Saving for a GrowIn(g) Future Chapter 5 - Road to Adulthood
Let’s imagine this scenario, your child with special education needs have already graduated from high school or secondary school and passed through the national examinations such as Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As a parent this is the time of life where you can rest a whole lot easier as your child should be able to live independently as they are now able to control themselves physically, mentally and behaviorally. Furthermore, they should have acquired sufficient amount of knowledge and the necessary skills in the branches they wish to pursue to prepare for their employment. However, it does not just stop to employment as they can pursue tertiary education in colleges and universities.
This is where they can acquire newer skills, techniques and knowledge from the course they have chosen. During this stage, they should be able to learn independently in the tertiary education setting without their parent’s assistance as they have developed a responsibility to look after themselves. Still, they may still need to seek out for assistance in tertiary education centers such as therapies for temper tantrums or stress management to help them adapt to their new environment faster and efficiently.
At this point of life, your child with special education needs would have a responsibility to choose the branch of education they prefer based on their strengths, weaknesses and preferences. On the other hand, for parents, this stage means that they would have to balance between the costs required for tertiary education, basic necessities such as textbooks and if necessary, therapies. In fact, the costs of tertiary education in the private sector can be astronomically high. Thus, to choose a course of study depends on the quality of the courses, which education institute has the courses offered, the acknowledgement by the academic accreditation council and their syllabus. In addition, parents would need to consider the examination, accommodation, practical and other related fees based on the course selected. All these extra cost for tertiary education can be burdensome but the Malaysian government has been working hard to provide incentives and subsidies for fees, books and other necessities in tertiary education. Therefore, parents should take opportunity from the incentives and subsidies provided for students pursuing tertiary education to help their child to focus on their studies, worry free. Parents may also need to look at the necessary therapies if needed but at this age range, they should be mature enough to think and act on their own.
University’s Commitment for Individual with special education needs as told by Faiz
As an alumni and university graduate, my personal experience comes from when I was studying in Universiti Teknologi MARA. Back in the day, my family faced with so various challenges to manage our finances as we need to balance on expenditure on university necessities and fees. Thankfully, the university was able to provide my family and myself with a number of initiatives for people with special education needs which assisted myself and my family to continue my studies.
Let’s start off with my friends, they were with me since primary school. They understood my disabilities throughout my studies with full commitment and care. For instance, my friends in university helped me purchase academic books within my limited budgets. In addition, my lecturers also helped me alongside my friends and they accepted my disabilities without any prejudice. They guided me throughout my studies in terms of moral and financial support. Even today, I still keep in touch with my lecturers and friends who were with me back in university even when I’m employed as well.
In addition, the government specifically the Department of Social Welfare or Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) had also contributed to offer help throughout my studies in university by providing various incentives and financial support for families with special needs children. For example, they provided financial aid to support in the payment of university fees. It helped lessened my financial burden during my studies and helped me complete it altogether to graduate.
Knowledge and skills gained from courses provided by the universities is crucial as it’s a step to prepare for employment. During this period, a young adult with special needs should be able to live independently and help contribute for the family’s financial support. As they progress towards adulthood, they will face many challenges to enter university and they will need to overcome it to cope with the new environment. Thus as parents, we should be in top form of preparation for their financial for the support of their children for them to study well in university. With proper care and support from parents, your child will be able to handle their university life and potentially become future leaders for society. We at GrowIn Sprouts are committed to assist you and your child with special needs throughout their journey to independence in adulthood.