When it comes to support for kids with learning differences, there are many choices available in Singapore. There are schools, therapy centres and organisations with specialists, services, programmes and therapy to assist children with special education needs. Here are some of the best options available, including early intervention programmes, special education schools, assessment and therapy centres.
The GUILD International College
THE GUILD International College is Singapore’s first private Finnish-inspired arts and trade-based college for students 16 years and above who may not fit the standardised paths in today’s education. Based upon proven educational models combined with a life-skills programme, the college offers personalised programmes that build skills, strengthen wellbeing and empower students. Students will have the tools and support to accomplish great success long after graduation.
The GUILD offers three programmes. The Transition Programme is best suited for students with diverse needs to work towards independence. The Certificate Programme from ASDAN, UK helps students learn specific skills to help them increase their chances of employability. The Foundation Programme from Edu Cluster Finland provides a route to further education to a degree programme. Short vocational training courses in various areas of learning in design and technology, culinary skills, music production, sound engineering, carpentry as well as creative endeavours like photography, filmmaking and DJing are also available at affordable prices.
Integrated International School
The team at Integrated International School (IIS) strongly believe that children of all abilities and learning styles deserve a tailored and quality education. The inclusive school teaches students the importance of self-belief, confidence, individuality and happiness, thus paving the way for their journey of success. IIS provides a nurturing environment with two educational approaches: mainstream and supported learning. Specialised on-campus support services include a team of behavioural therapists, counsellors, psychologists, occupational therapists as well as speech and language pathologists. They work closely and collaboratively with teachers and parents to design Individualised Education Plans for students.
If a student is struggling academically, behaviourally, emotionally or socially, teachers are highly trained to identify when a child may need additional special education needs support. The smaller class sizes (1:6 teacher-to-student ratio) allow teachers to provide an individualised learning experience. In addition, there are unique purpose-built facilities such as the multi-sensory Ocean Snoezelen Room and Occupational Therapy Jungle Gym as well as private suites for counselling, speech and naturalistic applied behavioural analysis (NABA) therapy sessions.
The team at Psych Connect strongly believes that every child deserves a respectful and safe space where they feel reassured and supported in their own personal therapeutic journey. Their various services cater to a range of learning differences including dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, nonverbal learning disorder, ADHD, autism, language disorders, executive functioning difficulties and more. Support is also available for conditions that influence children’s aptitude to learn, such as depression and anxiety.
To begin, a psychologist will meet with parents about their concerns and share evidence-based information on possible paths they may take. Through psycho-educational and diagnostic assessments, parents will be able to objectively understand the challenges their child faces, contributing factors and most importantly, how to best support both the parents and child. The centre’s team of psychologists and therapists also work with the family and school to create a specific and holistic treatment plan.
Besides individual and/or group educational therapy targeting underlying skills that affect learning, the specialist psychology clinic also offers support services. These include psychological therapy, shadow support, art psychotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. Therapy services are mobile and family-centred – they can be done at the clinic, at school or at home.
All Hands Together School
All Hands Together School recognises that every child is differently abled. It caters to kids who have learning differences, alternative learning styles, developmental delays, special needs or just need a smaller learning environment to thrive. Academic lessons are personalised and conducted using fun activities that involve purposeful engagement and multi-sensorial experiences. There are also group-based lessons, activities to develop social, life and independent skills as well as an outdoor education segment that takes learning outside of the classroom.
For the younger children, All Hands offers the Early Intervention Programme (EIP). Developed in line with the MOE’s Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) curriculum, EIP combines one-on-one personalised lessons with small group sessions that promote social-emotional development and build school-readiness skills. Both programmes have a teacher-student ratio of 1:2 to 1:4 and progress is monitored with an Individualised Education Plan and half-yearly assessments. Children can also access speech, occupational, physio and music therapy sessions.
Additional support is provided through the Learning, Lifeskills and Social Smarts programmes. The Learning Programme offers personalised monthly lesson packs to help children with developmental and academic needs. Parents can work with their children with support from the team or have lessons with one of their experienced tutors. Using experiential learning and practical teaching, the Lifeskills Programme helps children to work on daily living and other necessary skills for an improved quality of life as well as vocational skills to help the child transition from school to the next stage in life. The Social Smarts programme addresses social interaction challenges. Sessions are conducted one-on-one or in groups at home or at the school.
WINGS Therapy & Learning Center
WINGS Therapy & Learning Center is the first therapy centre in Asia as well as the only one in Singapore that follows the Intensive Model of Therapy (IMOT) framework. This is a therapeutic treatment approach towards cerebral palsy and other neurological and movement disorders including autism spectrum disorder, Down’s Syndrome, scoliosis and hip dysplasia, among others.
After looking at a child’s diagnosis, age and stamina for therapy, the centre’s therapists will create a unique IMOT for each child. Programmes range from an hour a week to more intensive sessions that require two to four hours daily for five days and over three weeks.
The centre also provides a range of specialised, world-class therapies for various other concerns. These include paediatric occupational therapy, autism fitness, Cuevas Medek Exercises, NeuroSuit and TheraSuit Method and dance therapy. These are all suitable for any child from the age of three months.
Dover Court International School
Dover Court International School is an inclusive school, welcoming students with diverse needs by offering an extensive range of support to empower them to reach and exceed their potential. Catering to students aged three to 18, the school offers three differentiated learning options to accommodate this: Pathway 1 offers a mainstream classroom experience while Pathways 2 and 3 give students increasing levels of support with smaller class sizes and in-school therapy programmes. The school’s learning approach aligns closely with the English National Curriculum, with adaptations to meet the special education needs of students, whether it’s short-term intervention or more structured on-going support.
Learning experiences at Dover Court are personalised and the most appropriate curriculum pathway is selected; in Pathways 2 and 3, student needs are primarily met by tailoring lessons to meet individual needs. The aim is to offer support in the most inclusive and least intrusive way. A combination of high-quality assessment practices, a focus on pastoral relationships and regular communication with parents allows teachers to identify students who require additional support. A student-centred collaborative problem-solving process is used – it involves parents, teachers, special needs coordinators, external agencies, educational psychologists, counsellors and the student.
The Gifted Lab
The Gifted Lab is a specialist psychological practice and learning centre that offers psychological assessments, customised educational programmes and brain training for preschoolers, children and teenagers. Its psychological reports are internationally recognised and accepted by international and Singapore schools, examination boards for exam access arrangements application, and medical professionals. Psychological services include personality, gifted, cognitive, attention, socio-emotional behavioural and learning difficulties assessments. The International High IQ Society Test and counselling services are also offered. As for educational programmes, they consist of high-ability enrichment programmes and personalised education therapy and coaching. Brain-training sessions can be conducted at the centre or online, and they’re personalised to train and improve each child’s cognitive abilities.
Since 2006, the Gifted Lab has been providing professional consultation to clients all over the world. This includes the USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, China, India and South Africa. Principal Psychologist Dr Wilson Chan serves as the Honorary Supervisory Psychologist of MENSA Singapore and has been featured in The Straits Times, Shin Min Daily and on national television on nurturing intellectually gifted children.
Melbourne Specialist International School
Melbourne Specialist International School is dedicated to helping students with learning disabilities achieve their full potential in a nurturing environment filled with love and laughter. The school supports students with mild to severe needs from 3 to 25 years of age by using a unique, innovative visual and performing arts-inspired teaching model. It’s a small, caring school community with smaller class sizes and a 1:4 teacher-to-student ratio. This allows teachers, specialist teachers and therapists to work collaboratively in creating a differentiated learning programme that meets the individual needs of each student.
Extra support as well as daily activities and routines are planned with students in mind. The school provides a wide range of individual therapies and programmes onsite; these include music therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and physical education. There are specially designed facilities such as a sensory room, life skills room, gym and lush green play areas. The Early Years programme prepares students for continued learning and a possible transition to mainstream school based on their developmental needs. Students aged 16 years and above who are suited to working towards independence from youth to adulthood have the opportunity to transfer to The GUILD International College located close by.
Dynamics International School
Dynamics International School (DIS) is a private boutique school offering inclusive and integrated mainstream and special education for children aged 3 to 12 years old.
The school’s special support division is helmed by a dedicated and experienced team, which consists of teachers trained in special education. Students are empowered to learn effectively through widely recognised curricula such as the British National Curriculum and International Primary Curriculum, personalised attention from a low student-teacher ratio, individualised learning plans and progressive academic pathways.
The school team also works closely and seamlessly with the in-house multidisciplinary team of professionals at Dynamics Therapy Group to provide holistic care and support. These include Educational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and other relevant therapeutic services.
DIS is offering limited-time promotions that include a free 2-day trial and 50% off your child’s enrolment and assessment fees.
583 Orchard Road, #13-03 Forum The Shopping Mall
6100 9235 | dynamics.school
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