INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
Vol 28, No: 1, 2013
THE COMPARISON OF SPECIAL EDUCATION BETWEEN THAILAND
ANDTHE UNITED STATES: INCLUSION AND SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN
WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
Doris Adams Hill
Chiangmai Rajabhat University
The history of special education in the United States and Thailand has followed a similar path in many ways. Both countries made compulsory education mandatory to move in a positive direction in providing special education services to children with disabilities including the provision of services for children with ASD or Autism. In Thailand, monitoring of compliance with disability law, and negative attitudes by society overall toward individuals with disabilities hamper enforcement of law, distribution of resources, family involvement, and access to individualized education programs and inclusion of students with disabilities. While effective treatments for autism have been documented in the US, this knowledge and training on effective interventions is often not filtered to more rural US schools or outside US borders. Increased collaborations within and between countries to increase knowledge and expertise is recommended. Research based interventions should be taught and implemented in countries such as Thailand and other nations.
History of Thai Special Education
In the past, Thai education primarily revolved around two institutions, religious and royal education. Buddhist monks taught education to boys only. They studies in temples and learned both academic and religious subjects simultaneously. The other type of education was for children of the royal household and for upper class families, who were educated in order to serve in the court and govern in the provinces. During the reign of King Rama V (1863-1910 A.D.) there was increased recognition of the need for educated people to staff the growing bureaucracy. As a result, the Thai education system was modernized and made more accessible to the general public. This began with the 1898 Education Proclamation, which was strongly influenced by the British system. Later the Thai education system continued to grow and now the Ministry of Education is responsible for providing public education for Thai children (Sunsite Thailand, 2010).
Presently, education is provided by educational institutions as well as learning centers organized by individuals, families, communities, or private groups, local administration organizations, professional bodies, religious institutions, welfare institutes; and other social institutions (Office of the Permanent Secretary for Education, 2010). The Thai education system consists of 12 years of free basic education: 6 years of primary education and 6 years of secondary education. Enrollment in the basic education system begins at the age of 6. However, all preschool children will be provided with a minimum of a one-year school readiness program. Most young children of this age attend a preschool class attached to primary schools (Office of the Education Council, 2008).
The history of Thai special education has similarities to other Buddhist countries. Children with disabilities were originally seen as a symbol that the family might have committed some sin in the past (Driedger, 1989). Persons with disabilities were considered useless and worthless, with no future. Because of this perception, Thai children with disabilities were kept at home and denied an education. Even with the compulsory educational act in 1935, The Ministry of Education allowed a child to stay at home because of his/her disability condition (Sukbunpant, Shiraishi, & Kuroda, 2004). In 1939, Genevieve Caulfield, a blind American teacher, provided initial leadership in Thai special education. She was the first person who taught children with visual impairments to live as independent, productive members of society. Caulfield and her friends established the Bangkok School for...
References: Vol 28, No: 1, 2013
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychiatric Association (2012) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-text
revision(proposed 5th ed.)
Autism Speaks. (2012b). Global Autism Public Health Initiative. Retrieved from
Beattie v. Board of Education. (1919) 169 Wis. 231, 172 N.W. 153.
Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson School District v. Rowley (1982) 458 U.S. 176; 102 S. Ct.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954) 347 U. S. 483.
Carter, S. L. (2006). The development of special education services in Thailand. International Journal of
Special Education, 21(2), 32-36.
Centers for Disease Control (2012). Types of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Retrieved from
Cheausuwantavee, T., & Cheausuwantavee, C. (2012). Rights, equality, educational provisions and
facilities for students with disabilities in Thailand: Legal and practical perspectives ove the past decade.
Chonlatanon, B. (1995 ). Ream bot khwm tang karn suk sa pi set [The articles about special education].
Daniel RR v. State Board of Education (1989). 874F 2d 1036; 1989 U. S. App Lexis 8422.
Driedger, D. (Ed.). (1989). The last civil right movement : Disabled peoples international. New York: St.
Duncan, A. (2012). After 10 years, It’s time for a new NCLB. Retrieved from
Global Autism Project (2011). Autism knows no borders; fortunately, neither do we. Retrieved from:
Grossman, L., Barrozo, P. (2007). The next global human rights issue. Autism Advocate, 4, 9-12.
Hartman v. Loudoun County Board of Education (1998). 118 F. 3d 996.
Havey, J.M. (1999). School psychologists’ involvement in special education due process hearings.
Heward, W. (2013). Exceptional children: an introduction to special education (10th ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Hill, D., & Hill, S. (2012). Autism spectrum disorder, individuals with disabilities education act, and case
law: who really wins? Preventing School Failure, 56(3), 157-164.
Hulett, K. (2009). Legal aspects of special education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1990). PL 101-476, U.S.C.
Indusuta, N. (2003). A study of state and problems of the administration of joint learning for autistic
child kindergartens under the office of private education commission in Bangkok metropolis.
Jeekratok, K., & Chanchalor, S. (2012). The study of Behaviours and factors
affecting children with
LaNear, J., & Frattura, E. (2007). Getting the stories straight: allowing different voices to tell an
‘effective history’ of special education law in the United States
Meechalard, J. (2003). The evaluation of teachers ' potentially in mainstreaming education schools
project under the jurisdiction of bangkok metropolitan administration
Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, 348 F.Supp. 866, 868 (D.D.C. 1972).
Ministry of Education. (2002). National Education Act B.E. 2542 (1999) and Amendments (Second
National Education Act B.E
Ministry of Education Thailand. (2004). The national education for all plan of action
Ministry of Education Thailand. (2006). The national education for all plan of action
Vol 28, No: 1, 2013
Ministry of Education (2008a) Education for Individuals with Disabilities Act B.E
Ministry of Education. (2008b) Report on Inclusive Education, Bangkok: Bureau of Special Education
National Autism Center. (2009). National standards report. Randolph, MA: National Autism Center.
No Child Left Behind Act (2001). PL 107-110, U.S.C.
Office of Basic Education Commission. (2005). The Synthesis of Practice in Inclusive
Education Leading to the Policy in Quality Education Provision for Children and Youth with Disabilities,
Office of the Education Council. (2008). Education in Thailand 2007. Bangkok:Amarin Printing and
Office of the Permanent Secretary for education. (2008). The development of
education: National report of Thailand
Office of the Permanent Secretary for Education. (2010). The education system in
Thailand, Retrieved from http://www.bic.moe.go.th/th/images/stories/book/ed-eng-series/6issues/edsystem-newedit.pdf
Onbun-uea, A. (2008). Educating young children with autism in inclusive classroom in Thailand.
Onbun-uea, A., & Morrison, G. S. (2008). Educating young children with autism in
inclusive classrooms in Thailand
Pardini, P. (2002). The history of special education. Rethinking Schools Online, 16(3), 1.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document