What is stimming?

What Is Stimming?

Self-stimulatory behavior also known as stimming, is repetitive or unusual body movements and/or noises.

Most people tend to stim, for example, it may be that they play with their hair while talking to a friend or cracking their knuckles before a task. However, when stimming interferes with everyday activities and learning, it is often a symptom of Autism. Many children and teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) stim and may continue to stim throughout their lives.

The amount and type of stimming varies a lot from individual to individual. For example, a child may just have mild hand mannerisms, whereas another may spend a lot of time stimming.

Take a look at our helpful infographic to better understand this behaviour, you can download it here.

Find out more about our dedicated Support Services by clicking here.


What is tic behaviour?

What Is A Tic

A tic is an uncontrolled sudden, repetitive movement or sound that can be difficult to control. It’s a condition that affects many people before the age of 18. Tics that involve movements are called motor tics while tics involving sounds are called vocal tics.

The type of tics a person has may change over time. How often tics happen also may change. Tics often come and go and can get worse when a person is stressed or anxious. Sometimes a person will have one kind of tic — like a shoulder shrug — that lasts for a while and then goes away. But then he or she may develop another type of tic, such as a nose twitch. It’s perfectly normal to worry that a tic may never go away. However, in most cases, tics are temporary.

Take a look at our helpful infographic to better understand this condition, you can download it here.

Find out more about our dedicated Support Services by clicking here.


What is a Snoezelen room and how does it benefit our children?

IIS Ocean Snoezelen Room for Special Needs Children

What is a Snoezelen room and how does it benefit our children?

Our Principal, Dr. Vanessa von Auer, is a visionary in the education field. Her dream has always been to create a learning environment of purpose which compels children’s imagination, creativity, sense of wonder, motivation and excitement around their own education. As such, when the Integrated International School (IIS) moved into its current campus, Dr. Vanessa set out to design and construct a “one of a kind” Ocean Snoezelen room, which would evoke our students’ senses to awaken and to incorporate this multi-sensorial experience into their day-to-day experiences at school. Read on to discover more about this unique space:

Does every school have one?

Our Snoezelen room is unique to IIS, special multi-sensory spaces such as ours are not simply outfitted or purchased from one shop. All of our equipment, their placement and colour scheme used, have a purpose and were researched carefully with child development and optimizing learning in mind. Specific items were shipped in from Europe and America.

Why is it nicknamed the Ocean Room?

We chose the Ocean theme because there is so much fascination and wonder when we think of the sea. We wanted to create an environment that would provide a sense of calm yet encourage discovery as soon as you entered the room. Our inclusive school community also loves and respects animals, which is why we wanted to create an environment, in which our students’ passions for animals and the environment will continue to grow/strengthen/inculcate.

What features does your Snoezelen room have?

Our Ocean room’s features include mesmerizing bubble tubes, interactive infinity panels, a colourful fibre optic ‘waterfall’ and carpet, solar projector and tactile sea life toys plus soft textured flooring.  It truly varies depending on the individual, one person may love to observe the bubbles while another will enjoy watching the marine life projections, everyone can freely choose how they want to experience and enjoy the space.

How does the Snoezelen room benefit the children?

Our students use the Ocean room in a variety of ways and they know it is always a safe, calming space to enjoy. The environment is brilliant for meditation, imaginative play, and group therapy, we modify the use of the lights and interactive projections according to how we are using the space.  For example, for meditation or breathing exercises, we will lower the volume of the background music and only use the solar projectors.

Another example is during guided visualization activities, the students will lie down on the soft pads and watch the marine life floating by that’s projected on the ceiling, these sessions aim to focus the imagination in proactive and positive ways.

The Ocean room is also a place to celebrate after a successful school day, during those times, we introduce musical instruments while enhancing the colourful light projections to fill the room.

We venture into the Ocean room with the students on a daily basis, it is open to all children and staff (it’s a place that we find can inspire our teachers when creating fun and interactive lesson plans!)

If my child has sensory issues, will they enjoy the Snoezelen room?

Some of our students do have different sensory challenges including sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds and other sensory integration issues. We are a very neuro-diverse school and some of our students need more time to calm their anxieties. The Snoezelen room is a wonderful safe space for these students to take the time to process their feelings, redirect their attention and think up more positive ways to handle the conflict.

If you’d like to view our Ocean Snoezelen room and more of our unique facilities, please book a tour on our Enquiry form.


4 Likely Signs that Your Child Might Have Dyslexia

4 likely signs that your child might have dyslexia
4 Likely Signs that Your Child Might Have Dyslexia

Dyslexia is known to affect at least 1 in 10 people in the world.

Last year, an article by Balvinder Sandhu of TODAY (Online) reported that 4-10% of school children may have dyslexia.

Dyslexia refers to a reading disorder that is characterised by reading issues, it can affect an individual to varying degrees in school.

While the condition is known to cause learning difficulties in children, it could also affect a child’s social and emotional well-being. For instance, frustration in the classroom could affect a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Resultantly, a child could face difficulties when it comes to socialising and making friends.

Signs of dyslexia could appear as early as kindergarten. Nevertheless, immediate intervention would be a strategic move.

While there is no “cure” for dyslexia, it is highly tantamount for both parents and teachers to accommodate a nurturing learning environment to help a child with dyslexia excel in his education. To do so, both parties have to be aware of the signs of dyslexia and provide a child with the appropriate treatments as soon as possible. After all, early assessment and intervention could result in the best outcome.

Below, we have listed 4 of the most telling signs of dyslexia.

1. Difficulty Speaking

One of the most common signs that your child has dyslexia would be severe difficulty speaking at a young age.

Late talking, taking a long time to learn new words, and also issues forming words correctly before and during school could be indicators that your child might have dyslexia. A child might also face issues when learning a new language.

If these signs surface while interacting with your child, it is imperative for all parents and teachers to seek proper guidance about how to best manage a child with dyslexia.

2. Spelling Mistakes

Children with dyslexia might mix up vowel sounds. For instance, they might confuse ‘i’ with ‘e’ and ‘o’ with ‘a’. This could lead to spelling mistakes in writing.

There might also be children who have difficulty remembering how words are spelled. As a result, they might confuse the sequence of letters and even miss out a letter.

Some common examples of spelling mistakes include:

  • hlep instead of help
  • showt instead of shout
  • lick instead of like

 3. A Strong Dislike for Reading

While not all children may enjoy reading, reading might be the worst enemy for children who have dyslexia mainly because most children with dyslexia might find reading to be extremely difficult and frustrating.

Children who have dyslexia tend to have a slower reading speed and might also miss or skip words when reading. They might also immediate forget what they just read.

Furthermore, a child might read a word at the top of the page but fail to recognise it when it appears further down the page.

Some children might even choose to act out or avoid tasks when its time for reading!

4. Mixing up Left and Right

While this might be a cliché sign, many with dyslexia cannot automatically tell from left to right. They would have to stop and think about it.

Early Treatment to Help a Child Excel

If dyslexia goes undiagnosed, issues faced during childhood could carry on into adulthood.

Though most children are ready to learn about reading, spelling and more, children with dyslexia have trouble keeping up. In this sense, it is important for all parents and teachers to utilise school services and facilities to make sure all children get the support they need.

Find out more about our dedicated Support Services by clicking here.

How do you teach students with autism? Here are 5 ways!

How do you teach students with autism? Here are 5 ways!

How Do You Teach Students With Autism

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong learning and development disorder that affects 1 in every 59 children according to Autism Speaks. This neurodevelopmental disorder is characterised by impaired social functioning as well as communication disturbances. Typically, signs of autism surface during the early childhood years. It could also persist and interfere with one’s communication abilities and daily life.

Some ways in which autism could interfere with one’s life include:

  • Being unable to emotionally connect with peers
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Inability to seek emotional comfort from others
  • Being unable to hold a proper conversation

In order for a child to develop his academic skills in school, it is important for teachers and parents to create a safe and nurturing environment for them to grow and develop at their own pace in school and at home. Here are 5 tips to make teaching autistic children more effective.

1. Parents and Teachers Have to Work Together

To make sure a child with autism is able to discover his/her fullest potential both in his/her home and at school, it is important for both parents and teachers to communicate openly to understand the child’s condition and find the best solution to help the child excel. Both parties would be able to get a clearer understanding of how a child learns by communicating efficiently and effectively.

2. Recognise the Child’s Strengths and Weaknesses and Address Them Accordingly

Every child has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. It’s essential for both parents and teachers to be aware of them.

Tap on your child’s strengths, praise them and reward the child when he/she succeeds or overcomes challenges. This could instil a sense of accomplishment and confidence. It also helps a child build up their confidence.

For instance, if a child with autism is able to solve a complex mathematical equation, praise him for his competence and encourage him to maintain this positive learning attitude.

On the other hand, when a child shows weakness in completing a task, assist them by providing alternative solutions or break the task down into a more manageable size. Avoid getting angry, confrontational or criticising the child, as this might cause them to feel frazzled. Instead, explain the solutions in a calm manner. Constructive feedback would enhance a child’s self-awareness.

3. Follow the Child’s Interest

As much as possible, try to teach based on topics that your child enjoys. Children with autism tend to respond better to teaching methods that include ideas and subjects that he/she is interested in. If your child is a fan of cars, try to incorporate those aspects of their life into the learning process.

Parents and teachers of the child would have to communicate openly about the child’s interest to ensure consistency in the teaching methods.

4. Provide Explicit and Direct Instructions into Manageable Chunks

All children, regardless of their abilities, get the best chance of success when they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

When giving a child some instructions to complete a task, try to break them down and relay the instructions in a succinct and direct manner. Be patient as the child may need instructions to be repeated throughout the task.

5. Set Short-Term Goals

Goal-setting is useful in ensuring children stay on track. Decide on goals, objectives and targets that are practical for the child at the current time. Set some short-term goals that can eventually help a child achieve his/her long-term goals.

Building a Nurturing Environment

Teaching a child with autism requires technique as well as strategy. It also isn’t a one-man performance. Parents and teachers must work together in order to give a child the best education.

At the Integrated International School, we provide a comprehensive support system to help children of all learning abilities discover their fullest potential. Click here to find out more.


5 Smart Parenting Tips to Manage Children with ADHD

5 Smart Parenting Tips to Manage Children with ADHD

5 Smart Parenting Tips To Manage Children with ADHD

Does your child have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is a well-researched learning disorder which affects children, teens and adults. This disorder makes it challenging for a child or teen to pay attention and control impulsive behaviours. The symptoms of ADHD usually begin to surface during childhood.

Some common signs of ADHD include:

  • Inattention – difficulty paying attention on one subject
  • Hyperactivity – being too active
  • Impulsivity – acting without thinking

Children with ADHD could also face learning difficulties in school. For instance, a student might have difficulties sustaining attention during lessons or playtime. One might also have problems following instructions, completing schoolwork and organizing tasks and activities. Children with ADHD also have a tendency to lose school supplies and become easily distracted.

In order for a child to reach his/her full potential and succeed academically in addition to becoming a well-rounded individual, parents of children with ADHD must create a nurturing learning environment at home.

1. Keep Discipline Consistent

According to Health Central, children with ADHD are relatively more difficult to discipline compared to children without as children with ADHD tend to forget their punishments and wrongdoings. In this sense, it’s important for both parents to work together and create their own consistent discipline process.

Structure is highly useful for parents who need to discipline children with ADHD. Come up with a discipline system that works best for your child and use it consistently to deal with misbehaviours.

For instance, if you use a time-out to discipline your child when he misbehaves, try to stick to the same disciplinary method.

2. Define House Rules

Aside from disciplining your child, all parents would need to put some house rules in place.

Come up with a list of house rules that are consistently enforced. They define expectations for your home and guide your children to acquire important social skills.

Write your home rules on a paper or poster and hang it somewhere in the house where everyone frequents.

Try to keep your rules short and positive. Avoid negatives like “don’t” and “no” and craft rules that are uplifting.

Here are some examples:

  • “Help others in need”
  • “Always believe in yourself”
  • “Show compassion for others”

3. Break Tasks into Bite-sized Chunks

Staying focused is one of the biggest challenges of ADHD. Therefore, by reorganizing big tasks into smaller ones, a child with ADHD would be more able to keep their head in the game.

By helping a child reach his/her short-term goals, he/she would be more focused and inclined to get things done.

4. Regulate Your Child’s Sleeping Patterns

For children with ADHD, it can be tough to keep their minds quiet and relaxed enough to sleep. Insomnia could also affect a child’s learning disabilities and his/her mental health. To mitigate this issue, try to keep a regular sleeping schedule with no compromises.

5. Be Willing to Ask for Help

ADHD might be a challenging disorder to manage, but it is important for you, as a parent, to be optimistic and create a nurturing home environment for your child to grow up happily and healthily.

However, even the most well-oiled machine needs some support. Likewise, parents of children with ADHD should ask the school for support whenever they feel overwhelmed. Consulting qualified therapists and specialists in your child’s school could help facilitate a more interactive and engaging learning environment in school and home.

4 Ways Inclusive Education Can Benefit Your Child

4 Ways Inclusive Education Can Benefit Your Child

Student Raising Hand In Classroom

“Inclusion is based on the belief that students of abilities have the right to an education that is meaningful, appropriate and equivalent to that of their peers.” – Nicole Eredics

Education is the key to growth in any nation and it is imperative for all students to have equal access to educational facilities and institutions. In facilitating a school culture that looks beyond physical and mental differences, we would be able to play our part in contributing to a greater society in the future.

What is Inclusive Education?

According to UNESCO, Inclusive education is defined as the “process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners.” This can be done by encouraging participation in cultures, communities and learning within an educational organization. By utilizing inclusive teaching in classrooms, all students would have equal opportunities to succeed and discover their potentials.

Advantages of Inclusive Teaching and Learning

How exactly will inclusive learning help your child?

There are numerous benefits of this teaching approach, we listed 4 of the biggest advantages below.

1. Inclusive Learning Encourages Interactive Learning

An inclusive classroom encourages participation from all students to promote strength through unity and diversity. By facilitating inclusive learning, both disabled and non-disabled students would be able to learn from each other.

Not only will all students acquire key skills and knowledge that will help them in their tertiary education and their careers, but all students will develop important life skills like respect and empathy. No two learners are alike, thus, there are ample opportunities for students to learn from one another.

2. Reduce Stigma in an Inclusive Classroom

Stigma against race, religion, disabilities and financial upbringing can affect a student’s self-esteem and dignity. In fact, it could also affect their worldview. It’s highly tantamount to overcome stigmas in a classroom so that each student feels included, valued and special. Only then, will all students feel empowered and motivated to learn.

In an inclusive classroom, diversity is appreciated on a broader level – this reduces the stigma for students with learning difficulties and attention issues. By overcoming stigmas and letting all students learn and interact with each other, we can help enhance their social awareness.

3. Educators can Build a Community

Encouraging participation and interactive learning while reducing social stigmas can help educators maintain a positive learning environment for all students. This would help students feel like they are truly a valued part of the school community.

While segregation breeds tension and inequality, integration and inclusion help all students and their families feel a sense of belonging. In an environment where all opinions matter, all interests are taken into consideration, and there is true respect for all peoples, there is a greater sense of camaraderie based on a collective identity.

4. Students Learn to Work in A Team

Today, in the workplace, the ability to work in a team is highly valued. The phrase “being a team player” typically appears on most job postings these days. In order to ensure all students are prepared with relevant academic and life skills, it is the sole responsibility of educators to make sure all learners understand the importance of teamwork.

Cultivating a good sense of teamwork in the classroom helps students understand the relevance of mutual respect based on open and honest communication

Equal Opportunities for All

Education is the foundation of economic and societal progress. As educators, we believe in creating an inclusive classroom that gives all students sufficient opportunities to unlock their potential and develop useful and practical skills in an open and supportive environment. Click here to find out more about our vision, mission and values.

Special Needs Education

Special Needs Education in Singapore

Today, the need for inclusivity in special needs education has never been greater in Singapore.

According to an article on TODAY Online dated May 18, 2018, the number of children with special needs has been steadily rising. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has been channelling ample effort in ensuring that special education is made available for students with various types of special needs and learning difficulties

IIS is a boutique private school in Singapore that acknowledges the importance of special education. Find out more about our commitment and our school in Singapore.

Committed To Every Student

For IIS, inclusive education for all students cannot be achieved without a strong commitment towards creating a culture of inclusion.

with a commitment towards creating an inclusive learning environment, IIS provides special needs education at our international school in Singapore. We are dedicated to facilitating a nurturing and enriching learning environment that accommodates children with special needs.

Part of our efforts to embrace inclusion has led us to incorporate tailored and individualised school programmes and activities geared towards helping children with learning difficulties and special needs adjust to our education system in Singapore. Our school yearns to make relevant education accessible to individuals of all levels. Furthermore, our special education and tailored programmes integrate teaching styles which are adjustable, flexible but also relevant and nurturing to address the characteristics or each and every student.

In addition to our individualised and special needs programmes, we also have a dedicated support team that has been adequately trained and equipped with relevant and necessary skills to support and build a caring community at our private school in Singapore.

 Reach Out to Us

Should you have any questions about enrolling a child with special needs at our international school in Singapore, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Click here for our contact information.