Singapore: Insurance available for Persons with Special Needs

To read on Christian Outreach to the handicapped website:

Insurance in Singapore for Persons with Special Needs

Apr 10, 2015   by COH Resource

As a parent or legal guardian of someone with special needs, there’s often the concern of how to cope with medical and living expenses in the long term. You may be interested to know about two private insurance policies available in Singapore.

Both SpecialCare (Autism) Insurance and SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) Insurance are offered by NTUC Income. They feature similar eligibility criteria, yearly premiums, and benefits.

For example, a parent/legal guardian can insure his or her child who is between 15 days to 30 years of age. Both the parent/legal guardian and child must have valid Singapore identification documents (For example, NRIC or birth certificate). In taking up a policy, the parent/legal guardian will be the Policy Holder and the child will be the Insured Person.

The policies cover the Insured Person for medical expenses from accidents and infectious diseases. Other benefits -those not found in most insurance plans- include reimbursement for mobility aids, psychiatric treatment and physiotherapy, home modifications and caregiver training following an accident.

There are also benefits if the parent/legal guardian (the policyholder) becomes permanently disabled or dies due to an accident. This relieves financial burdens in the family and ensures that the Insured Person continues to be covered.

For more information on each insurance scheme, call NTUC Income’s Hotline for Specialised Care at 67861788

Genomic Medicine, Intellectual Disability, and Autism – A research

Mark Batshaw, MD. Photo Waisman Center.

 Eric Hoffman, Ph.D. Photo Children National.

To  read on website:

From the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetic Medicine, University of  Washington, Seattle (H.C.M.); and the Departments of Integrative Systems Biology and Pediatrics, Children’s National Medical Center, and George Washington University School of Medicine  (M.L.B., E.P.H.) — both in Washington, DC. Address reprint requests to Dr. Mefford at the Department of Pediatrics, 1959 NEPacific St., Box 356320, Seattle, WA 98195, or at Engl J Med 2012;366:733-43.

Genomic Medicine

W. Gregory Feero, M.D., Ph.D., and Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., Editors

Genomics, Intellectual Disability, and Autism

Heather C. Mefford, M.D., Ph.D., Mark L. Batshaw, M.D.,

and Eric P. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Intellectual disability, which is characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior that begin before the age of 18 years, (1) affects 1.5 to 2% of the population in Western countries. (2) A diagnosis of intellectual disability is usually made when IQ testing reveals an IQ of less than 70, which means that often the diagnosis is not made until late childhood or early adulthood. However, most persons with intellectual disability are identified early in childhood on the basis of concern about developmental delays, which may include motor, cognitive, and speech delays. A genetic underpinning of this disorder has long been recognized in a subset of cases, with trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome) detectable by chromosomal studies since 1959.(3)

Trisomy 21 remains the most important chromosomal cause of intellectual disability. Single-gene causes have also been identified for a number of intellectual disability syndromes and include both autosomal and X-linked genes, with the fragile X syndrome being the most common of inherited syndromes caused by a single-gene defect leading to this phenotype in male patients. Autism spectrum disorders have been estimated to affect as many as 1 in 100 to 1 in 150 children. (4,5)  Disorders on the autism spectrum share features of impaired social relationships, impaired language and communication, and repetitive behaviors or a narrow range of interests. Many children with autism spectrum disorders also have intellectual disability, and approximately 75% have lifelong disability requiring substantial social and educational support.

Thus, autism and intellectual disability together represent an important health burden in the population and are frequent reasons for referral to genetics and developmental pediatrics clinics for a diagnostic workup. During the past decade, advances in  genetic research have enabled genomewide discovery of chromosomal copy-number changes and single-nucleotide changes in patients with intellectual disability and autism as well as in those with other disorders. These technological advances — which include array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), single-nucleotide-polymorphism (SNP) genotyping arrays, and massively parallel sequencing — have  transformed the approach to the identification of etiologic genes and genomic rearrangements in the research laboratory and are now being applied in the clinical diagnostic arena. Here we review these techniques and how they have enabled the rapid discovery of chromosomal and single-gene causes of intellectual disability and autism.  Read all article.