Do you suspect that your child has dyslexia-related learning difficulties? Before taking them to a ...
Parent Checklist: Choosing a Dyslexia Learning Program in Singapore
After seeking an assessment and discovering that their child’s learning challenges stem from dyslexia, many parents ask an important question — what should we do next?
While dyslexia is a lifelong condition, there are many specialist intervention programmes that help children overcome their learning difficulties. But it can be difficult to decide which programme is best for your child. Especially as children benefit from different approaches to instruction.
To help, we’ve put together some of the most significant considerations for selecting a dyslexia intervention school in Singapore.
What to consider when choosing between dyslexia intervention schools
How does the school’s programme align with mainstream schools?
Even though mainstream schools strive to accommodate learning difficulties, most teachers lack the expertise to effectively teach for dyslexia — this is linked to the fact that dyslexia isn’t widely understood in Singapore.
Intervention programmes make up for these shortcomings by equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in mainstream learning environments. To this end, interventions should reflect what children learn under the Ministry of Education (MOE) syllabus. Ideally, these programmes also teach learners how to excel under stressful school conditions, like when taking exams.
How big are the classes?
Children with dyslexia often need extra attention to overcome their most pressing learning issues. Smaller classes enable teachers to adapt and scaffold teaching materials and lessons according to each student’s unique learning goals.
How qualified are the teachers and staff?
Dyslexia is a complex condition that can only be treated through complex interventions. As such, teachers require training to teach children with dyslexia. When looking at schools, enquire after their teacher qualifications. Their staff should include psychologists and educational specialists who ensure that their programme utilises the latest breakthroughs in dyslexia research.
What curriculum and learning approaches do they follow?
Does the school use evidence-based learning techniques like the Orton-Gillingham approach? The best dyslexia intervention programmes take established methods and tailor them to suit their classrooms. At Thomson Kids, our English and Chinese dyslexia programmes are developed by a team of psychologists and special needs teachers. We adapt globally-recognised methods to best serve Singaporean students.
What is their teaching philosophy?
How the school feels about education should match your views as a parent. Some schools, for instance, may prioritise seeing results as soon as possible. Other schools may focus on improving student wellness and confidence, along with their academic results.
What is the state of their learning facility?
Learning difficulties can lead to anxiety and low self-esteem. To create a positive association with learning, the school should be clean, safe and welcoming. Access to technology such as tablets or laptops is another important factor — teaching apps that facilitate bite-sized learning and other strategies are valuable when teaching for dyslexia.
Can they share any parent testimonials?
Hearing from other parents is crucial to assessing the effectiveness of intervention programmes. When speaking with schools, always ask them to share any success stories or testimonials.
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