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Getting Started with a Special Needs Child

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Special needs come in different forms. There are learning difficulties, physical disabilities, emotional and behavioural issues. Physical disabilities may be easier to detect (some at birth), while learning, emotional and behavioural challenges are often diagnosed as toddlers or older.  As parents, our journey starts with assessment followed by intervention.

We have put together a list of resources to help you get started. 

Child Development Specialists

Child Development Specialists assess, diagnose, prescribe and monitor suitable interventions. It is a niche specialty and few of such specialists are available in Malaysia. Always call ahead and book appointments.

1. Dr. Rajini A/P Sarvananthan
Consultant General & Developmental Paediatrician
Hospital: ParkCity Medical Centre (PMC)

2. Dr. Ranjini S Sivanesom
Consultant Development Paediatrician
Hospital: Prince Court Medical Centre

3. Dr. Subhashini Jayanath
Consultant Developmental Paediatrician
Hospitals: Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM)* and Universiti Malaysia Specialist Centre (UMSC)
*For an appointment, you will need to submit a referral letter from a paediatrician to Klinik Wanita & Kanak-Kanak, PPUM.

4. Dr. Raja Juanita Raja Lope
Consultant General & Development Paediatrician
Hospital: Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur

5. Dr. Malinee A. Thambyayah
Consultant General & Development Paediatrician
Hospital: Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur


Special Needs Centres

Alternatively, an assessment can be done by a child psychologist. Their role is similar to that of a child development specialist. Child psychologists are usually attached to centres for special needs. These centres typically provide a combination of Early Intervention Programmes (EIP), occupational therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy among others.

1. Autism Behaviour Centre (ABC)

This centre focuses mainly on autism and speech delay intervention. Services provided include:

  • Centre-based ABA therapy
  • Home-based ABA therapy and occupational therapy
  • Intensive ABA therapy in Mandarin
  • Social skills groups
  • Holiday programmes
  • Talks for parents and teachers
  • Free autism screenings
  • Awareness talks

Address: Level 3, Bangunan Bangsaria, 45E, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +603 2201 1107 / +603 2202 1107 /  +6012 285 2007
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://abcautism.com.my/

Autism Behavioral Centre (ABC) in Bangsar

2. The Mind Faculty

The Mind Faculty is an integrated mental health clinic boasting some 25 practitioners. Services provided include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Psychological assessments
  • Play therapy for children and adolescents

* Psychologists and psychiatrists available

Address: 11, Jalan Solaris 4, Solaris Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +603 6203 0359 / +603 6203 0733
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.themindfaculty.com/

3. Kidsogenious

Founded in October 2010, Kidsogenius Speech Centre is dedicated to providing professional and caring speech-language therapy for children with various speech and/or language impediments. The centre provides:

  • Psychological assessments
  • Early Intervention Programme (EIP)
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Social group

*Child psychologist available

Address:
Cheras

Address: A-8-1 Plaza Dwitasik, Bandar Sri Permaisuri, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +6017 690 9380

Kota Damansara

Address: D-02-02, Sunway Nexis, Jalan PJU 5/1, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya
Phone: +603 6151 6966 / +6017 665 0250

Email:  [email protected]
Website: https://kidsogenius.com/

Holiday and Enrichment Programme at Kidsogenius

4. Sapphire Kidz

Sapphire Kidz caters for children (aged 3 to 14 years) with moderate learning difficulties, language developmental delay, global developmental delay, Autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s, Down’s syndrome, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, ADHD and early learning difficulties. Its services include Early Intervention Programme (EIP), occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Address: 20-2, Jalan Solaris 3, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +6012 710 8070 / +6012 662 1206
Website: https://sapphirekidz.com/home-1

Sapphire Kidz in Mont Kiara

5. Pantai Integrated Rehab

Located in Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, the rehab has a paediatric social and play group therapy. They apply an integrated approach combining the necessary therapy required. Services available include speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.
*Child psychologists, psychiatrists and child development paediatricians are available at Pantai Hospital KL.

Address: Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, East Wing, Block A, 2nd Floor, No. 8, Jalan Bukit Pantai, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +603 2296 0636 / +603 2296 0637
Website: http://www.pantai-rehab.com.my/index.html

6. The Energy Source

The Energy Source is a multi-disciplinary centre offering paediatric services, Early Intervention Programmes (EIP) as well as group fitness and play classes for children of all abilities. Their services include:

  • Paediatric physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and  language therapy
  • Sensory integration therapy
  • Early Intervention Programmes (EIP)
  • Inclusive fitness training
  • Parent support group and workshops
  • Group therapy and social skills programmes

Address: 204, Jalan Limau Manis, Bangsar Park, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +6016 260 8895
Website: https://www.theenergysource.com.my/

7. WQ Park

WQ Park is a health and rehabilitation centre for children and adults. It provides:

  • Early Intervention Programmes (EIP)
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Physiotherapy

*Paediatric & Paediatric Neurology clinics available

Address:

Headquarters

WQ Park Health & Rehabilitation Centre
Lot 2D, Jalan SS 5D/6, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +603 7804 4171 / 8171
Fax: +603 7805 2171

Selangor

No. 21, Jalan Puteri 2A/1, Bandar Puteri Bangi, Kajang, Selangor
Tel: +6011 5908 3417

Kuala Lumpur

No. 17, Jalan Rampai Maju, Rampai Business Park (South), Taman Sri Rampai, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 4144 3161 / +603 4131 2171 / +603 4144 2161
Fax: +603 7805 2171

Website: www.wqpark.com.my
Email:  [email protected]

WQ Park Health & Rehabilitation Centre

8. Qamara Therapy

This centre is home to programmes for special needs children from infancy to age 12.  Programmes include:

  • Early Intervention Programmes (EIP)
  • Sensory Therapy and Intervention Programme
  • Advanced learning programmes (7-12 years of age)
  • Occupational therapy

Address:
Qamara’s Sensory Therapy & Intervention Centre, TSB Sg Buloh Branch (Headquarters)
No 67-2 & 65-2, Jalan Nautika AU20/A, Seksyen U20, Pusat Komersial TSB, Shah Alam, Selangor.
Phone: +603 6151 7595
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.qamara.com.my
Click here for other locations.

9. Taarana

Taarana which means ‘Awakening’ in Sanskrit was established as a centre for children with special education needs. Services available include:

  • Early Intervention Programme (EIP) (3-5 years old)
  • School programmes (5 years and above)
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Taekwando
  • Music
  • Creative arts
  • Social skills camps

Address: No. 1, SS3/39, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone:+603 7865 7207 / +603 7865 8207 / +603 7865 9207
Website: http://www.taarana.org.my/

Taarana Sports Day

10. Step & Smile

Step & Smile* is an education center for children with cerebral palsy or other motor disorders. They practice the Conductive Education (CE)  approach which is an educational-based rehabilitation programme. Simply put, it helps teach and train critical life skills to those with motor disorders.

Address:
Step and Smile Conductive Education Center Malaysia, A-0-1 Plaza Damas 3, Jalan Sri-Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +6012 374 1878
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://stepandsmile.com

*There are in the process of relocating to 1Mont Kiara and integrating into the MindSpace Inclusive Education Facilities.

11. We Rock The Spectrum

Children get to enjoy themselves in a fun, inclusive environment which also helps with the following skills:  movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. The following is available at the Ara Damansara Branch :

  • Therapy Through Play
  • Jazz dance
  • Contemporary dance
  • Body Boom
  • Dance movement therapy
  • Open play and use of the facilities
  • Parties – birthday parties and private playdates

Address: EV-S-17 & EV-S-18, 2nd Floor, Evolve Concept Mall, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya
Phone:  +603 7859 8081
Mobile:  +6010 939 5711
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.werockthespectrumaradamansara.com/

12. Headstart Academy

It is an early intervention centre for your children with special needs.  Headstart Academy was founded by parents to a child with autism. The facilities include spacious classrooms, an occupational therapy gym, therapy rooms, a Snoezelen sensory room and dedicated areas for arts and craft, music, dining and changing room/toilets.  They also sponsor a space for Autism Cafe Project (ACP) where families can enjoy food and drinks served by youths with special needs.  Services include:

  • Early Intervention Programmes (EIP)
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Positive behavioural intervention and support
  • Occupational therapy
  • Extra-curricular activities such as music, gymnastics, martial arts, dance & movement, art and craft, and playgroups

Address: Lot 3F-23A & 3F-25, 3rd floor, SACC Mall, Jalan Perbandaran, Shah Alam, Selangor
Phone: +603 5524 1711 / +6012-885 5572

Therapy is also available at its Damansara branch.

Address: Unit D-G-01 & D-G-02, Casa Suites Condo Shop, No. 1 Jalan SS20/27, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: +603 7621 9453
Email[email protected]
Website: https://www.headstart.my

The Snoezelen sensory room

Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

1. The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM)

This NGO was formed in 1987 by parents and professionals to provide support services for individuals with autism. Services provided include:

  • Vocational programmes
  • Residential programmes
  • Early Intervention Programmes (EIP)
  • Mainstreaming programmes
  • Pre-vocational programmes
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Therapy programmes
  • Transition programmes

Address: Pacific Place Commercial Center, Unit B-2-3, B-3-3, Jalan PJU 1A/4, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya
Phone: +603 7832 1928 / +603 7832 5928 / +603 7831 7928
Fax: +603 7886 9923
Email: [email protected]

NASOM One-Stop Centre (Assessment/Diagnosis/General Enquiries on Autism)
25A-5, Setia Avenue, Jalan Setia Prima S U13/S, Section 13, Setia Alam, Shah Alam
Phone: +603 3359 0988
Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.nasom.org.my

Click here for more NASOM centres located across the country.

Walk for Autism 2015 by NASOM

2. Dyslexia Malaysia Association

Dyslexia Malaysia Association is an NGO that provides:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of dyslexia
  • Academic remedial  teaching (age 5 and above)

Address: 349, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +603 4265 1632
Website: http://dyslexiamalaysia.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dyslexia.malaysia/

3. Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation

This NGO focuses on education for children with Down’s syndrome up to the age of 6. Services include:

  • Infant stimulation programme
  • Toddler and special education programme
  • Support group for parents

Address: Yayasan Kiwanis Sindrom Down, Lot 13490 Jalan Jenjarum, Off SS23/1, Taman Sea, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: +603 7803 0179
Fax: +603 7806 4862
Website: www.kdsf.org.my
Email: [email protected]

LRT Ride by Kiwanis

4. Persatuan Down Syndrome Malaysia (PDSM)

This NGO was formed by a group of parents of children with Down’s syndrome in 2001. Their purpose is to look after the welfare of children with Down’s syndrome and their families.  Services offered include:

  • Early Intervention Program (EIP)
  • Speech therapy and physical therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Infant stimulation programme
  • Advance early intervention program
  • Daily care
  • Vocational workshop
  • Information resource centre on Down’s syndrome

Address: JKR 2807 (87), Lingkungan U-Thant, Kuala Lumpur
Phone:  +603 4257 9818
Website: http://downsyndromemalaysia.com/

Team building camp by Persatuan Down Syndrome Malaysia

Please note that this list isn’t exhaustive and details stated might be subject to change. Do email [email protected] if you know of any other centres or support groups.

After 8-years in Public Relations, Desiree Kaur founded a tuition centre, so she could start a family. When her son was diagnosed with autism, she decided to learn more about how to help her son and others like him. She is now pursuing a Masters in Special Education.

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