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

Special needs school 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 (SPED) 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! Alongside special education schools, inclusive schools, which are ‘mainstream schools’ where diverse students learn side by side in the same classroom with extra support offered, there is a notable culture shift towards neurodivergent acceptance and inclusion. Do note that there is some controversy around applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy to ‘fix’ autistic attributes and teach autistic kids skills to lessen problematic behaviour like self-harm. Some parents and the neurodiversity movement do not support the use of ABA therapy and instead seek out interventions that use neurodiverse-affirming approaches. As always, do your research to understand what therapy you feel would best suit your child. We discuss the different approaches. here.

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 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!

         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

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 and 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. 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. The small class sizes allow educators to deliver highly personalised teaching and create personalised learning experiences. While some schools may offer ad-hoc therapies that are conducted separately from the student’s overall classroom and learning pathway, Winstedt’s therapists strategically work with the teachers. At Winstedt, teachers, therapists, and psychologists have advanced qualifications in special education and extensive experience 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 student’s academic success.

The Winstedt School, 1208 Upper Boon Keng Road, Singapore 387312, [email protected], 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 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 uses a holistic approach based on positive psychology adapted to each learner’s strengths. Teachers work closely with learning support specialists and parents to design Individualised Education Plans (IEPs) for students. Teachers are highly trained to identify when they need additional support services if a student struggles academically, behaviourally, emotionally or socially. The school’s specialised support staff includes behavioural therapists, counsellors, psychologists, well-being interventionists, occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists. All of IIS’ staff undergo frequent training to ensure they are up to date with best practices. Facilities include an occupational therapy gym, a multi-sensory Snoezelen room, a library and a computer lab. 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 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 transitioned into mainstream schools.

Integrated International School, Capital Square Two, 21 Church Street, #01-01, Singapore 049480, [email protected] or [email protected], Tel: (+65) 6466 4475,

All Hands Together

special needs school in singapore all hands together kids outdoors

All Hands Together is a boutique, inclusive school for children between the ages of 2 and 18. They offer two learning pathways: mainstream academic and special education. Their small class sizes and personalised learning approach cater to children who thrive in a more supportive learning environment as well as children with autism, ADHD, GDD, Down syndrome and other learning, developmental and socio-emotional needs, including anxiety. All Hands Together places a strong emphasis on 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, The Yards, 396 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 428079, [email protected], Tel: (+65) 6803 5012,

Dynamics International School (DIS)

special needs school singapore Dynamics International School

At Dynamics International School, the educational philosophy revolves around inclusivity, extending support to neurotypical students and those with neurodivergent needs. They place a high priority on recognising the unique potential of each learner and tailoring teaching methods accordingly. Small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios foster an intimate and inclusive learning environment for children aged 5 to 16. The curriculum provides two distinct academic pathways – Mainstream and Inclusive Education Classes – aligned with the International Primary Curriculum and Cambridge International. Embracing diverse learning styles, Dynamics International School views differences as opportunities for innovative teaching and personal growth. The team comprises specialised educators and therapists, including Psychologists, Speech Therapists, Educational Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Behaviour Therapists. The school specialises in catering to students with diverse needs, encompassing ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Down Syndrome and more. Employing a transdisciplinary approach seamlessly integrated into teaching practices, various aspects of development are addressed, including social skills, fine motor skills, penmanship, social-emotional learning, executive functioning, and self-regulation, alongside thematic academic topics across multiple subjects.

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

Melbourne International School (MIS)

SPED schools singaporeMelbourne International School
Image credit: Melbourne International School

With the fundamental belief that every child deserves access to education, Melbourne International School embraces inclusivity by welcoming students of 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. Maintaining a low student-to-teacher ratio of 1:4 to 1:8, the school ensures personalised attention for each student. Melbourne International School believes that creating a psychologically safe and supportive environment is paramount for effective learning. Employing a differentiated and multi-sensory teaching approach, the school tailors education plans to suit individual needs. 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 occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychology professionals, and they collaborate with specialist teachers in music, dance, drama, and art. This element allows them to learn and improve their teaching skills. The school is also part of Aspire Inclusive Education. This social enterprise offers a School Readiness Early Intervention Programme, which aims to provide students with a smooth transition from therapy centres or homeschooling to the broader school environment, thus nurturing independence and inclusion.

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

Dover Court International School

Dover Court International School (DCIS) is an award-winning 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 Psychologists, 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.

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

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,

Special Needs Preschools in Singapore

The Growing Academy

Special Needs Schools in Singapore
Image credit: The Growing Academy

The Growing Academy is an ABA-focused therapy centre dedicated to children with autism, ADHD, speech delays, global developmental delays, and behaviour issues. Catering to children aged 2 to 7 years, the academy aims to bridge the gap between delays and mainstream curriculums. Their specialities encompass individual therapy, a mainstream readiness program, IQ preparation, and social skills group learning. Each child at The Growing Academy receives an individualised goal-setting plan crafted collaboratively with parents and caregivers. This ensures every child receives the tailored support they need to reach their full potential and thrive in a nurturing environment. Educators at this special needs school in Singapore undergo specialised training and professional development, including evidence-based teaching methodologies and behaviour management strategies, as the school continues to maintain the highest standards of education and care for its students. The Growing Academy is set to open a new training centre soon, further enhancing teachers’ skills and knowledge. Additionally, parents will have access to the training centre, where they can attend workshops and access valuable resources.

The Growing Academy, multiple locations in Singapore, including East Coast Road, Upper Paya Lebar Road and Sin Ming Road,  [email protected], Tel: (65) 9424 1961,

Brainy Junior Campus

Brainy Junior Campus caters to diverse learners, locals as well as expats, from as young as 18 months up to 7 years old. The mainstreamed aligned program empowers diverse learners and propels them towards a successful transition to their elementary and primary school years. Each student will get an individualised learning plan to outline specific accommodations, modifications, and interventions tailored to meet their unique needs and accommodateing different learning styles. The aim of this inclusive preschool is to go beyond academics which is why there is an emphasis on nurturing social, emotional and physical well-being.

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

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 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) 6937 1374,

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. While a diagnosis of a specific learning difference is no longer a prerequisite to access DAS Programmes, students will undergo profiling tests to ensure they are placed in a class that suits their learning needs best.  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 Singaporemultiple locations in Singapore, including Chua Chu Kang, Henderson and Parkway Parade, 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 5 to 6, and have access to 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, 167 Jalan Bukit Merah, Connection One Tower 4, #03-15, Singapore 150167, Tel: (+65) 6736 2663,

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 Behavioural Intervention (EIBI) as well as ABA and North Carolina TEACCH programmes. 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, 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 include home-based individual ABA sessions that 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,

Special Needs Schools & Institutions in Singapore

The GUILD International College

special needs school singaporeThe GUILD International College
Image credit: The GUILD International College

The GUILD International College is Singapore’s first inclusive institution, catering to individuals aged 9 – 30. Their programs – Foundation Programme, Pathways Programme, Transition Programme, Career Pathways Programme, and Day Activity Programme, are led by dedicated school leaders, teachers, and therapists to nurture confidence, kindness, compassion, and responsibility. Support staff work with families to establish personalised goals, ensuring a smooth transition to assisted living, independent living, structured workplace environments, or further education. Students will also benefit from access to state-of-the-art facilities designed to spark creativity and curiosity, including the Art and Design Studio, Woodworking Studio, and more. This inclusive school in Singapore is part of Aspire Inclusive Education, which collaborates with SGEnable to provide various programmes, including work readiness programmes where school graduates, People with Disabilities (PWDs), and employed individuals can upskill, facilitating a smooth transition into the workforce. Recognising the diverse needs of their students, the college also offers a Vocational Skills programme featuring hands-on training, internships, and experiential learning opportunities. This serves as an alternative pathway for students who may not thrive academically.

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

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,

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, 5 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Singapore 569739 and 2, Ang Mo Kio St 44, Singapore 569250,

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, including Yishun Park, Margaret Drive and Admiral Hill, 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,

Early Intervention Centres in Singapore

AltSchool International

special needs school singaporeAlt School
Image credit: Alt School

AltSchool International prides itself on being a one-stop early intervention destination for learning, therapy sessions, and an after-school programme operating five days a week with full-day options available until 5:30pm. Catering to students aged 3 to 8 years old with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, speech delays, social anxieties, dyslexia, learning difficulties, and other developmental differences, each student’s journey begins with an observation and assessment period. Upon identifying each child’s unique needs, altSchool crafts a customised Individualised Education Plan aligned with its teaching strategies and goals to cater to personalised developmental needs and learning styles. With Montessori-inspired principles, they promote holistic development to meet the diverse needs of each student, emphasising experiential learning to further discover and understand the world around them. AltSchool’s child-led and play-responsive methodologies promote an innovative learning environment to ensure active engagement during lessons. Additionally, altSchool emulates a traditional school environment, allowing students to transition smoothly into mainstream schooling.

AltSchool International, 374 River Valley Rd #02-01, Singapore 248281, Tel: (+65) 6908 5950,

Autism Recovery Network Singapore

special needs school singaporeautism recovery network

Established in 2005, Autism Recovery Network has a team of specialised educators and therapists to offer a high-quality early intervention programme tailored to your child’s unique needs. They primarily help children from 15 months to 15 years old with autism, learning difficulties and more. Here, students need not be formally diagnosed to join the programme. Not only is Autism Recovery Network the only BACB ACE certified in Singapore and Southeast Asia, they are also the only centre in Singapore to provide ABA-VB therapy, helmed by Dr.Partington Ph.D BCBA-D. ABA-VB therapy, known as Applied Behaviour Analysis – Verbal Behaviour, uses a functional yet compassionate approach that focuses specifically on verbal communication. 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 regular training from their certified BCBAs.

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

Alpha to Omega

special needs school singaporeATO - ALPHA TO OMEGA
Image credit: Alpha to Omega

Alpha to Omega (ATO) adopts clinically proven methodologies that focus on preparing neurodiverse children in pre-schools and mainstream schools to become more independent learners. Here, children with mild-to-moderate difficulties such as Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and dysgraphia undergo a 1-hour informal assessment where the team, inclusive of ATO’s founder, curate suitable programmes based on insights from the assessment. Undiagnosed children are also welcomed. These programmes aim to ensure that pre-schoolers (from age five onwards) transition into primary school smoothly. For children in primary schools, these programmes help improve their cognitive abilities so they can achieve their potential. This special needs school in Singapore offers one-to-one intervention and small group classes, which have proven results in helping children improve their literacy, math, and cognitive and executive functioning skills. ATO also takes pride in its therapists, who are all senior therapists trained in ATO techniques and philosophy and believe in its values.

Alpha to Omega, #10-01, Forum Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Rd, 238884,

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, and occupational and speech therapy. Their Individualised 1-1 Special Education Programme EIC uses Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) principles with the aim of bridging existing learning gaps and improving overall understanding. Here, 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,

Medley Plus

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. 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.

 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, Jurong West and Loyang Point, 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, 167 Jalan Bukit Merah, #03-15, Connection One Tower 4, Singapore 150167, 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,

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 Behaviour 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. Do note that there is some controversy around applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy to ‘fix’ autistic attributes and teach autistic kids skills to lessen problematic behaviour like self-harm. Some parents and the neurodiversity movement do not support the use of ABA therapy and instead seek out interventions that use neurodiverse-affirming approaches. We discuss the different approaches. here.

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 Getty.

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