Guide To Special Needs Schools And Programs In Singapore

The Ultimate Guide To Learning And Fun

Special needs programs in Singapore

If you have a child with special needs, the good news is that there is a growing array of educational institutions and after-school programs that cater to a wide range of developmental challenges. Whether your child is dealing with conditions like ADHD, Down syndrome, dyslexia, speech delay, or any other unique needs, numerous fantastic options are available to provide learning and enjoyment.

These specialized programs create inclusive environments where children of all abilities can thrive. Little Steps has compiled some top choices for classes, courses, schools, and programs that can be transformative for your child.

Inclusive Preschools

Inclusive preschools provide a nurturing and supportive environment where children with special needs can learn and grow alongside their typically developing peers. These settings often employ specially trained educators who tailor their teaching methods to meet each child’s needs.

Specialized Schools

Specialized schools address developmental challenges, such as Dyslexia or Autism Spectrum Disorder. These schools typically have a curriculum adapted to cater to the unique requirements of each student.

After-School Programs

After-school programs have expanded their offerings to include activities suitable for children with special needs. From swimming lessons to art classes, these programs ensure every child can access extracurricular activities that match their interests and abilities.

Therapeutic Activities

Many programs now offer therapeutic activities like swimming and gymnastics, which can be particularly beneficial for children with special needs. These activities not only promote physical fitness but also contribute to improving motor skills and social interaction.

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech delays can be addressed through specialized speech and language therapy programs, often provided by experts in the field. These programs focus on enhancing communication skills and building confidence in verbal expression.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy programs help children with special needs develop the skills necessary for daily life activities, such as fine motor skills and sensory integration. You can integrate these therapies into school and after-school settings.

Inclusive Extracurriculars

Inclusive extracurricular activities like sports teams, drama clubs, and music ensembles welcome children of all abilities. These activities foster teamwork, creativity, and social connections, helping children with special needs develop vital life skills.

Explore New Interests

Encouraging your child to explore new interests and hobbies is essential for their personal growth. Whether trying out a new instrument, discovering a love for nature through environmental clubs, or joining coding clubs, diverse opportunities are available.

Remember that every child is unique, and finding the right fit may require research and consultation with experts in the field. The key is to create an environment where your child can learn, grow, and have fun while receiving the support they need to thrive academically and socially. As the landscape of special needs education and programs continues to evolve, the possibilities for your child’s development constantly expand.

  • Kids At Bazgym Singapore

    BazGym Gymnastics School

    Encouraging Motor Skills, Coordination, And Strength

    BazGym physio gym programs cater to a wide age range, starting from 3 years old, with specialized courses designed to enhance motor skills, coordination, and strength. All classes are conducted in well-equipped gymnasiums, ensuring a student-to-coach ratio of 5:1 to ensure close attention and care for each child. BazGym openly welcomes new students, offering a $55 trial lesson for children's classes. They have a dedicated adult gymnastics program for beginners. They promote strength, flexibility, and spatial awareness through tumbling and other training exercises, fostering a sense of fitness and camaraderie among participants.

    BazGym cultivates positive and healthy children while helping them attain their full physical potential. Safety is their paramount concern, and they request cooperation in adhering to specific guidelines, including tying up long hair, avoiding jewelry and watches, and adhering to dress codes. These measures are in place to ensure a secure environment for all participants.

    BazGym Gymnastics School, Safra Punggol Club, 9 Sentul Crescent, #04-01, Singapore, +65 6386 0322, HomeTeamNS-JOM Clubhouse, (Level 4), 31 Ah Hood Road, Singapore, +65 6256 8191, Safra Jurong Club, 333 Boon Lay Way, #3C-01, Singapore, +65  6686 4309, administrator@bazgym.com, https://www.bazgym.com/

  • Boy Swimming

    Swish Swimming

    Cultivating Self-Confidence In The Water

    Swish Swimming supports aquatic education for children with special needs, emphasizing the uniqueness and significance of each child. Swimming is an excellent avenue for children with special needs to cultivate self-confidence and physical strength. Swish Swimming offers specialized swim classes catering to a wide range of needs, from extreme fear to milder cases that may require additional assistance from experienced swim coaches.

    Swish Swimming is particularly proud of its collaboration with Melbourne Specialist International School students. They understand that each student has specific requirements for their time in the water. To ensure that every lesson is enriching and enjoyable, Swish Swimming provides a customized weekly program tailored to each student's needs. More proficient swimmers focus on stroke and kicking techniques, while beginners concentrate on essential skills such as breathing, floating, and water safety techniques. Swish Swimming is committed to hiring skilled instructors who can adapt their lessons to cater to varying abilities, creating a supportive and enjoyable learning environment for all children.

    Swish Swimming, 72 Loewen Road, #01-08, Dempsey Hill, Singapore, +65 9832 2522, admin@swishswimming.com, https://www.swishswimming.com/

  • Happy Kids At Power Gym Kids Singapore

    Power Kids

    Empowering Children Through Active Play

    Power Kids Gym (formerly JWT Kids Gym) provides an exceptional range of programs for children from babies to 10 years old. As pioneers in the non-competitive children's fitness industry, instructors aim to engage children's minds and senses through various stimulating stages. They firmly believe that active bodies lead to active minds, fostering a deeper curiosity about the world.

    With a comprehensive curriculum aimed at developing physical skills, strength, and endurance, dedicated programs focusing on motor skills, spatial awareness, and coordination, and a safe and stimulating environment, Power Kids Gym is committed to helping children thrive physically, cognitively, and emotionally while having a great time. Power Camps offer an exciting mix of indoor and outdoor activities for kids aged 4 to 9. From team sports like soccer and basketball to exploring nature wetland reserves, these camps guarantee entertainment, laughter, and wholesome fun.

    Power Kids Gym, UE Square, 81 Clemenceau Avenue, #02-12, Singapore, +65 6333 8511, ask@powerkidsgym.com, https://www.powerkidsgym.com/

  • Boy Playing

    Kaleidoscope Therapy

    Encouraging Children To Learn, Adapt, And Thrive

    In 1999, when Suvi and Kim founded Kaleidoscope, they had a clear mission—to fill a significant gap in Singapore's landscape. At that time, long waiting lists and a shortage of private centers with a multidisciplinary approach were the norm. The founders aimed for the freedom to create therapeutic spaces with the best resources, collaborate with like-minded clinicians, and access top-notch training opportunities. This journey led to four moves in 23 years, each improving its facilities, expanding resources, and training with renowned therapists worldwide. The values cultivated along the way have made Kaleidoscope a unique success story.

    Kaleidoscope's approach is child-led, family-focused, and strength-based. The founders believe in each child's potential to learn, adapt, and thrive. Their therapists carefully observe, listen, and apply person-centered, relationship-based methods prioritizing trust, emotional well-being, self-confidence, and self-advocacy. The center thrives on ethical, collaborative, and neurodiversity-affirming services, staffed by highly experienced and qualified professionals with a wealth of clinical expertise. Their comprehensive programs encompass speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, counseling, physiotherapy, testing for ADHD and Autism, early intervention, academic support, and home-based tuition for special needs children. Through personalized care and a commitment to tailored support, Kaleidoscope ensures better learning outcomes and greater satisfaction for both students and parents.

    Kaleidoscope Therapy, #07-05/06, The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, Singapore, +65 6468 8991, info@kaleidoscope.com.sg, https://kaleidoscope.com.sg/

  • Watercolor

    Rainbow Centre

    Leading Empowered And Thriving Lives

    With 35 years of commitment to its mission, Rainbow Center envisions a world where individuals with disabilities lead empowered and thriving lives. Guided by their Good Life Framework, their multidisciplinary team provides services focusing on safety, independence, health, connection, engagement, inclusion, and being heard. Rainbow Centre's values prioritize respect, compassion, integrity, teamwork, and innovation as they advocate for an inclusive community.

    From its inception with Margaret Drive Special School in 1987 to its growth into three campuses offering various services, including early intervention, SPED, pre-vocational and enrichment, student care, and family coaching, Rainbow Centre has consistently addressed unmet needs. The center's recent commitment to community activation efforts and the development of the Good Life Framework reflects its dedication to enabling children and young adults to thrive.

    Their special education schools nurture children and youth with disabilities into independent adults deeply connected to their communities, emphasizing outcomes-based functional curriculum and individualized education plans. Additionally, Rainbow Centre offers co-curricular activities and extracurricular enrichment to help students explore their interests and strengths, fostering active social participation. Transition planning begins at age 15, engaging students and families in building a shared vision for an independent and fulfilling future. Rainbow Centre's Out-Of-School-Hours (OOSH) program provides care services for students with disabilities, offering a safe and nurturing environment with activities that promote their abilities and provide respite for caregivers. Their dedicated staff, supported by volunteers and community partners, facilitate daily living routines and engaging activities to enhance students' lives.

    Rainbow Centre, Margaret Drive, 501 Margaret Drive, Singapore, Yishun Park, 15 Yishun Street 61, Singapore and Admiral Hill, 21 Admiralty Lane, Singapore, +65 6475 2072, contactus@rainbowcentre.org.sg, https://rainbowcentre.org.sg/

  • Happy Children At AWWA Singapore


    Dedicated Social Service Agency

    AWWA, a dedicated social service agency, offers various programs catering to different demographics across life stages. Their services encompass early intervention for preschoolers, education and support for individuals with additional needs, assistance to low-income families and caregivers, and health and social aid for vulnerable seniors.

    AWWA's journey, sparked by Mrs. Shakuntala Bhatia's determination in 1970, began with a mission to help the needy and empower the marginalized. Over five decades, AWWA has evolved into one of Singapore's largest multi-service social service agencies. Today, their 800-strong team, volunteers, and donors carry forward the ethos of "People Giving to People."

    AWWA remains committed to the belief that no one should be left behind and continues to empower clients to participate fully in society. Their values of care, commitment, integrity, responsibility, and teamwork underpin their mission to maximize the potential of the disadvantaged, enabling them to lead dignified and independent lives. Furthermore, AWWA's commitment to inclusion is evident in their advocacy for greater inclusion in education and initiatives like Kindle Garden, Singapore's first truly inclusive preschool. AWWA's services encompass a broad spectrum, addressing diverse needs and demographics, from early intervention to senior care, profoundly impacting the lives of those they serve.

    Additionally, AWWA's Special Student Care Centre (SSCC), established in 2006, provides after-school care for students with additional needs, offering physical care, social interaction, and various enrichment activities. Another initiative, the Development Support and Learning Support (DS/LS) program, launched in 2012, offers early intervention for mainstream preschool children with mild developmental delays, focusing on their immediate environment and providing therapy and learning support to help them overcome challenges holistically. This comprehensive approach reflects AWWA's dedication to empowering individuals at all stages of life.

    AWWA, 9 Lorong Napiri, Singapore, +65 6511 5200, contactus@awwa.org.sg, https://www.awwa.org.sg/

  • Hands

    Fei Yue Community Services

    The Spirit Of Giving

    Founded by the Chinese Christian Mission, Fei Yue supports the community's needy and vulnerable with a mission to effect life transformation. Established in 1991, Fei Yue Family Service Centre and Fei Yue Community Services are pioneers in counseling services, driven by a dedicated team of passionate individuals. The Fei Yue culture fosters personal growth and innovation, encouraging members to nurture their talents to serve their clients better.

    Guided by Christian values and the spirit of giving, Fei Yue remains committed to serving and reaching out to the vulnerable and needy. Their vision is cultivating resilient individuals, thriving families, an empowered community, and a vibrant nation. With a multi-service approach, they provide assistance and services for individuals of all ages, along with equipping and training programs, research studies, and community outreach efforts. Notably, they run the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC), anchor KidSTART in specific regions, and offer community mental health services to support individuals at risk of developing mental health conditions or those diagnosed with mental illness.

    Fei Yue Community Services, Headquarters, 604 Choa Chu Kang Street 62, Singapore, +65 6563 1106, media@fycs.org, https://fycs.org/

  • Children Running

    Ministry of Education

    Assisting Children With Educational Needs

    In 2004, the Ministry of Education (MOE) launched initiatives to support students with mild special educational needs in mainstream schools. These include the deployment of Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioral Support) to assist students with conditions like dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Training is provided to a core group of teachers in all mainstream primary and secondary schools to enhance their skills in special needs education.

    The MOE's mission centers around developing resilient individuals, nurturing thriving families, empowering the community, and creating a vibrant nation. They focus on flexible education options, a wide range of curricula, and greater customization to cater to students' diverse interests and learning styles. The organization also emphasizes character and values development and prepares students for the future by instilling 21st-century competencies. For children with special educational needs, the MOE offers support in mainstream and special education schools, along with pathways tailored to different learning needs. Parents can access resources and professional assessments to better understand and assist children with special educational needs.

    Ministry of Education, MOE Customer Service Centre, 1 North Buona Vista Drive, MOE Building, Podium Block, Singapore, +65 6872 2220, contact@moe.gov.sg, https://www.moe.gov.sg/

  • Child Playing In Ball Pit At Singapore Brain Development Centre

    Singapore Brain Development Centre

    Prioritizing Measurable Results

    The Singapore Brain Development Centre (SBDC) offers personalized one-on-one assessments that Certified Trainers conduct to evaluate a child's cognitive skills. Based on the assessment results, they recommend suitable programs to enhance foundational learning skills. SBDC is committed to comprehensive support and intervention for clients, aiming to help them overcome learning challenges and excel in all aspects of life. They prioritize measurable results through regular assessments, progress tracking, and personalized intervention plans.

    SBDC provides programs tailored to address specific needs, including interventions for ADHD, Dyslexia, Global Developmental Delay, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. These programs aim to improve cognitive skills, sensory integration, and literacy. They utilize a comprehensive assessment approach with various professional testing tools to identify strengths and weaknesses, allowing for targeted skill improvement. SBDC measures progress through assessments before and after the training program, ensuring effective results. For more information, individuals can schedule a pre-assessment, explore the research behind SBDC's methodology, or read testimonials from clients who have benefited from their programs.

    Singapore Brain Development Centre, 1 Goldhill Plaza #01-11 Singapore, +65 62884123, enquiry@brain.com.sg, https://brain.com.sg/

  • Stethoscope On A Teddy Bear

    Thomson Paediatric Center

    Next-Generation Care

    Thomson Paediatric Centre offers comprehensive services for children of all ages, from newborns to adolescents. In addition to general pediatric care, their experienced pediatricians provide specialized services, including the management of acute childhood illnesses, infections (including immunocompromised children), adolescent health screenings, asthma and chronic cough treatment, autism and behavioral conditions, childhood vaccinations, child development assessments, dermatological care, nutrition and growth monitoring, pediatric neurology and neurodevelopment, skin prick tests, and travel health screenings and vaccinations.

    As parents themselves, the dedicated team of Thomson Paediatricians understands the importance of children's physical and psychological well-being. They are committed to providing quality healthcare for children and aim to alleviate parental worries by offering exceptional care to the next generation. Thomson Pediatric Centre is part of the Thomson Medical Group, ensuring pediatricians stay updated with the latest medical research and technologies to provide the best possible care. They also offer specialized services in neonatology, pediatric cardiology, nutrition, sleep, respiratory, emergency, and intensive care treatments. Conveniently located throughout Singapore, their friendly pediatricians ensure every child receives the high-quality healthcare they deserve, from birth through adolescence. Additionally, the Child Development Centre at Novena Medical Centre focuses on assessing and providing interventions for special needs children with developmental delays or learning disorders, offering programs to support their educational needs.

    Thomson Paediatric Centre, 339 Thomson Road, #03-06 Thomson Medical Center, Singapore, +65 6258 3353, tpc@thimsonmedical.com, https://thomsonpaediatriccentre.com/

  • Girl Writing

    Total Communication

    Evidence-Based Practices

    Total Communication, established in 2006 at Camden Medical Centre and later relocated to Rochester Park's Body with Soul Healthcare in 2007, has seen remarkable growth due to the increasing caseload, particularly among school-aged children with language learning needs. Their commitment to maximizing their clients' potential drives them to collaborate with colleagues continuously. Their clinical philosophy centers around evidence-based practice, offering speech and language pathology, educational therapy, and occupational therapy supported by a team of specialists.

    Comprising speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and educational therapists from reputable universities worldwide, Total Communication ensures the highest level of service in language, communication, cognition, motor skills, socio-emotional development, academic performance, and adaptive skills. They are well-versed in addressing the diverse demands of international and Singaporean school settings and families. Total Communication's evidence-based approach extends to various therapy programs, including speech-language, educational, developmental, occupational, bilingual, home-based, and teletherapy. They also offer engaging social skills groups, LEGO therapy, and other programs to foster essential life skills in children. Their newly introduced initiatives include services for developmental language disorders, math intervention, speech teletherapy, and educational therapy.

    They offer the Mustard Seed Program, aimed at developing children's cognitive, social, and emotional skills, and the School Readiness Program, designed to prepare young children for school success. Total Communication provides transformative summer programs to enhance creativity, social skills, and intellectual growth. Through Learning Adventures, they empower young minds with various programs, fostering cognitive, emotional, and social development.

    Total Communication, 10 Winstedt Road, Block A #02-01, Singapore, +65 9115 8895, enquiries@totalcommunication.com.sg, https://www.totalcommunication.com.sg/

  • Happy Kids Melbourne Specialist International School

    Melbourne International School

    Encouraging Differently-Abled Children To Learn, Thrive And Achieve

    Melbourne International School (MIS) is a welcoming and inclusive learning space for children from a young age, focusing on special needs education. Following the Foundation to Year 10 Australian curriculum, MIS offers a comprehensive program that includes visual and performing arts alongside therapy services, all aimed at helping every child reach their full potential. At MIS, the emphasis is on discovering and nurturing each child's strengths rather than focusing on their disabilities, recognizing that every child has the potential to contribute to society.

    The school's commitment to equity is central to embracing student diversity to enhance education and outcomes for all. MIS promotes education where students from diverse backgrounds and abilities learn and grow together, breaking down conventional expectations of inclusion to create a more enriching and welcoming school environment. Established in 2014, MIS provides high-quality education tailored to meet each child's unique requirements, combining the expertise of teachers, specialists, and therapists.

    Through an arts-based program incorporating dance, drama, music, and visual arts, students learn functional English, mathematics, and daily living skills, ensuring that every child feels supported and encouraged to fulfill their potential. With small class sizes and an exceptional student-to-teacher ratio, MIS offers individual attention, guaranteeing that each student reaches their full potential through active, multi-sensory lessons that make learning enjoyable and promote various skills, including communication, creative expression, and personal development. The school's location at Loewen Gardens provides a quiet, secure, and spacious environment, with school buses available for transportation to and from students' homes.

    Melbourne International School, 75C Loewen Road, Singapore, +65 6634 8891, enquiries@melis.edu.sg, https://melis.edu.sg/

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