Special DADs for Life is a fathers group under Centre for Fathering and DADs for Life which seeks to support fathers of children with special needs.

Overcoming Challenges to Champion the Cause: Anand Lal

Father to a 14 year old son with intellectual disabilities, apraxia and dyspraxia. Anand Lal is a swim coach, adult training facilitator and gamification consultant who has overcome the challenges of bringing up a child with special needs to champion the cause of making Singapore a more inclusive society.

Despite minor development delays in the early months, Anand and his wife did not discover their son’s condition until he was 18 months old and had to be hospitalised for high fever. The revelation was devastating for Anand and his wife who realised that their lives would be drastically changed and whose hopes and dreams for their son were dashed.

Five years ago, Anand realised that his son who was in his pre-teens needed more of a father’s attention. Having reached the peak of his career, Anand quit his full-time job and took up a part-time role as a financial consultant to spend more time with his son, taking him on adventure trips and indulging in swimming, his favourite activity.

The biggest challenges in raising a child with special needs are helping the child assimilate into society and the constant worry of what will happen to the child when the parents are no longer around, says Anand. As such, Anand has been helping to build awareness of the needs of these children as well as a more inclusive society by volunteering with Special DADs for Life.