Money is always an issue when it comes to getting specialized intervention services or therapy services for special needs students here in the Philippines.
Here are the reasons why:
- For children diagnosed as having special needs, the government does not provide for, as far as I know, individualized instruction, after-school tutorial services and client-specific special education services in the schools.
- There are ( a lot) public schools that offer special education services but these are not as intensive as should be. Why? Simply because there is no budget that would allow the services to happen. Things like teacher trainings and materials require some costs.
Yes, there are instances when it is the teacher who does these things and more, usually from her heart and good intentions but without compensation.
- Other therapy services like speech and language, occupational and even physical therapy services are not readily available for free in the government-run hospitals. Patients have to pay for a minimal fee but they have to be placed in a waiting list or are being given intervention in groups. There may be some hospitals that provide these services utilizing the students earning their degrees, but again, these are not enough to accommodate those who are in need of these services. Some of these hospitals are the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Philippine General Hospital, these are just what I know of. The Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center offers speech therapy too but the fee is not as low as the two hospitals. If I missed a hospital, please feel free to let me know.
- To even realize that it is only the University of the Philippines in Manila that offers the course of Speech and Language Pathology shows how much these professionals are in demand. I wouldn’t even want to think how many of them are still here since a lot has gone abroad already.
- Getting into a special education program is NOT ENOUGH to help children diagnosed as having developmental problems.
A special education teacher is trained to teach children with special needs in a classroom setting. Although she can provide evaluation services to know the skills of her students, she can not, should not, in any way, say what she thinks the problem is with a child, especially a child who has not been “officially” given a diagnosis.
That is the role of the developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist or a child psychiatrist. No matter how much the parents pressure her in telling her what she thinks is the matter, she can elaborate the problems but not say that the child has autism or ADHD.
In a special education class, not all the needs of the children with special needs can be addressed.
These needs that need to be addressed by other professionals in the field are: work and behavior management which should be addressed by an occupational therapist; and the speech-language processing which should be addressed by a speech-language therapist.
The special education teacher should work in collaboration with these professionals along with the parents/caregivers and the doctor(s) so that she can incorporate their goals with her goals for the child.
And now I will go back to the issue of money.
Truth is, here in the Philippines, starting from the diagnosis down to the getting of specialized intervention, money rules parents should prepare financial means to be able to get the best services for their children. Grim but true.
- A visit to the developmental pediatrician has to be paid. Depending on the child’s condition, this can happen every three, six, eight months or every year.
- A visit to the child psychologist for an intensive testing happens every year, if this was recommended by the developmental pediatrician. This is twice or thrice the amount to be paid compared to the developmental pediatrician. If it is up to me, I would recommend this visit with ALL the children having special needs but then again, the fee is really high.
- An evaluation by a speech-language therapist has to be paid, and so this happens too with an occupational therapist. And an evaluation too, from a special education teacher who is not the child’s classroom teacher.
- Payment for private schools that cater special children range anywhere from PhP50,000 – PhP120,000 PhP200,000 ($1,136 – 2700 $4500 with exchange rate of PhP44 to $1).
- What about field trips?
- Special diets?
- Extra learning materials for home use?
- Gasoline and parking fee for the therapy session?
- Snacks to bring for the therapy session?
- Side trip to a restaurant or to the mall after the therapy session?
- Caregiver compensation AND payment for caregiver seminars.
There could be more to this list but I will leave this list as such and hope those who will read this post will not be discouraged.
If you are still here, then permit me to tell you what a parent of a student told another parent: “Do not think about the expenses you have to shell out, for in the end, you cannot turn back the clock if your child did not progress and he will have a hard time complying to the program made especially for him. No amount of money can ever replace the development that our children can achieve.”
- I am closing the comments for this post.
- If you have any inquiries about school directories for enrolling as a future special education teacher, I want to tell say right now that I do NOT have a list of such schools/universities.
- For parents or concerned persons wanting to know about special ed schools near where YOU live, I also want to say that I do NOT have a list of these schools.
- Please read my Dear Readers of my Special Education Posts which can be found in the upper right hand portion of my sidebar, under pages.
- If you have any inquiries, email these through webmaster(at)teacherjulie(dot)com
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 5:25 pm and is filed under Being a (Special Ed) Teacher, Challenge Yourself, My Thoughts, special education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.