8-Year-Old Singapore boy with special needs goes missing from tuition centre
An 8-year-old special needs child went missing from a tuition centre in Singapore. "The centre is aware of my son's condition", says his mum...
An 8-year-old Singapore boy with special needs went missing from a tuition centre after they apparently released him early.
According to The New Paper, the incident happened on Wednesday, 19 September 2018. The child had been attending B-Wise Development Centre at Jurong East St 24 for English and Maths tuition, two times a week.
It is also understood that the boy suffers from global developmental delay.
Special needs child goes missing in Singapore
According to The New Paper (TNP), the boy, Vetri, normally attends classes until 4:30 pm. But on that day, he was supposed to stay back at the tuition centre till 6 pm. The centre was apparently well aware of the situation and the boy’s condition as well.
His mother Madam Leelavathi Haridas has been quoted as saying, “After my husband dropped him off at 2.30 pm, I called the school to check that he would only be released at 6 pm.”
“The centre is aware of my son’s condition.”
But at around 5:45 pm, his grandmother realised that the child’s slippers weren’t outside the centre. She went in and asked about her grandson, but was told that he hadn’t stayed back for his extra lesson.
She quickly called up the boy’s mother, who in turn, informed the police.
The child was finally found at 6:40 pm, about 3.5 km away from the tuition centre, at the junction of Jurong Town Hall Road and Pandan Gardens (where he lives).
He was tired and had got drenched in the rain. He also fell sick after the incident.
Madam Leelavathi said that she will soon be withdrawing him from the centre.
The centre meanwhile has acknowledged it’s mistake. A spokesman told TNP, “This is the first time such a thing has happened for the 16 years since the centre has opened and we take this incident very seriously.
“We will tighten up our own process to ensure such a thing won’t happen again.”
Special needs child goes missing: How to prepare for emergencies
Parents should always prepare their children for emergencies. Here is some important information that every parent should teach her child:
- The child should know his first and last name. That’s the first thing your child will be asked for when he’s lost.
For younger kids, before you go outside (especially to crowded places), it is good to prepare a name card ready with the child’s and parent’s details. This particularly holds true for autistic/special needs children.
Some parents are known to opt for wearable tracking devices, like smart watches, which can be tracked by a mobile app.
- Your full name and mobile number (For younger kids, write it down and put it somewhere easily accessible).
Even if your child can recite your phone number, it is always a good idea to write it where he can keep it, in case he forgets.
- The child should be taught not to go anywhere, accept anything from, or get into a car with anyone. Tell your child to yell loudly if anyone tries to make him go somewhere.
- The child should also be wary of of grown-ups asking for help. If grown ups really want help, they’ll approach adults, not kids.
- Teach your child about safe strangers, people he can approach in case he is in trouble.