Inclusive Support And Education Of Children With Special Needs; Issues, Challenges, And Responses

Ikfina Maufuriyah


There has been a growing number of children with special needs lately with or without diagnose from professionals. According to the recent data, 1 out of 10 students is dyslexic, 1 in 59 children is autistic, and 6000 babies are born with down syndrome annually. The increasing prevalence is quite alarming while there is no adequate research and proper intervention to help the children grow functionally and live inclusively, particularly in Indonesia. The intervention and support given to these children are mostly in partial services, and share less connection one another. Psychologists, pediatricians, therapists, teachers, care-takers, policy-makers, and parents work in their own area and competencies without communicating or connecting to each other. These partial and disconnected services may be contradictory and far from proper intervention needed by the children. Moreover, the parents, teachers, and community have lack of sufficient information and support to raise these children and are let alone to seek help, and eventually feel helpless. In most cases, the children are stigmatized and are not treated equally in term of getting access to health and educational services. And many of them are let undiagnosed and improperly treated to grow more functionally. This research is aim at reviewing issues around special needs services, the challenges faced by parents, teachers, and professionals, as well as the responses to the problems that have been done to support the children. This research uses grounded-theory approach, and the data is generated from professionals (paediatrician and psychologist), parents, teachers, and therapist. The research is conducted in Jepara, Central Java, yet may use national and international data to compare. The findings suggest that albeit some efforts done by the government, professionals, parents, and special education practicioners, yet the efforts and results seem far from satisfaction. The collaboration, inclusive approach, and sustainable programs highly benefit to the future trajectory of the children which can help them to be more independent, adaptive, and functional.

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