May I know a bit about you?
I am Sophaneth Heng. I have a Master’s degree in Special Education from Flinders University, Australia. I have 8 years of experience in education working with children with special needs.
What is Special Education Cambodia (SEC)? Why do you establish the SEC?
Special Education Cambodia was created to raise awareness, and share information with parents and Cambodian citizens about children with different disabilities.
How did Special Education Cambodia begin?
I was inspired to start this page because of the confusion and misleading information that some people have about children with special needs and their conditions. A lot of the time, people believe that special needs children, especially with autism, can be cured or improved with traditional medicine, rituals, milk powder, or even by something as simple as eliminating gadgets from their life. I have also seen and heard the struggle of parents who have spent thousands of dollars on the wrong interventions, holding onto false hopes that someday their children are going to be the same as everybody else, instead of looking for the right support and accepting the way they are. For this particular reason, I think it is important for me to put myself out there as a source of information where parents and guardians of the children can access information that is transparent and straightforward.
What are the cores that Special Education Cambodia focuses on?
Being transparent and straightforward are the two main qualities that are very important to me and to SEC. Being transparent and straightforward means, we have to tell parents the way it is although it is hard for us and for them. Being transparent and straightforward means telling them to accept their children, to stop hiding from their problems, and to look for the right support on time rather than being scared of their children’s conditions. It is important to bear in mind that at the end of the day, it is not about us. It is about the children and how we are going to support them in a way that they will be able to function independently in this society.