Kinderland Malaysia
Kiddy123 Frame
Odyssey, The Global Preschool (Mont Kiara)
Choo Choo Train Baby & Child Care Centre
British Montessori, Ampang
The children's house
Small Wonder Malaysia

Schools for Special Needs Children in Malaysia

by on 12/09/2013 54576

Lack of education support

We now have several types of education systems in Malaysia, all harmoniously living under the same roof. From Government Schools, Private School, Chinese and Tamil Schools, International Schools with curriculums from Britain, America, Australia and France and many others. The one type of school that is still lacking in many ways is schools for special needs children. Special needs children often fall through the cracks of our education system. These children vary, from ‘mild’ learning disability cases like dyslexia and ADHD to more severe disabilities like autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation, physical retardation and many others. While many parents want their special needs children to attend normal schools, this may not always be advisable or possible.

Private Centres

There are a growing number of private centres in Kuala Lumpur that cater to teaching special needs children with autism and downs syndrome and they ensure that your child will get a near full curriculum learning at their pace. The cost involved in educating your child in these centres is, however, high. Another place where many parents send their autistic children is qualified speech therapists where children get help with their speech and go on at the same time, to some international schools where they are accepted.

To note, as of today, one of the few schools in Kuala Lumpur that accept children with special needs are Australian International School – where they are required to attend speech therapy classes outside school and have a shadow teacher – and  Toddler Town International Preschool which also accommodates students with special needs.

Special needs children neglected

Unfortunately, our national curriculum schools are not very special needs children friendly. There have been cases where dyslexic children are left alone to their fate with labels such as ‘lazy’ and ‘stupid’. The rest of the private and international schools are too grade conscious to take in special needs children, fearing a drop in school grades and an added expense of teachers and training.

It is however a better idea to send you child with special needs to a special school where his or her needs are taken care of more carefully. They may need more time to grasp certain ideas and in a special school, teachers are more specialised to be able to teach them in a different way. These teachers have completely different education and training compared to teachers in normal schools. It is quite pointless for special needs children to attend normal schools if they are going to be left behind in class, leaving them lost and frustrated. It is better that they learn at their own pace, with teachers and carers who know what they are doing and who can really help them with their studies.

More centres growing

In Malaysia, there is a wide range of centres and schools dedicated to serving special needs children. Among them are notable examples such as the Autism Behavioral Center, renowned for its award-winning intervention services that adhere to international standards and address communication, behavioural and learning challenges. The Miles Autism Academy stands out as a comprehensive service centre, specialising in official diagnosis, treatments, interventions and daycare services for individuals with autism and other special needs. The Lighthouse Therapy Centre strives to unlock children's maximum potential through screenings, assessments, and direct interventions, promoting independence, life skills and community involvement. The Enso International Academy emphasises the holistic development of special needs students, attending to their academic, physical, social and personal growth. Additionally, the Gifted Kids Care Centre, an extension of Pine Hills International School, offers academic and therapy support for students with special needs. The Alisther Rehabilitation & Intervention Centre, Bukit Jalil takes a holistic approach to the development of children diagnosed with Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD, GDD and other conditions within the special needs spectrum. The Integrative Academy aims to enhance and integrate the existing curriculum to cater to individuals with academic and social needs, facilitating their path to success regardless of their differences. The Apple King Special Education Centre provides comprehensive assessment and treatment for children with various disabilities, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia and more.

In addition, Malaysia is also home to Oasis Place, a leading provider of educational and developmental intervention services. Oasis Place is renowned for offering world-class, multidisciplinary intervention services to individuals of all ages and abilities. Another notable centre is SI World, specialising in sensory integration therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physiotherapy.

Another centre worth mentioning is HappyLand Psychology & Therapy Centre, located in Johor, which provides a fun and interesting therapy and learning environment to discover the strength and potential of special needs children. 

National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) has also opened up a few schools for autistic children in Malaysia, so there have been some major developments in the education for special children. More and more such schools are now coming into Malaysia. There is hope that Malaysia will one day reach the level of developed countries when it comes to the education of special needs children.

For a comprehensive list of centres that provide multidisciplinary intervention services for children with special needs, please refer to our listing guide or the special needs centres article.


This article was last updated in February 2024. 

Recent Reviews (4)

Jonathan tan rates this article with

Very informative read on the current situation in Malaysia. I teach physical education for students with disabilities in the US. I visited Kuching Malaysia recently and would like to help their special needs population.

11/09/2016 - 06:09 am

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aisyah rates this article with

This really helps me with my final year thesis. I'm looking for possibilities in proverb education among disable children through illustration. (since my majoring is illustration in graphic design)

26/04/2016 - 09:26 am

+ 7

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Mariyam rates this article with

My brother is a slow learner and 11 years old.His brain functions as a 4 year baby.From where i can get visa to such kind of children?I am living in Pakistan.

27/11/2015 - 01:50 pm

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