Temasek Cares – Autism Support Programme @ ITE
Supporting students with autism in post-secondary institutions
Partner: Autism Resource Centre (Singapore), Institute of Technical Education
The Autism Support Programme, started in June 2013 in partnership with Autism Resource Centre (ARC), provides structured support for students with autism at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Students with autism face challenges in school such as adjusting to the pace of lessons, making social connections, and communicating with peers and teachers. This pilot programme helps these students develop better social, educational and mental well-being in ITE so that they are better able to access the curriculum and complete their ITE education.
The programme also provides training and support to ITE staff and peers of students with autism to create greater awareness and better understanding of the condition. Caregivers receive guidance on ways to partner with the school to support the student.
Former Pathlight School student, Young Yi Wei, has benefitted greatly from the programme. “The training helped me improve the way I interact with people and to know what people need to understand me. The trainers from ARC helped me search for better ways to deal with stressful situations,” said Yi Wei, a student in the Aerospace Technology course in ITE.
His parents are very supportive of his educational pursuits. His mother, Mrs Young, said: “As a parent, I am very grateful for the programme as it equipped my son with skills to interact with others and to improve his mental well-being. ITE is a completely new environment to my son. This programme has helped him to transition to the ITE environment better. Knowing that my son will have access to support by ITE and ARC counsellors, as and when needed, helps lessen my worries”.
The 3-year programme expects to serve 73 students and benefit more than 600 caregivers, ITE staff and peers.