ADHD to more severe disabilities like autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation, physical retardation and many others. While many parents want their special needs children to attend normal schools, this may not always be advisable or possible.


There are a couple of private centres in Kuala Lumpur that cater to teaching special needs children with autism and downs syndrome and they ensure that your child will get a near full curriculum learning at their pace. The cost involved in educating your child in these centres is high. Another place where many parents send their autistic children is qualified speech therapists where children get help with their speech and go on at the same time, to some international schools where they are accepted.


There are also some mid-range centers that cater to special children’s education in major Malaysian cities. These usually comprise of groups of people or parents who want to provide education for their children who will not be accepted into local mainstream schools. There are only two international schools in Kuala Lumpur that accept children with special needs. One of these is Tanarata International School, located in Kajang. The principal of this school started off this school for her own son, who is special. Started off eight years ago with eight students and three teachers, it has over 400 students today. Each classroom can accommodate a student with special needs with a shadow teacher. It is good to see special needs children blending and studying with normal children. Children learn a lot of empathy and compassion when they interact with one another. Another school where special needs children are welcomed is the Australian International School where they are required to attend speech therapy classes outside school and have a shadow teacher.


Kits4Kids


Unfortunately, our national curriculum schools are not very special needs children friendly. There have been cases where dyslexic children are left alone to their fate with labels such as ‘lazy’ and ‘stupid’. The rest of the private and international schools are too grade conscious to take in special needs children, fearing a drop in school grades and an added expense of teachers and training.


It is however a better idea to send you child with special needs to a special school where his or her needs are taken care of more carefully. They may need more time to grasp certain ideas and in a special school, teachers are more specialized to be able to teach them in a different way. These teachers have completely different education and training compared to teachers in normal schools. It is quite pointless for special needs children to attend normal schools if they are going to be left behind in class, leaving them lost and frustrated. It is better that they learn at their own pace, with teachers and carers who know what they are doing and who can really help them with their studies.


There are many centres and schools for special needs children in Malaysia. Kits4Kids Foundation offers early intervention programs for children with special needs, catering to their individual development and growth. Hilslearning is another centre where special needs children are welcomed with open arms and loving hearts. Teachers here are not only qualified and experienced; they also have passion to make a difference in your child.


National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) has also opened up a few schools for autistic children in Malaysia, so there have been some major developments in the education for special children. More and more such schools are now coming into Malaysia. There is hope that Malaysia will one day reach the level of developed countries when it comes to the education of special needs children.


Helpful Reviews (5)

yu3gee rates this article with

It is nice to find a write up around this issue which describes the facilities and the general extent of care available for these special children in this city. I would like to recommend a centre I use to teach at before (as a music therapist), called Sunflower Kids' Therapy located at Taman permata, Ampang. The curriculum offered there was impressive (academic +sports + art & music) and is 80% English medium with slight use of Bahasa. The headmistress is the qualified therapists who runs the school and working with her was a really pleasant experience. Its too bad I had to move to Europe but may go back there when I return.

01/12/2014 - 05:11 am

+ 12

Did you find this review helpful?

Jonathan tan rates this article with

Very informative read on the current situation in Malaysia. I teach physical education for students with disabilities in the US. I visited Kuching Malaysia recently and would like to help their special needs population.

11/09/2016 - 06:09 am

+ 3

Did you find this review helpful?

aisyah rates this article with

This really helps me with my final year thesis. I'm looking for possibilities in proverb education among disable children through illustration. (since my majoring is illustration in graphic design)

26/04/2016 - 09:26 am

+ 3

Did you find this review helpful?