Special Needs Education in Thailand
Information about the provisions for children with special needs with details relevant to the children of foreigners in Thailand...
State-funded special needs education is provided almost exclusively for Thai children only. However, there are international schools providing special needs education for foreigners in Thailand, and some schools are run by non-profit organisations.
Legislation Concerning the Provision for Special Needs Education
Until 1975 children with disabilities tended not to be provided for within the state system of schooling. However, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1975 granted all children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education. These children were provided for in special schools separated from mainstream schools. However, Thailand is moving towards integration of children with special needs into mainstream schools. The 1992 Disability Act has further highlighted the need to continue to expand the provision for people with disabilities.
The 1999 National Education Act has attempted to give more attention to special needs education. Various ministerial departments are responsible for the provision of particular areas of special needs education. The Division of Special Education is within the Ministry of Education, while the Department of General Education focuses on the deaf, the blind, and integrated education. The Department of Non-formal education emphasises the needs of people living in remote areas.
There are a number of special schools that provide help for parents of children with special needs. Many are government-funded and provide education for children with Thai citizenship. Others are non-profit organisations and are generally for children that come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are of Thai nationality.
Special Needs Education for Non-Thais
For non-Thais there are a number of international schools with places for children with special needs.
The school also provides assistance in seeking professional help for kids with a wide range of special needs and can also assist families with children attending other schools. Places are available for children aged two onwards.
In Phuket, the Phuket Punyanukul School provides education and vocational training for children with special needs.
For information on international schools in Thailand see:
The organisations below can also provide help and provide information for parents of children with special needs in Thailand.
- Acorn to Oaks Centre is an English Speaking Centre for the evaluation of childhood development, providing support and learning with trained teachers, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and educational psychologists
At: Sukhumvit 71 Road, Bangkok
Tel: 02 711 7157-8
- Bangkok Mothers and Babies International (BAMBI) offers support and advice for parents with special needs, on their arrival in Bangkok
- The Village Education Centre supports special education needs with special education teachers, after-school learning support, psycho-educational evaluations, occupational therapy and counselling for parents and children with special needs
At: 14 Sukhumvit Soi 42, Prakanong, Klong Tuey, Bangkok
Tel: +66 (0)2 391 4453-5
- The Reed Institute is a commercial organisation in Bangkok that runs programmes for children with dyslexia, ADHD/ADD, behavioural and social skills problems as well as many other special needs
At: Sukhumvit Soi 38, Bangkok
Tel: 02 391 0107
- The Fr. Ray Foundation is a non-profit making group that runs schools specifically for children with special needs, including a school for the deaf and a school for the blind
- Acorn to Oaks Centre is a commercial English Speaking Centre for the evaluation of childhood development, providing support and learning with trained teachers, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and educational psychologists
At: Sukhumvit 71 Road, Bangkok
Tel: 02 711 7157-8
- The Rainbow Room
A special needs awareness centre and support group for parents who have children with behavioural and developmental challenges including Down syndrome, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder and other special needs. At: 30 Soi Saengchai Sukhumvit 38, Bangkok.
Tel: 086 770 0845
- LEAP (Learning Education Advocacy Program): Parent-run group that serves as a point of contact for parents in need of support, referrals and information concerning their children’s special needs including learning disabilities, developmental delays, sensory integration and autism.
- Little Sprouts Children's Centre
Private organisation for children with special needs and their families, in both Thai and English. Individual/group therapy, speech therapy, OT/SI, IEP development and management, assessment, and consultation.
At: 109/1 Soi Thonglor 5, Sukhumvit 55
Tel: 02 712 5204-5 / 086 0033 882
Fax: 02 712 6835
- British Early Years Centre
Provides specialist classes of English and Maths for children with special needs.
Tel: 02 616 9342 / 082 794 3710
American Curriculum institute that accepts students from 18 months - 18 years, including those with additional learning, behavioural and emotional needs.
At: P.O.Box 18, 39/932-933 Soi Nichada Thani, Samakee Road, Pakkret, Nonthaburi, 11120
Tel: 02 960 3663