Tuesday, December 7

Organisers stress value of ‘inclusive play’ for children with special needs

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Tai (fifth right), Hii (fourth left) and others give the thumbs up for Inclusive Play Day 2.0.

SIBU (Nov 21): The Inclusive Play Day can help to promote understanding among children with special needs with typical children and adults by way of playing together, said Special Olympics Sarawak Sibu Chapter chairman Pemanca Datuk Jason Tai.

“Typical children already have a hard time fitting in among their peers especially as they grow into teenagers and into adulthood. Imagine how hard it could be for a child that is intellectually challenged.

“They would experience the same feelings of doubt, anxiety, humiliation and loneliness as a result of being excluded from a group, which is something any parent would want for their children,” he explained at the Inclusive Play Day 2.0 held in Block A, Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI) here yesterday.

He believes that such programmes especially these uncertain times benefit everyone.

“Not just the children with special needs but, more importantly, we learn to understand that not everyone is the same and to accept even if they are different.

“We learn compassion, awareness and respect by being those around those from different walks of life,” he said.

Meanwhile, MPI principal Hii King Kai stressed that the objective of the programme was to provide space and time for children to play and have fun.

“All we need to do is to take this extra step to accommodate these differences to help each other enjoy life a little bit better,” he said.