Special needs children and youths require different teaching approaches and curriculum to help them achieve greater success in life. These types of children from the top (gifted, prodigies) and bottom 5% of the population require special resources and support to cater to their special learning needs. With the right help, these children can grow up to be productive adults. A good example was Helen Keller, who received a dedicated special education to ultimately graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
A government agency, SG Enable, was formed in 2012 to dedicate their services to support people with disabilities. Their services cover infants, children, youth and adults.
In 2004, the Ministry of Education (MOE) deployed Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural Support) [AEDs(LBS)] to support students with mild special educational needs such as dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in mainstream schools. Many are psychologists. In addition, MOE provided training to a core group of teachers in all mainstream primary and secondary schools with Certificate Level Training in Special Needs. These teachers take on the role as Teachers Trained in Special Needs (TSNs) in schools.
Secondary schools with Special Needs Facilities are aplenty. They provide integration programmes for Hearing Impaired (HI) students who use Total Communication (TC) or Natural Auditory Oral (NAO) Approach. Plus, integration programmes for Visually Handicapped (VH) students or full handicapped facilities for students with Physical Disabilities (PD). For more information, visit the full list of programmes here.
It is important to provide special needs children with an environment that raises their motivation to achieve, and boost their self-esteem and morale. Even if it is a mild case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), it should be noted that a person’s Intellectual Quotient (IQ), or even Emotional Quotient (EQ) are independent of the special needs he requires.
Apart from special education schools (Sped schools) run by the MOE, there are many privately-run schools or therapy centres with very good teaching and therapy facilities. Examples are therapy rooms, hydrotherapy pools, vocational education programmes, society-integration programmes, and even training for jobs. These programmes have allied health professionals, such as psychologists and counsellors, who work closely with them.
While most of the learning-challenged children receive schooling in Special Needs Schools, there are preschools or kindergartens that integrate them. Called the Integrated Child Care Programme (ICCP), it is an inclusive child care programme for children with special needs. It provides a natural learning environment alongside peers in mainstream child care centres and prepares the child for entry into mainstream primary education. See this link for the list of preschools that offer the ICCP programme.
Early intervention is needed to help your child reach his full potential. A child may seem to have autism on the surface but a proper diagnosis may reveal other problems. Use our directory to find the ideal special needs school or therapy clinics in Singapore that will best meet the needs of your child.
Choosing the right school-fit for your special needs child is an extremely important and delicate decision as a parent. Fortunately, actualyse.com’s comprehensive school directory with powerful filtering and shortlisting functions allow you to compare fees and view authentic reviews of the schools to help you find the right school with ease.
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