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Complete Guide To SPED Schools In Singapore (Special Education)

All humans are unique, and some people may have different developmental needs than others. For example, in a classroom setting, there will be students that excel, some that lag behind, and others that require specialized attention. This is why it is crucial to gauge what developmental level your child is at and if they are at the correct level for their age.

If they are not, then you might need to enroll them in special education schools in Singapore. If you think your child doesn't fall within the norms of their developmental level, then you can think about this option. Here is everything you need to know about it to make the right decision.


SPED Schools Explained

There are many children in Singapore that have special needs and disabilities. Because of this, there is a prevalence of SPED (Special Education) schools that cater to the needs of these children. The primary aim behind creating such programs is to tailor them to meet the intellectual, physical, and developmental needs of the children.

These schools are designed to provide everything from vocational training to educational services and much more. The curriculum is a combination of learning materials as well as helpful therapies to support the development needs of students. NGOs and the government-run these schools to ensure the quality of education.


Different Types Of Special Education Schools

When it comes to special education, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Every child has a unique special need that needs to be catered to. So, here are all the different types of special education schools to ensure you make the right decision:

1. Autism Schools

There are many autism schools that you will find in Singapore. The purpose of these schools is to cater to people that are diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder). These schools are known for providing therapy programs and unique teaching methods to suit the needs of children with ASD.

For example, teachers will employ methods of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and much more to ensure that the children can learn better. If you know someone that has been diagnosed with ASD, then such a school will be the best option for their learning needs.

2. Early Intervention Centres

Early intervention centers have programs that support the education and needs of infants and young children that have not met their developmental milestones or are delayed. The aim behind such centers is to identify such delays and ensure that the needs of such children are met as soon as possible.

As the name suggests, the idea is to identify such issues early and get help. Doing this will help your child to come to the developmental level of other children of the same age with such disabilities.

3. Physical Disability Schools

Children can be physically or mentally disabled, and both of them have unique needs. This is why Singapore also caters to students with physical disabilities through these schools. The purpose of such schools is to cater to children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and more.

The aim is to develop their independence skills and mobility. This will allow them to manage their disability while ensuring a thriving environment for learning. Such schools also offer access to assistive devices and technology.

4. Intellectual Disability Schools

There are various problems that come with intellectual disability, such as Down Syndrome. You will find many schools in Singapore that will help children manage their intellectual disabilities. The primary purpose is to help the children develop life, social, and cognitive skills.

5. Specialized Schools For Specific Disabilities

Finally, there are specialized schools for specific disabilities to ensure special education for disabled students. These schools can cater to students with ADHD, dyslexia, and other disabilities that hinder their learning. If you know someone that has a specific disorder, then you can opt for such schools.


Ways You Can Tell Your Child Will Require Special Education

Not everyone needs special education. Some children can be slow when it comes to learning, but they only require assistance and someone to help them. On the other hand, students with disabilities face developmental delays, which also hinder their daily functioning.

This is why it is important to distinguish between the two and use different measures to understand whether your child requires special education or not. Here are some ways you can tell if your child is in need of special education:

Delays In Development

The first telltale sign of whether your child requires special education or not will be if they are facing delays in development. Children need to reach certain developmental milestones at certain ages. These include social skills, language, cognitive abilities, motor skills, and much more.

You can visit the pediatrician from time to time and check with them if your child is reaching developmental milestones. If they are having severe difficulty along with other problems, then you might need to enroll them in a SPED school.

Learning Challenges

As children grow older, they should be able to retain the information they are learning. If they struggle with speaking, writing, reading, and math, or they can't follow instructions, then it might mean something. This is why it is crucial to supervise your child and see whether they are facing challenges with learning.

If they are already enrolled, then their teacher will inform you of their progress. It will help you gauge whether your child is in serious need of a SPED school.

Professional Assessment Results

If you are noticing various signs, even then, it is best to consult a professional before you enroll your child in a SPED school. For example, you can visit a therapist, psychologist, or doctor for a professional assessment. They will administer a test and create a profile for your child.

Once they do, it will help them in assessing whether your child will require special needs education or not. It will also help in assessing their strengths and weaknesses to ensure you can create a tailored program for your children. 


Factors To Help You Select The Best SPED School For Your Child In Singapore

Here are some of the top factors you can consider before you select a SPED school for your child in Singapore:

1. The Education Plan

The first thing we recommend you check is the education plan of the school. That is because SPED schools need to provide a tailored curriculum for your child. There are many schools that also collaborate with the parents on this and create an individual plan for the child to cater to their needs.

Such a plan will have goals specifically designed for your child. This is why we recommend that you check if the schools offer this plan. It will provide you with the confidence you need to trust a SPED school.

2. Class Sizes

It is important that you select a SPED school with a smaller class size. After all, your child will require individual attention as well in the class, and this can’t always be possible when the class size is big. Smaller class sizes will ensure that the needs of your child are being met.

On the other hand, smaller class sizes will also guarantee that the teacher can pay attention to the student and offer support. So, make sure that you check the class size before you make an informed decision.

3. Reputation In The Industry

The key to choosing a good SPED school is to ask around parents who have children with disabilities. Their first-hand experience with the school will provide you with the insight you need of whether it is right for your child or not. Make sure that you read reviews and see what people have to say about it.

All of this will help you understand the experience of students learning in such schools. Then, you can include this factor in your decision-making process.

4. Suiting The Child’s Interests

Finally, the SPED school must suit the interests of your child for them to stay there long-term. You can gauge this by visiting the school and speaking to the people in charge there. Once you do, it will provide you with a complete understanding of what you can expect from the SPED school.

The school must cater to the interests of your child along with their learning needs. Including all of these factors will help you come up with the right decision that will meet your needs.


Top 18 SPED Schools In Singapore

Here are the top eighteen SPED schools in Singapore that you can choose from:

Bright Path Preschool

If you are looking for a school for your child, then it doesn't get better than Bright Path Preschool. They deal with specialized therapies, early intervention, and more to ensure that your child is the focus of their learning. All the lessons are customized to meet the specific needs of your child.

Besides that, the school also has a psychologist on their premise so that children don't face any issues while they are in school. If you want an inclusive preschool for your child, then make sure you consider this one.

Genesis School For Special Education

Anyone that has children diagnosed with an average IQ range and above can opt for this school. The school focuses on the family and the child to ensure that everyone learns in the best way possible. They focus on areas such as cognitive skills, social and emotional development, motor skills, and more.

The Genesis School caters to children from the age of 2.5 to adulthood. So, if your child falls within this age range, then you can enroll them in this school.

Metta School

Metta School is ideal for children that fall between the ages of 7 and 21, and they have an IQ ranging between 70 and 50. Besides that, if a child has ASD, even then, they can enroll in this school. The school offers five unique programs that cater to different profiles and age groups.

However, their SPED school has been supported by the MOE. The aim of this school is to ensure that students have the tools and ability to learn on their own. In the long run, such aims help the children to lead more purposeful lives.

Eden School

Perhaps one of the most popular SPED schools in the country is the Eden School. It caters to children between 7 and 18 years old. If your child has been diagnosed with ASD, then this is perhaps the best school you can enroll them in,

That is because the school consists of autism consultants and teachers that have been trained to deal with such children. So, you can count on the fact that the school will cater to the needs of your child. In the long run, they will have a better connection with the outside world.

SAAS (St. Andrew’s Autism School)

Finally, SAAS is a school that caters to the needs of children with autism. The developmental curriculum is highly intensive because it has been created by working with professional therapists. This is why it will help your child in the regulation of emotion, attention, and the development of motor skills.

Besides that, the school also guides and trains the family members and caregivers so that they can provide optimal support to the child. After all, the environment for learning needs to be conducive in school and at home for the child to thrive in the best way possible.

APSN Tanglin School

If you are looking for a school for your child at the secondary level, then APSN Tanglin School should be your top choice. The primary purpose of the school is to ensure that students can lead worry-free lives after their education. The school uses a holistic approach and provides various courses that will help children in their careers.

On the other hand, each student will have a personalized curriculum that will suit their needs. All of these reasons make this school a top choice when it comes to finding a great school for your child. It is ideal for children between 13 and 16 years, and they specialize in catering to kids with ASD or mild intellectual disability (MID).

Grace Orchard School

Another school that caters to children with ASD or MID includes the Grace Orchard School. However, the school is more than that because it also offers personalized programs to kids that want to opt for swimming, art, gymnastics, and much more. While kids are in this school, they will also have the option to smoothly shift from an ASD to a MID program.

So, if you are looking for a school that caters to more than just studying, you can opt for Grace Orchard. The entire curriculum ensures that children can thrive in this environment.

Pathlight School

Pathlight specifically caters to children with ASD, which is why the school does not have classrooms in the traditional sense. It has partnered with Satellite schools, and students attend classes there. Because of this, anyone that enrolls here also has a chance to interact with other people and participate in mainstream school events.

Such integration allows the children to have a somewhat normal school life. Besides that, it also ensures inclusiveness as everyone learns to study and collaborate with one another.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School

The CPAS caters to multiple disabilities, as it has dedicated teachers for all types of students. Because of this, the school also personalizes the curriculum based on the needs of the student. In their syllabus, you will find a holistic approach as it includes physical education, academics, arts, vocational, daily living, and more.

You can choose a program that you like and let the teachers guide your child to a more meaningful and fulfilling life. It is only open to Singaporean students, so keep this in mind before you decide to enroll your child.

Delta Senior School

The Delta Senior School is for children between 17 and 21 years old that offer vocational training. Such training ensures that children are equipped for the real world and professional life. For example, the school provides students with a vocational curriculum that is based on their competencies.

Because of this, children can choose from any industry skills that they would like to have. Students can learn in industries of landscaping, hospitality, beverage, food, and much more. So, you can pick anything to let your child complete the last phase of their studying and training.

Towner Gardens School

The Towner Gardens School is part of the MIND group and caters to students with ASD and mild to severe intellectual disabilities. The task of the school is to guarantee that the students can easily be integrated into society without any issues. Besides that, it also prepares students for vocational training.

Such a curriculum is there to ensure that when students leave school, they are confident enough to pursue a career of their choice. The Arts and Science Program here is also exceptional. So you can decide whether this is the right choice for your child's needs.

Canossian School

If your child is between the age of 7 and 14 and is suffering from hearing loss, then you can enroll them in Canossian School. The school prepares the students for PSLE. However, if the child fails to go into the mainstream system, then they will be equipped to transition into a SPED school.

The teachers use an oral approach to help students communicate effectively. Besides that, the school also has an Inclusion Program where students with hearing loss can study in mainstream schools to mingle with children with hearing and develop social skills even further.

AWWA School

AWWA School is ideal for students with ASD or multiple disabilities, as it caters to everyone. If your child is between 7 and 18, then you can enroll them in this school. The curriculum is highly structured and includes non-academic, academic, and CCA.

Besides that, there are also programs that offer work experience and exposure to the students. These are ideal for helping your child integrate into the community and have a fantastic experience. Such programs will also help your child in the workplace once they are done with school.

Woodlands Gardens School

There are multiple specialized programs in Woodlands Garden School, ideal for children between 7 and 18. The highlight of this school is that it ensures the integration of parents so that they can also encourage their children to learn. For example, the school has a reading program that encourages fathers to integrate reading habits into the child at home.

In the same way, there are also programs for mothers and much more so that everyone is included in the learning process. It is an ideal school for children with ASD or mild to severe intellectual disabilities.

Katong School

Katong School is for children with ASD or MID. The best thing about this school is that it provides students with primary and secondary education. Because of this, the students have stability in both these levels, as they study at the same school.

There are two programs, and the first one ensures a smooth transition into the next one. If you are looking for structure and stability for your child, then this is perhaps one of the top schools for you to enroll your child in. They will get the most out of their learning for a long time.

Rainbow Centre Schools

Rainbow Centre Schools have three SPED schools that are spread in various locations. Two of them cater to children with ASD and multiple disabilities. However, the last one only caters to children with ASD.

Each school provides a unique curriculum and various levels, such as junior, middle, and senior. Besides that, the schools focus on physical, emotional, and social development. All of this guarantees that the child learns in the best way possible.

Fernvale Gardens School

There are three programs that the Fernvale Gardens School offers for children between 7 and 18 years. These include the following:

  • Junior program: 7 to 12 years
  • Special program: 7 to 18 years
  • Senior program: 13 to 18 years

The curriculum has been designed to help students build important skills for the workplace and life. The school creates customized plans to ensure that the interests and talents of all children are being catered to.

Chaoyang School

The Chaoyang School is for children between 7 and 12 with ASD or MID. After they are done with their studies here, the students can transition to the sister schools of this school. The idea behind the curriculum is to guarantee that students excel in independent living, sciences, community living, healthy relationships, and much more.

Besides that, the school also focuses on functional academics so that the child has the knowledge to pursue a career they like. If all of this resonates with you, then you can enroll your child in this school.

Final Words

That was your complete guide to all the SPED schools in Singapore and everything you need to know about them. Make sure that you keep this information in mind before you decide to enroll your child in a SPED school. It will help them with developing skills, learning, and much more throughout their time in school.

Just make sure that you conduct extensive research so that you can select the perfect school for your child in no time. Once you do, you will notice results.

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.