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Special needs center for kids OK’d on 1st reading

The City Council passed on first reading on yesterday’s regular session the resolution enacting an ordinance to establish a center for special needs in the city.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, the author of the resolution, said children with special needs require special attention in appropriate educational environment to make their integration into the normal education system easier.

“The city must provide for the means to advance the welfare of children with special needs, not only through equal opportunities and non-discriminatory practices but with a pro-active approach through intervention and education,” Villafuerte said in her proposal.

She added that the city government needs to build a facility where these services may be availed by parents.

Last week, Councilor Antoinette Principe also mentioned the need for an early intervention and holistic care center for children with special needs. She said the interventions shall focus on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of a child with special needs.

Principe explained that special needs cover intellectual disability, global developmental delay, communication disorders, autism spectrum disorder, motor disorder, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

According to Principe, the provision of special early intervention and care prepares the child for basic education offered by the DepEd-managed Sped learning centers.

Principe proposed that the said center should provide in-house experts such as audiologist, ophthalmologist, physical therapist, speech and language therapist, psychiatrist and school psychologist.

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