Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Petition by parents of autistic children...

There is a petition put up by a informal parents group called Shoulders.
Shoulders - Appeal for Asd Adults
The Online Citizen highlighted the plight of these parents [Petition by parents of children with autism- MP Denise Phua on the defensive]. The parents are asking for more govt support to create work opportunities for their autistic children when they grow up and significantly improve the care for autistic adults who are unable to work.

This petition reflects the deep and persistent fear of parents of autistic children about who will take care of their children when they are gone. Unlike other first world countries where the govt gives extensive support for parents of disabled children, the Singapore govt leaves much of work to charities with limited resources. Much of the financial burden are borne by the parents who are usually the primary caregivers - very often one of the parents stop working to look after the child. For lower middle income families, having a child with special needs leads to a financial burden that results in the parents pushing back retirement or being unable to retire. Several years ago, the plight of these parents was brought up to the MCYS. Given that they take care of their child while they are alive which is all they can do, they were hoping that the govt could help them with the care of their children after they pass on. After much deliberation, the PAP govt came up with a CPF scheme that allows parents to put aside the own money for the children.  CPF will lock up the money and release it in small instalments when the child becomes an adult[Help for parents with special needs children]. So after much discussion, the govt decided to play an administrative role.

You will notice that the petition will be sent to the PM, ministers and MP Denise Phua. Why send it to Denise Phua? Denise Phua has a autisic child and founded a charity known as WeCAN which helps caregivers of autistic people and offers early intervention programmes for autistic preschoolers. Before she became an MP, she often wrote to the newspapers and govt bodies to highlight issues that concerns children with special needs. Many people in the charities and volunteer groups see Denise Phua as their champion in parliament. If there is any thing good about the PAP, it is Denise Phua.

"Recently I read an appeal for signatures to Government for more services for persons with autism especially for the adult space. Indeed this space needs attention, as the authorities have
heeded and done much more for the younger ones in recent years.


However, it would be good to be updated first on what's happening on the
ground, then make an informed appeal if that's the way to go. I urge you to find
out more first so together we can be effective in advocating not for those with
autism but other special-needs folks who similarly need support."

- Denise Phua's Facebook entry on this petition.

Denis Phua urges the people putting up the petition to be patient. The Online Citizen says Denise Phua is on the defensive. Things have been incrementally better for parents of  children with special needs  thanks to MP Demise Phua. However, Singapore has been a developed country since the early 90s and there is a big gap between what the govt does here  for children with special needs compared with other developed countries. Denise Phua said in parliament last week that the defense budget should be reviewed to finance social spending - a position that is similar to WP's Pitram Singh. I'm not too sure how much Denise Phua can change the PAP by being part of the PAP. You can just imagine the frustration among parents of children special needs when the cost of medical care increases or when the cost of transport increases - they need a car or taxi to bring their child to school and to the hospital. When the rest of us experience the pain of price hikes, it is this segment of the populace that feels the most pain. Few Singaporeans will disagree that we should do more for these parents and these children - it is just the PAP, less a few good MPs like Denise Phua, that limits what we can do as country for these fellow Singaporeans. We should all be petitioning for more to be done for these parents and make it clear that the govt is not doing enough here...and we are not going to accept the status quo,

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a member of Orchid Country Club under NTUC.

I strongly support that the club provide training and employ some autistic persons among the staff.

Anonymous said...

"The parents are asking for more govt support to create work opportunities for their autistic children when they grow up and significantly improve the care for autistic adults who are unable to work."
- "Petition by parents of autistic children..."

Let's be realistic. Who wants to employ an autistic person other than to do those simple and manual jobs like cleaning, washing, clearing etc etc at very low pay. And even such jobs are done by available non-autistic foreigners!

And some parents of autistic children may not even want their autistic child to do such jobs! They want better type of jobs for autistic people, which may be the intent of the petition.

And autistic people is just one of the many, many other family and social issues in Singapore competing for the government and charities attention and help. So who and what to help more?

How about petition also for other issues?

Anonymous said...

Actually a lot of other issues in Singapore need to petition also lah.

Only thing is few or none bother or dare to start a petition. Or know which, how and when to start one.

Anonymous said...

Autistic citizens above 21 also can vote, right?

And they are only a minority of people, even if their family is also included, right?

theonion said...

Lucky

With the intended support of minimum wages, improved medical services pay so as to attract more Singaporeans etc would lead to direct consequences of inflation and increased costs.

So this has to be paid either thru higher taxes or eating into reserves or passing on the costs.

This would of course hit the lower income harder.

I support the ideal of supporting such persons of disability but would disagree that it only comes from govt, so frankly, would expect the wonderful rights activists to step forward more in enabling such financing eg NAC

Ng Eng Hou said...

Government effort itself may not be feasible all the time, but government should also take the lead in helping the vulnerable ones. Because in Singapore,the government is excessively powerful as compared to other countries. Currently the government is setting a bad example by being so money-faced and caring for its own high salaries. The government chips in a substantial portion with the residual coming from donations.

Talk Less About Money, Talk More About Helping The Unfortunate Ones!

Anonymous said...

Frankly, we need to hold this Govt up by the ankles and shake even more vigorously so that more loose change will drop for us.
Vote more opposition please!

Anonymous said...

<> These cannot be the main sources of inflation in Singapore. High rentals and high property prices are significant source of inflation pressures on businesses and these get passed down to the consumers.

Anonymous said...

Of what value is the social contract to those whose fate is of no consequence?

Running a country like a business means that liabilities are to be reduced / outsourced / displaced / re-appropriated.

The benefits of the social contract / sense of nationhood is something that is often taken for granted and missed only when it is missing.

It's good to see that there are still those who hold on to hope, even in the face of a cabinet where business interests are so overwhelmingly represented.

Anonymous said...

if we care more for the soul than money. If we care to give the less fortunate more dignity by creating jobs or skills so they can be more self sufficient and happy.

Why aren't such things done ?!

Everything costs but i feel that the authority has been spending money at all the wrong places, eg: 860k for mercer to research for minister's pay ?! 1.1 billion for our 2 private bus company ?

All resources are limited. We really need our leaders to search their hearts and do the right thing ! These are often easier said than done !!

I guess without the change of the current government, not much will change. Sad indeed.

Anonymous said...

Why is Singapore only 700 sq km? And why so hot and humid?

OK lah, the above cannot be helped because God make it that way.

But then and to make things worse, why so many foreigners want to come here and become so crowded?

Why is there no better alternative to PAP?

Anonymous said...

I think PAP has been spending money on the wrong places. For instance, money for mercer to research the minister's pay, money for our 2 private bus company, money supposedly used to improve the river at Bishan Park but actually make it uglier, over-budget money used for YOG, money used for scholarship of foreigners, momey spent for programme to integrate foreigners, etc The money is better spent to make the people's life better.

Anonymous said...

Aiya here u die your own business society and every one for himself. Very sad

Anonymous said...

Petition no use.
Only votes for the Opposition Parties (and money) can convince and incentivize the Plutocrats Action Party to do anything of value.

The Education Ministry using money to incentivise moral behaviour amongst students pretty much sums up the core values of our leaders.

Forget about the petition.

Start a campaign to get more votes for the Opposition Parties instead. This will be more effective.

Anonymous said...

You can just imagine the frustration among parents of children special needs when the cost of medical care increases or when the cost of transport increases - they need a car or taxi to bring their child to school and to the hospital

Looking at the COE and road tax system, our government thinks that everyone should take public transport including those with young children, eldery, disabled. Time to revamp the COE and road tax system

Anonymous said...

You can just imagine the frustration among parents of children special needs when the cost of medical care increases or when the cost of transport increases - they need a car or taxi to bring their child to school and to the hospital

Looking at the COE and road tax system, our government thinks that everyone should take public transport including those with young children, eldery, disabled. Time to revamp the COE and road tax system

Anonymous said...

"Denise Phua has a autistic child.... If there is any thing good about the PAP, it is Denise Phua."

How the fuck is that good? It's only because she has an autistic child that she champions the cause of providing support for autistic kid. How much more self-serving does it get?

If she didn't have an autistic kid, then it's fine to ignore them? Her politics reflect nothing more than her pure personal self-interests and motives.

Lee Kuan Yew is the master at this.

All along there wasn't any government scholarships, then when his son Lee Hsien Loong was ready to go to university, the President Scholarship was started so that his son can be the first recipient and have his overseas university education paid for by the public.

All along it has been next-to-impossible to get a banking license, then when his brother Lee Kim Yew decided to become director of Tat Lee bank, suddenly Tat Lee bank obtained one with no difficulty.

All along since the Hock Lee bus riots, only one bus company was allowed to operate in Singapore, then his wife Kwa Geok Choo decided to go into the public transport business, suddenly the government decided to liberalize public transportation market and allowed a second competitor, Kwa Geok Choo's Trans Island Bus Services, to operate.

All along Singapore has ostracized homosexuals, then when he discovered his grandson Li Huanwu is gay, then suddenly the anti-homosexual laws are repealed.

And therein lies the trouble with all PAP MPs, they keep recruiting mini-Lees who think and operate like Lee Kuan Yew, creating a government of self-centered scumbags.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is governed by a group of very materialistic people. Not much will be done to help the old, sick, weak and poor of the society.

Anonymous said...

When a family of doctors had a down-syndrome child, their first reaction was to pack up and migrate to Australia. Reason is very simple. In Australia the state support services and care for this handicaped child is many times better than Singapore. It will take a huge financial burdens off the shoulders of this rather wealthy family.
Meentio entseen

Anonymous said...

What we see here are kids who may not able to function in the mainstream. What about kids in the mainstream? They need more assistance, the current system is not sufficient and not efficient to help them. Parents have pay extra attention and help for the child. Treatments are not cheap even with subsidizes. It is already quite stressful when there is a one special needs child. The stressfulness is usually child's well being and finance. What about family with more than one special need children. What about if it is a low income family? What kind of help they can get, for the child/children and the family?

Anonymous said...

"Treatments are not cheap even with subsidizes."
Anon 13/3/12 23:59

You are right. Not just for children but also adults.

But it is just one of the many money issues facing "money no enough" voters.

But as a whole, are they serious enough to affect the at least 60% mandate for PAP at every election?

If not, nothing much will change. For the cheaper, that is.

Anonymous said...

Maybe voters with autistic children, having extra medical bills but cannot afford to pay, etc, etc are a minority?

Maybe already factored into the 40% who didn't vote PAP?

Or maybe their good(PAP)MP already helped some of them case by case so they are part of the 60% who voted PAP?

If like that, things are still OK for PAP what.

That's why opposition taap pai su (always lose) despite Lucky Tan's blog.

Jason2011 said...

Monster Headphones

Anonymous said...

EVERY VOTE COUNTS - DON'T SPOIL YOUR VOTE
--------------------
If only 7,270 of the spoilt votes in the Presidential elections went to Tan Cheng Bok, we would have a different President today.

Result for the Presidential Election 2011.

Tony Tan Keng Yam: 744,397 votes
Tan Cheng Bock: 737,128 votes.
Rejected votes: 37,826.

Tan Jee Say: 529,732 votes.
Tan Kin Lian: 103,931 votes.
--------------------
Total votes cast, 2,153,014.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singaporean_presidential_election,_2011

Anonymous said...

Government should do more for the autistic children.
Help those who need help most.

Anonymous said...

"Government should do more for the autistic children."

I respectfully disagree.

Voters should do more for the autistic children.
Vote in more Opposition MPs.

Anonymous said...

Government should ensure Health and Hospitalisation Insurance are made available to Persons with Special Needs. Either legislate insurance companies provide coverage or implement something like medishield operated by CPF.

Fadillah Rosdi said...

"Petition by parents of autistic children"

I strongly agree and support the above mentioned Petition, alot more can be done to help parents and children with special needs.