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Guide to SPED Schools, Early Intervention Centres, Inclusive & Special Needs Schools in Singapore

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Looking for an inclusive or SPED school, early intervention centre or special needs school in Singapore? Consult our list to find the right one for your child

Special education schools in Singapore are part of a quickly evolving landscape, as 2019 marked the first year that Singaporean students with moderate-to-severe special needs were required to attend school under the government’s Compulsory Education framework. These days, younger learners and non-Singaporean students also have plenty of options for special education preschools and early intervention centres that can help differently-abled children thrive in supportive and safe environments – Singapore has 19 government-funded SPED schools, too! Wondering where to find a SPED school, inclusive preschool or an early intervention programme that will suit your child’s learning needs? We’ve rounded up a wide range of special needs schools in Singapore – from inclusive schools which are ‘mainstream schools’ where diverse students learn side by side in the same classroom with extra support offered, through to specialist special needs preschools and early prevention programmes – which cater to Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and non-Singaporean students of differing abilities unless stated otherwise. Keep scrolling for all the deets!

Do note that there is some controversy around applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy used by some early intervention centres to teach kids with autism skills to lessen problematic behaviour like self-harm. Some parents and autistic self-advocates do not support the use of ABA therapy and instead seek out interventions that move away from ‘fixing’ people with special needs. As always, do your research to understand what therapy you feel would best suit your child.

         Read More: Dyslexia in Singapore: How I helped my daughter learn to read

Jump to:
Special Needs Preschools in Singapore
Inclusive Schools in Singapore 

Special Needs Schools & Institutions in Singapore
Early Intervention Centres
Frequently Used Terms for Special Needs Learning in Singapore

       Read More: Differently Wired Kids: To Label Or Not To Label? One Family’s Story

Special Needs Preschools in Singapore

Brainy Junior Campus

Brainy Junior Campus
Brainy Junior Campus provides a safe learning space for all diverse learners, locals as well as expats, from as young as 18 months up to 7 years old. The mainstreamed aligned program is meticulously crafted to empower diverse learners and propel them towards a successful transition to their elementary and primary school years. This is achieved by providing opportunities for students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and effective communication skills. Each student will get an individualized learning plan to outline specific accommodations, modifications, and interventions tailored to meet their unique needs. The experienced team can tailor the teaching approach and materials to accommodate different learning styles, abilities, and challenges. The aim of this inclusive preschool is to go beyond academics which is why there is an emphasis on nurturing social skills, emotional skills, and physical well-being in every little learner.

Brainy Junior Campus, 69 Frankel Ave Singapore 458197,, Tel: (+65) 6214 0174,

The Growing Academy

special needs school in singapore The Growing Academy students

An ABA-focused therapy centre for children with autism, ADHD, speech delays, global developmental delays and behaviour issues, The Growing Academy helps little ones aged 18 months to 12 years bridge the gap between delays and mainstream curriculums. Their specialities include individual therapy, mainstream readiness programme, IQ preparation as well as social skills group learning. The team believes that new experiences are vital for mental growth and that it’s essential to the mind’s development. Class sizes have a 1:4 ratio, and you can expect a mix of early intervention and preschool curricula. This boosts independence in children and helps with academic learning, which is necessary for primary school preparation. The East Coast centre’s programme also offers therapies in Japanese, all conducted by native Japanese therapists. The curriculum is curated to ensure that Japanese students will be ready to enter Japanese primary schools upon completion of the academy’s programmes.

The Growing Academy, multiple locations in Singapore,, Tel: (65) 9424 1961,

Bright Path Preschool

Bright Path Preschool is an inclusive preschool for children of differing abilities that offers early intervention and specialised therapies while taking a child-centred approach. Recognising that some kids just learn a little differently, lessons are customised and adapted to each child’s individual needs to help them achieve independence and academic success. The school also has a bilingual psychologist on staff with more than 10 years of clinical experience in Asia. The school works with occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and psychologists.

Bright Path Preschool, 109 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, Grassroots’ Club #03-02, Singapore 568046, Tel: (+65) 6873 1777,

Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Dyslexia Association of Singapore’s Preschool Intervention Programme meets once a week for two hours. Children are taught in small groups by a trained special needs educator who is especially focused to prepare children for primary school, both academically and socially. DAS’s Main Literacy Programme is a group class for children who are diagnosed with dyslexia that also meets twice a week. (Note: a formal educational psychological assessment with a dyslexia diagnosis is required for admission to the programme). This group class works on language and vocabulary, phonics, morphology, grammar, writing and reading comprehension. DAS also offers one-on-one tutors capable of creating custom lesson plans for individual children, as well as assessment services to confirm whether a dyslexia diagnosis. DAS is a registered charity, and can support students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences from low-income families.

Dyslexia Association of Singapore1 Jurong West Central 2, #05-01 Jurong Point, Singapore 648886, Tel: (+65) 6444 5700,

Genesis School for Special Education

Genesis School for Special Education provides child-centred, family-oriented education to children with special learning needs who are diagnosed within the average IQ range and above. Serving children from age 2.5 up through adulthood, the school takes a multi-faceted approach to learning, focusing on areas such as social-emotional development, fine/gross motor skills, cognitive/academic skills and more.

Genesis School for Special Education, 9/11 West Coast Road, Singapore 127296, Tel: (+65) 6733 1172,

Mighty Oaks

Mighty Oaks offers intensive daily three-hour programmes that aim to equip children with the skills they need for mainstream school. Children might typically struggle with attention, language, social interaction, school readiness skills, and academic or pre-academic skills – the premises do not cater to children with physical disabilities, significant behavioural problems, or low IQ. Working with children aged 3 to 6, Mighty Oaks is the only programme in Singapore fully based on the DIR-Floortime methodology, which strives to understand each child’s developmental profile, individual strengths and weaknesses in various areas and is relationship-based. Children at Mighty Oaks are taught in groups of three, allowing for plenty of attention from staff and in turn, enabling staff – all certified special educators fully trained in the DIR Floortime method – to adapt all lessons to suit children’s needs. The programme also incorporates speech therapy, occupational therapy and art therapy. Many students are able to successfully transition back to mainstream school after six to 12 months.

Mighty Oaks, 200 Turf Club Road #07-05/06, The Grandstand, Singapore 287994, Tel: (+65) 6736 2663,

Modern Montessori International Katong by The Growing Academy

The Montessori-based special needs programme is only available at its Katong campus and aims to promote inclusive learning for children with behavioural issues, autism, ADHD and global developmental delays. The focus lies in instilling independence and self-awareness, and in developing a child’s autonomy. The preschool offers playgroup classes (18 months to three years), Nursery 1 (three and four years). Nursery 2 (four and five years), K1 (five to six years) and K2 (six and seven years), with a bilingual programme that focuses on Mandarin and English. This ECDA-approved childcare institution follows the vision of its sister school, The Growing Academy, where learning is done through experiences. As such, its team of educators introduce projects that allow students to create their own opportunities to improve decision-making skills, build confidence and refine their social skills. Its team of ECDA-approved childcare teachers and therapists are based in the preschool for added support. Programmes are available for subsidies.

Modern Montessori International Katong by The Growing Academy, 865 Mountbatten Road, #05-44, Singapore 437844, Tel: (+65) 9424 1961,

Nurture Pods

An early intervention centre for children with special needs, Nurture Pods caters to children from 18 months up to 12 years old, addressing developmental disabilities and behavioural and communication difficulties, particularly for children with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and global developmental delay. Specialist approaches include Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) as well as ABA and North Carolina TEACCH programmes, which are recommended by Singapore’s Ministry of Health to support children with ASD. Nurture Pods aims to help children develop social, academic, communication, compliance and daily living skills. They provide home-based ABA therapy, early intervention programmes at their centre, social skills classes and school shadow support programmes. Nurture Pods has also launched the world’s first professional school shadow certification (awarded by London Teacher Training College, UK) that teaches learners how to integrate children with special needs into mainstream schools.

Nurture Pods, 314 Thomson Road, Eng Aun Mansion, Singapore 307659, Tel: (+65) 6352 5938,  

Wee Care

This popular preschool caters to children of all abilities and also offers specialised early intervention services in individual and group settings. Its First Starts offering is a specialised preschool programme for children with learning needs that features a low (1:3) teacher-student ratio. Individual therapy sessions help children with clinical diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, developmental dyspraxia, and developmental delay and revolve around an individualised education plan to meet a child’s most urgent learning requirements. Group therapy sessions, meanwhile, provide learning opportunities for children in a more naturalistic setting.

Wee Care, 71 Oxley Rise #02-02 to #02-08, Singapore 238698, Tel: (+65) 6908 4626,

Inclusive Schools in Singapore

The Winstedt School

Special Needs School Inclusive School in Singapore

The Winstedt School is committed to providing the best possible education to students from all walks of life. As a WASC-accredited institution enrolling children from Reception to Y13, Winstedt has a proven track record of academic excellence and commitment to student success. Winstedt is proud to be a member of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) and the Special Education Network & Inclusion Association (SENIA), which demonstrates its commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive learning environment. Winstedt’s extensive in-house network of specialists and support staff deliver a holistic approach to the developmental and intellectual needs of children aged 4 to 18. Their offerings include the SEED (Readiness) Programme, designed for students who are not yet ready to learn from the mainstream curriculum and still need extra support and resources. This programme also provides a small 2:8 teacher-to-student ratio with a dedicated special education needs teacher and a behavioural therapist in the classroom. While some schools may offer ad-hoc therapies that are conducted separate from the student’s overall classroom and learning pathway, Winstedt’s therapists strategically work in tandem with the teachers. At Winstedt, teachers, therapists and psychologists have advanced qualifications or certifications in special education, as well as extensive experience in working with diverse learners. The school also provides teachers with ongoing training in multi-sensory teaching methodologies and specialists with the right skills to engage and support the students’ academic success.

The Winstedt School, 1208 Upper Boon Keng Road, Singapore 387312,, Tel: (+65) 6715 5373,

Integrated International School (IIS)

special needs schools in singapore - Integrated International School

Integrated International School offers two teaching approaches – one for mainstream students who benefit from their diverse educational expertise and supportive environment, and the other for students with individualised learning needs who benefit from the additional resources and learning support. The tailored international programme is based on the British curriculum and the teaching style takes a unique, contemporary and collaborative teaching approach – The Von Auer Collaborative Teaching Approach™. It’s an integrated and holistic approach, based on positive psychology, which is adapted to each learner’s strengths. Teachers work closely and collaboratively with learning support specialists and parents to design Individualised Education Plans (IEPs) for students. If a student is struggling academically, behaviourally, emotionally or socially, teachers are highly trained to identify when they may need additional support services. The school’s highly specialised support staff includes a team of experienced behavioural therapists, counsellors, psychologists, occupational therapists as well as speech and language pathologists. All of IIS’ staff undergo frequent training throughout the year to ensure they are up to date with best practices in the education field. Facilities at IIS include an occupational therapy gym, multi-sensory Snoezelen room, a library and computer lab and more. IIS utilises its core academic subjects through the Pearson Edexcel iPrimary and iLowerSecondary curriculum and has successfully integrated the Pearson Edexcel IGCSE and Cambridge International School AS/A Level curricula since January 2023. Some of the students who have successfully graduated from IIS were on the autism spectrum or struggled with learning difficulties (e.g., Dyslexia or ADHD), and many have, since then, transitioned into bigger, mainstream schools.

Integrated International School, 41 Sunset Way, #01-01, Singapore 597071, or, Tel: (+65) 6466 4475,

All Hands Together International Inclusive School

special needs school in singapore all hands together kids outdoors

All Hands Together International School is a boutique, inclusive school for children between the ages of 2 and 18. The school offers two learning pathways: mainstream academic and special education. They cater to children who thrive in a smaller, more supportive learning environment as well as children with autism, ADHD, GDD, Down Syndrome and various other learning, developmental and socio-emotional needs, including anxiety. The small class sizes and personalised learning approach based on their unique, holistic pedagogy works really well for children who have different learning styles and need individualised support.
“All Hands Together worked with us to find the best therapy and academic goals so that our son’s confidence would return, and it has, in more ways than we could have hoped for. He’s above his grade in most topics, happy to be in school, and one of the nicest surprises has been how open he is to other children with additional needs.”  Parent testimonial.
All Hands Together places a strong emphasis on family partnerships and works closely with families and therapists to provide effective solutions that help children learn in a way that suits them best. They have qualified teachers who are passionate and will go the extra mile to help your little one achieve their potential. Every child has their own Individualised Education Programme (IEP) and a Curriculum Manager, who oversees their development through a combination of formal assessments and a dynamic review process. In addition to optional onsite speech, occupational and music therapy, there are extracurricular activities on Fridays to introduce children to new hobbies. Lessons are purposeful, multi-sensory, fun and engaging, and each one is developmentally appropriate and individualised.

All Hands Together International Inclusive School, The Yards, 396 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 428079,, Tel: (+65) 6803 5012,

Dover Court International School

Special Needs School in Singapore Dover Court Boy in Garden

Dover Court International School (DCIS) is an inclusive British international school that accepts children with a diverse range of educational needs. This inclusive school supports children through its unique Pathway structure and personalised approach. Pathway 1 is the mainstream curriculum, while Pathways 2 and 3 offer additional support. Classes are small and the curriculum is adapted for those enrolled in Early Intervention right through to Year 13. Their teachers and specialist staff include Educational Psychologist, counsellors, SENCo, speech and language therapists, and occupational and physical therapists. DCIS’s English National Curriculum and ASDAN curriculum offerings can also be personalised to suit different learners. Their flexible structure allows for integration, twinning and transfer between pathways with mainstream classes, which means that children are always placed in the class which best supports them. DCIS opened their new centre for inclusive education in August 2022 with bright purpose-built classrooms and cosy specialist spaces.

Dover Court International School, 301 Dover Road, Singapore 139644,, Tel: (+65) 6775 7664,

Melbourne International School (MIS)

special needs school singapore melbourne international school students

With the core belief that all children have a right to attend school, Melbourne International School is non-selective and accepts students with all abilities. Children with diverse needs like autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other genetic disorders are welcome at this inclusive school in Singapore, where students are taught to co-exist from a young age. Their small class ratio of 1 teacher to 4 to 8 students ensures that each child gets to experience a personalised teaching approach. While MIS currently caters to kids from 3 to 12 years old, there are future plans to transition to a K–12 school. MIS’ sister school, The GUILD, is a transition school for MIS students and offers continued special needs education for students up to 25 years of age. MIS has specialised facilities to cater to students with different needs, plus a gymnasium, dance/music studio, sensory retreat and an outdoor yard for play and sports. Their Special Needs Education follows the Foundation to Year 10 Australian curriculum that includes a visual and performing arts programme, as well as therapy services, while the Mainstream Education features an individual learning plan and follows the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum. The school’s teaching staff is specially selected to think creatively about how to make changes to their pedagogy to suit each child’s unique needs. Teachers are supported by professionals in occupational therapy, speech therapy and psychology and also collaborate with specialist teachers in music, dance, drama and art – an element that allows them to learn and improve their teaching skills.

Melbourne International School, 75C Loewen Road, Dempsey, Singapore 248853,, Tel: (+65) 6634 8891,

Dynamics International School (DIS)

A private boutique international school with affordable fees, DIS caters to children aged 5 to 12 years, and offers mainstream and special education curriculum for preschool and primary education. Their strengths lie in their safe and nurturing learning environment and the dedicated, personalised attention provided to students. The curriculum here includes a mainstream track and a special education support track. The school has students with ADHD, autism, specific learning difficulties and global developmental delay (GDD) amongst other needs, and teachers here are trained to work with students who are neurotypical and atypical. Other than being passionate about working and learning alongside students, their teachers also have the opportunity to learn and be trained by an array of in-house therapists, to help them work with their students better.

Dynamics International School, 583 Orchard Road, #13-03, Forum The Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884, Tel: (+65) 6100 9235,

Singapore American School

Widely praised by parents for its personalised learning approach, Singapore American School aims to give every student full access to whatever academic and social support they need to succeed. In addition to fully accessible classrooms, SAS also provides learning support teachers, counsellors and speech-language pathologists who collaborate daily to meet the needs of every student across the school. While the majority of extra support is provided on campus, SAS does partner on an individual basis with extra support providers, such as occupational therapists. Teams regularly work in collaboration to review student progress via classroom assessments and standardised assessments, as well as observational data. SAS also has four licensed school psychologists to ensure that all student learning needs are met.

Singapore American School, 40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547, Tel: (+65) 6363 3403,

Early Intervention Centres in Singapore

The Early Intervention Centre (EIC)

Providing individualised, targeted educational programmes for children from 18 months to 8 years, EIC caters to children identified with autism, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays. The Early Intervention Centre offers a wide array of services, including a group early intervention programme, individual early learning support, creative music, occupational and speech therapy. EIC staff are experienced educators who aim to nurture and provide children with a focused and holistic learning experience. 

The Early Intervention Centre, 18 Ah Hood Road, #06-52/54, Hiap Hoe Building, Singapore 329983, Tel: (+65) 6352 8608,

Autism Recovery Network Singapore

Special Needs School in Singapore Autism Recovery Network Singapore Teacher and Kids

At Autism Recovery Network, their highly specialised educators and therapists offer a high-quality early intervention programme tailored to your child’s unique needs. They primarily help children with autism, ADD, ADHD, speech delay, learning difficulties and behavioural problems. Autism Recovery Network is the only BACB(ACE)-certified ABA centre in Southeast Asia, which uses evidence-based therapies to equip each child with life skills to eventually enter mainstream schooling. To this end, they assess each child’s needs and abilities with the internationally-recognised assessment tool called ABLLS-R® and then tailor a customised early intervention programme with the effective Advance Applied Behaviour Analysis – Verbal Behaviour therapy programme. This taps into each child’s interests to create a dynamic curriculum that engages them and develops their strengths.  The educators collaborate with parents to achieve the shared goal of seeing each child successfully assimilate and thrive in mainstream society. All teachers hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Early Childhood Education or Special Education and have relevant working experience and continue to receive monthly training from their certified BCBAs.

Autism Recovery Network Singapore, 458A Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427671, Tel: (+65) 6348 8005,

Medley Plus

Special Needs School in Singapore Medley Plus Teacher and Student

Medley Plus is a private music therapy company that was born out of Katy Doyle’s desire to use music to enable children, empower families, and encourage holistic development. Her team of music therapists partners with each child’s unique developmental journey and collaborates with parents to ensure that individual goals align. Their objective is to equip your child with the tools to be an independent, active, integrated member of the community. And the cherry on top…Medley Plus comes to you as they believe that empowering a family begins in the home. The team of therapists uses a play-based, creative approach and focuses on the belief that every child, regardless of their unique needs, will respond to music. Each client takes an active role in creating music with the therapist, who tailors a music therapy programme specific to your child’s needs. Music will be the medium used to address non-musical goals like communication, socio-emotional, behavioural, cognitive, physical (gross and fine motor), leisure, sensory-motor skills and more. Their therapy services are available to all children of all abilities from ages 2 to 18 years old. The general process once your child has been referred will begin with an initial assessment, treatment planning, implementation, documentation and termination. After assessing your child’s needs, the client and therapist will determine the frequency, length and duration of each session to ensure the most effective customised programme for your child.

 Medley PlusTel: (+65) 9384 6878,

Bridge Learning

Bridge Learning stands out for its highly effective neuroscience-based, cross and non-categorical approach to specialised early intervention – this contrasts with the more widely practised, label-centric categorical approach. Bridge Learning offers personalised one-on-one and group intervention programmes to target a diverse range of learning difficulties. Using Dynamic Diagnostic Assessment™ (DDA) to identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses that can affect learning, they are able to map out an Individualised Developmental and Progress Profile (IDPP) and also incorporate Bridge NeuroGym™ and Israeli Brain Techniques to improve communication in the brain and boost academic success. Bridge Learning serves mainstream and gifted children aged 2.5 to 12 years old who have been diagnosed with (or are suspected to have) hybrid and/or mild learning difficulties and learning disabilities. Financial subsidies are available for lower-income families.

Bridge Learning, multiple locations in Singapore, Tel: (+65) 9021 5988,

Kaleidoscope Therapy Centre for Children

Geared toward children ages 2 to 4, Kaleidoscope’s early intervention preschool programme “Ready Let’s Go” is a therapy programme that focuses on supporting children to develop the skills needed to succeed in preschool. This includes intensive occupational and speech therapy in small group settings. This fully inclusive therapy centre accepts children with a range of disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, and global developmental delay. All teachers possess both an education degree and a Masters in Special Education. Therapists also provide regular training on a range of topics including developmental play, sensory integration, and speech and language delay.

Kaleidoscope, 200 Turf Club Road, #07-05/06 The Grandstand, Singapore 287994, Tel: (+65) 6468 8991,

KidsFirst School

An early intervention centre for children aged 2 to 12, as well as a therapy centre, KidsFirst uses an eclectic mix of therapies for each child; these include approaches such as DIR Floortime, Hanen Program, PROMPT and Social Thinking. They provide an optimal learning environment for children with a range of challenges, such as autism, speech-language delay, Global Developmental Delay, cerebral palsy, ADHD, Down syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder and more. The team empowers parents by working closely with them to ensure the goals for their child matches the family’s priorities. This is achieved through parent training presentations, family circle time sessions, child-specific therapy training sessions and more.

KidsFirst, 8 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059651, Tel: (+65) 9166 5597,

Thumbs Up Therapy Singapore

The special needs practice aims to bridge the gap between children, caregivers, schools and therapists. Thumbs Up Therapy’s mobile, in-home paediatric service helps children independently perform activities such as learning in school, managing and organising their belongings, playtime and self-care – dressing up, eating or going to the toilet without help – all of which are crucial in helping them grow into successful young adults. The team of therapists work with schools to offer individual assessments and therapy sessions, extracurricular activities, group therapy and even caregiver training workshops. Thumbs Up Therapy’s speech and language therapists are trained to support your child’s speech and language development. Thumbs Up Therapy also does fun school holiday camps!

Thumbs Up Therapy Singapore, 24 Jalan Kuning, Singapore 278169, Tel: (+65) 8803 8447,

Special Needs Schools & Institutions in Singapore

Eden School

This special education school in Singapore has a curriculum that helps prepare young learners on the spectrum for healthy adult life. Eden School serves children aged 7 to 18 years old. Its curriculum has been designed with a team of dedicated teachers and ARC(S) autism consultants, which will allow children to learn how to care for their personal needs, participate in social interactions in the outside world, transition between different activities and locations, and undertake meaningful jobs that allow them to use their skills and abilities. Eden School is currently only open to Singaporean students.

Eden School, 101 Bukit Batok West Avenue 3 Singapore 659168, Tel: (+65) 6265 7400,

The GUILD International College

The GUILD International College is Singapore’s first inclusive college for secondary and post-secondary.  This private art and trade-based college is dedicated to helping youths transition into adult life and provide a memorable college experience similar to all other junior colleges and universities. This special needs school in Singapore offers three programmes – their Pathways programme caters to students aged 12 to 16 and focuses on daily living skills. The Transition programme is for students aged 16 and above and is geared towards independent living skills and transition to further education and work training. Lastly, the Career Pathways programmes is for students aged 18 and above with a focus on skills training for transition to work. The GUILD also offers vocational training programmes from ASDAN UK. Small class sizes and personalised attention, plus individualised learning plans, help students thrive, and all teaching staff are SEN-trained.

The GUILD International College, 318A Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park, Singapore 247979, Tel: (+65) 6235 8240,

Metta School

Offering special education for students between the ages of 7 and 21 with mild intellectual disability (IQ level: 70 – 50) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Metta School has five main programmes for different age groups and profiles. This SPED school is supported by MOE, and aims to help students learn to be self-reliant and empower them to contribute to society, so they may live meaningful lives.

Metta School, 30 Simei Street 1, Singapore 529949, Tel: (+65) 6788 5800,

MINDS Towner Gardens School

Catering to learners between ages 7 and 18, this special education school offers language and science, collaborations with mainstream schools and a vocational learning programme. MINDS Towner Gardens School also has an ASD programme that helps build a structured learning environment with ASD strategies to boost learning for students. In addition to a robust co-curricular activities list – think arts, Scouts programmes, sports, gardening and music – the school also has a list of impressive facilities such as a mixed-reality dreamscape, domestic science space, multimedia lab and autism-friendly classrooms.

MINDS Towner Gardens School, 1B, Lengkong Lima Singapore 417557, Tel: (+65) 6446 2612,

Pathlight School

The first autism-focused school in Singapore, Pathlight blends the mainstream Singapore curriculum with life readiness skills for learners aged between seven and 18. Its programmes are designed for students on the spectrum or with related conditions that can cognitively access mainstream academic curriculum with additional support. This is given in the form of smaller class sizes, special accommodations and a teaching staff that is trained in autism. Pathlight School primarily serves Singaporeans, but those with PR status may apply if they fit the requirements given by MOE.

Pathlight School, multiple locations in Singapore,

Rainbow Centre

Rainbow Centre began in 1992 with the vision to empower persons with disabilities to thrive in inclusive communities. With utmost respect for the intrinsic and unique value that each individual has to offer, Rainbow Centre offers an Early Intervention Programme for little ones 6 years and below to help them grow, learn and achieve their developmental milestones. Rainbow Centre also has a Special Education (SPED) programme with a functional curriculum, where each student gets an individualised education plan. They even offer a variety of activities like aquatics, in-line skating, dance, and even WeDo 2.0, a digital literacy class. Rainbow Centre is only open to Singaporean and PR students.

Rainbow Centre, multiple locations in Singapore,, Tel: (+65) 6475 2072,

St. Andrew’s Autism School (SAAS)

This special education school in Singapore offers a comprehensive developmental curriculum and works with therapists who offer intervention in attention, regulation and motor skills. Additionally, SAAS’ team of psychologists and social workers address students’ sensory and regulatory needs, while guiding and training caregivers and family members to create a conducive learning environment. SAAS maintains a person-centred approach when it comes to devising a suitable individualised education or transition plan (IEP/ITP) for each student, with an emphasis on social-emotional learning, communication, functional literacy and numeracy, and daily living and vocational skills. Each domain is complemented by expressive arts, adaptive physical education and co-curricular activities. The school is open to Singaporeans and PRs only.

St. Andrews Autism School (SAAC), 1 Elliot Road, Singapore 458686, Tel: (+65) 6517 3800,

Thomson Kids Specialised Learning

Catering to kids aged 6 to 12, Thomson Kids Specialised Learning is a centre for children who have ADHD, autism, dyslexia, language delays and learning difficulties. This special needs centre offers structured educational programmes that are derived from research-proven teaching methods, and helps students with special needs maximise their learning potential. This better equips students to participate and progress in the mainstream educational environment. Thomson Kids’ curriculum is based on the MOE syllabus but taught using specialised material and teaching methods, equipping children with exam skills to tackle school-based assignments. Their lessons incorporate multisensory teaching approaches, and their Specialised English Programme uses hands-on activities to make phonics, morphology, comprehension and writing fun for children.

Thomson Kids Specialised Learning, 101 Thomson Road, #02-08 United Square Shopping Mall, Singapore 307591, Tel: (+65) 6582 8188,

Frequently Used Terms for Special Needs Learning in Singapore

We strongly suggest checking out Singapore’s Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) and the M.O.E.’s Parent’s Guide for Children with Special Education Needs, which answers the question “What does it mean to have special education needs?” with the following points:

  • They have been diagnosed with a disability
  • They show greater difficulty in learning as compared to the majority of their peers of the same age (e.g. difficulties in social, language, academic or physical abilities).
  • They require different or additional resources beyond what is generally available for the majority of their peers of the same age.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Commonly practised as a therapeutic intervention for Autism, ABA is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviours, such as social skills, communication, reading and academics, as well as adaptive learning skills.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder (or just autism) is a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
A brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

Early Intervention
In Singapore, early intervention programmes are defined as seeking to equip infants and young children with special needs with improved motor, communication, social, self-help and cognitive skills. Early intervention activities are designed to maximise their developmental growth potential and minimise the development of secondary disabilities.

Inclusive education
This is an educational model or philosophy where special needs students are in the same classroom as non-special-needs (general education) students, with the belief that it fosters understanding and tolerance and better prepares students of all abilities to function in the world beyond school.

Mainstream school
Mainstreaming” is the practice of placing students with special education needs in a general education classroom during certain times, based on their skills (while at others placing them in separate special education classes). This is in contrast to “inclusion”.

A relatively new term used to describe individuals of “typical” developmental, intellectual and cognitive abilities (in contrast to someone who may be on the autism spectrum or has other developmental differences characterizing them as “neurodiverse”).

Occupational Therapists
These specialists can help children achieve developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. In a broader sense, occupational therapists work with people to help make everyday living easier.

Shadow teachers
Shadow teachers work directly with a single special needs student in a mainstream or inclusive educational setting, focusing on social development and any particular difficulties that might arise from a child’s specific abilities

Speech Therapists
Speech therapists work with people of all ages with communication or swallowing difficulties, including comprehension and expression, articulation and phonology, fluency, and voice. Speech therapists can also help kids with other issues with spoken and written language, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, and auditory processing disorder.

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This article contains some paid partnership content. Lead image from Dover Court International School

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