Special Education Schools in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide

by | 15 Apr 2024 | Blog, Early Intervention

As parents, we play a critical role in helping our children build their future. This includes understanding their needs, strengths, and weaknesses to identify the right support that will facilitate their growth. If you believe that your child requires special assistance, it’s essential not to ignore their struggles and seek help.

To offer you insight into special education in Singapore, this article provides a comprehensive account of everything you need to know. We will discuss the special educational needs and support available for children in Singapore, as well as how you can benefit from these resources to ensure your child receives the best guidance.

Understanding Special Education Schools

In Singapore, special education schools, also known as ‘SPED schools,’ are specifically designed to provide education for children with disabilities. These institutions are managed by Social Service Agencies (SSAs) and receive direct funding from the Ministry of Education (MOE). All special needs schools in Singapore are registered with MOE, and there are a total of 20 SPED schools on the island, each offering personalised learning programs for different disability groups.

Identifying if Your Child Needs Special Education

The first step to helping your child is to identify if they need additional help with their education and social needs. Some children may face difficulties in communicating, reading, making friends, or learning in school. If your child is below seven years old, seeking the advice of a professional, such as a doctor, psychologist, or therapist, can provide a professional assessment. This assessment helps you understand your child’s strengths and difficulties in learning, enabling early intervention to provide necessary support during their critical development stage.

Early intervention plays a significant role in overcoming developmental delays, improving social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills, and minimising the development of secondary disabilities. If your child is already enrolled in a mainstream school, consult the school’s form teacher or psychologists from MOE for guidance. You can also choose to get your child assessed by qualified professionals in private practice, ensuring their credentials and relevant qualifications.

Types of Special Education Schools

Singapore has a total of 20 SPED schools, each offering specialised programs to cater to specific disability groups and age ranges. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of SPED schools available:

1. Early Intervention Centres

Early Intervention Centres focus on children from zero to six years old, providing effective early support to those who might be at risk of poor outcomes. These centres aim to prevent and tackle potential problems through tailored intervention programs.

Some notable Early Intervention Centres in Singapore include:

  • The Growing Academy
  • Bridge Learning
  • All Hands Together
  • Thumbs Up Therapy Singapore
  • The Early Intervention Centre (EIC)

2. Special Needs Preschools

Special Needs Preschools offer specialized care for children aged 18 months to seven years old. These schools provide custom lessons adapted to each child’s unique needs, fostering independence in academics and daily life.

Some well-known SPED preschools in Singapore include:

  • Bright Path Preschool
  • Genesis School for Special Education
  • Mighty Oaks
  • Nurture Pods

3. Special Needs Schools & Institutions

Special Needs Schools cater to children over seven years old, focusing on specific types of disabilities and providing the necessary support and guidance. These schools specialize in various challenges, such as sensory impairment, mild to severe intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and multiple disabilities.

Based on your child’s assessment, you can determine which of these SPED schools are the best fit for their needs and requirements.

Choosing the Right Special Education School

Choosing a special education school for your child can be a challenging decision. To make an informed choice, consider your child’s educational needs and the options within the education system. Additionally, evaluate the following aspects:

1. Class Size

Opt for a school that offers a holistic curriculum tailored to the needs of each student. Choose a school with smaller class sizes, allowing teachers to provide more intensive support to every student.

2. Enhanced School Facilities

Check if the SPED school has infrastructure specifically designed to provide the best learning environment for children. Look for facilities like sensory integration rooms, therapy and indoor playrooms, hydrotherapy pools, and spaces for vocational training.

3. Integration with Mainstream Institutions

Consider schools that partner with mainstream schools to provide opportunities for students to interact with their peers during extra-curricular workshops, excursions, and other activities. This integration promotes inclusivity and a well-rounded educational experience.

4. Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Ensure that the school provides an individualised education plan (IEP) that is regularly adapted to your child’s needs. A customised curriculum can help your child achieve their full potential and develop critical skills for independent living

5. Other Considerations

Consider factors such as the distance from your house to the chosen school, your child’s specific interests, and the school’s vision and culture. Visiting the school and speaking to school personnel can also provide valuable insights before making a final decision.

List of SPED Schools in Singapore

Here is a list of SPED schools in Singapore, categorised based on their specialisation:

School Specialisation Address
Canossian SchoolHearing Loss
1 Sallim Road S387621
Fernvale Gardens SchoolModerate to Severe Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder7 Fernvale Road, Singapore 797635
Woodlands Gardens SchoolModerate to Severe Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder

30 Woodlands Ring Road, #01-01, Singapore 737883

Rainbow Centre Yishun Park SchoolMultiple Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder15 Yishun Street 61, Singapore 768548

Katong SchoolMild Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder900 New Upper Changi Road, Singapore 467354

Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive SchoolMultiple Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder501 Margaret Drive, Singapore 149306

Metta SchoolMild Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder30 Simei Street 1, Singapore 529949

Eden SchoolAutism Spectrum Disorder01 Bukit Batok West Avenue 3 Singapore 659168

Delta Senior SchoolAutism Spectrum Disorder3 Choa Chu Kang Grove, Singapore 688237

Grace Orchard SchoolMild Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder6A Jurong West Street 52, Singapore 649297

AWWA School @ BedokMultiple Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder50 Bedok Reservoir Crescent, Singapore 479225

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore SchoolMultiple Disabilities65 Pasir Ris Drive 1, Singapore 519529

Lighthouse SchoolSensory Impairment (Hearing Loss and Visual Impairment)51 Toa Payoh Rise, S298106

Chaoyang SchoolMild Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder10 Ang Mo Kio Street 54, S569184

St Andrew's Autism SchoolAutism Spectrum Disorder

1 Elliott Road, Singapore 458686

Tanglin School (Moving to Ang Mo Kio in 2026)Mild Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder143 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159924

Conclusion

Choosing the right special education school for your child is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration. It’s essential to understand your child’s educational needs and assess the available options within the education system.

By familiarising yourself with the different types of SPED schools in Singapore and considering factors such as class size, enhanced school facilities, integration with mainstream institutions, you can make an informed decision that best meets your child’s needs.

If you require additional assistance for your child with special needs, Kaleidoscope offers a wide range of services that can help. From speech therapyAutism and ADHD testing, to occupational therapy, counselling and home tutoring, we aim to provide customised early intervention programmes to ensure that your child gets the best care and head start that they need.

 

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