Stories

Your 2024 Guide To Choosing An Inclusive Preschool in Singapore

Just as every child progresses at their own pace, they also tend to learn in different ways as well. Consequently, some children may struggle to flourish in a standardised, one-size-fits-all educational environment. Fortunately in Singapore, there are numerous options available for children who require additional in-school support, offering adaptable learning styles and an inclusive, nurturing environment that adapts to your child’s social and behavioural challenges. 

You might be wondering which inclusive preschools out there would be suitable for your child. In our comprehensive guide, we will be providing you with three valuable tips to help you discover the preschool that would best cater to your child's unique needs.

Tip #1: Find a School That Personalises The Learning Experience

In early childhood education, some children may have some behavioural or social challenges which makes it harder for them to learn in a larger setting. Hence, having an individualised education plan would be more suitable for them, personalising the learning experience to build their knowledge, skills and interest according to their developmental stage, rather than by age. This ensures that children are given the support they require, within a nurturing learning environment, to achieve their full potential.

At the Integrated International School, we specialise in early childhood education in Singapore with smaller class sizes (student-to-teacher ratio of 5:1), with each child having an Individualised Education Plan (IEP) based on their learning needs, designed to prepare them for an academic curriculum.

Tip #2: Find a School with In-House Therapy Services

With your child spending over 50% of their waking hours in school, it's ideal for your child to have support within this environment as well. Having in-house therapy services is beneficial as teachers can work closely together with therapists to closely monitor the progress of your child. With an integrated approach to therapy, combining the expertise of teachers, psychologists, and therapists, this approach helps to also foster positive relationships between students and support school specialists, leading to effective intervention outcomes. 

Recognising the importance of in-house therapy services, the Integrated International School offers Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in-house to support our students in their development. At our new campus location on Church Street, we have specially-designed spaces that help our students develop their fine and gross motor skills, and learn through play. In addition, our in-house support staff have private suites to provide child counselling, speech and Naturalistic Behaviour Intervention (NBI) therapy sessions.

Tip #3: Find a School That Prepares Your Child For Primary Education

There are a wide range of programmes out there that seek to either improve your child’s social and behavioural challenges, or are solely focused on preparing your child academically for primary school education. Parents often resort to signing up for multiple preparatory programmes which can be costly and time-consuming to both parents and children. But what if there was a school programme that integrated these two objectives to nurture your child’s social, behavioural and academic development holistically?

Believing that every child deserves a chance to redefine success and achieve their fullest potential, the Integrated International School is guided by the British Pearson Edexcel curriculum, which is internationally-recognised. Our teachers are specialised in teaching this academic curriculum to students while accommodating to each child’s unique needs within a small class environment.

Why Choose IIS?

At the Integrated International School, we are passionate about providing quality childhood education and believe that every child receives the personalised support they need to thrive academically and emotionally. We offer an integrated approach to therapy, combining the expertise of teachers, psychologists, and therapists in a safe and nurturing learning environment. This collaborative effort ensures that each child receives a tailored intervention plan to address their unique needs. 

Want to learn more about how the Integrated International School can help your child? Contact us today for a school tour. See you soon!

Art Therapy in Singapore at IIS

How Art Therapy Complements Occupational Therapy in Your Child’s Development in Singapore

In the previous blog, we introduced what Occupational Therapy is and how it creates a strong foundation for your child’s development journey. Today, we will be exploring the world of Art Therapy in Singapore, and how the evidence-based treatment approach complements Occupational Therapy through creative methods of expression to provide your child the support that they need.

Art Therapy in Singapore

What is Art Therapy in Singapore?

Art therapy uses art-making to help children communicate and heal. Through various art materials and techniques, like painting, drawing and sculpting, children tap into their inner world and communicate their thoughts, emotions and experiences in a non-verbal manner, and in a safe and comfortable environment.

Art therapy helps children to:

  • Have better emotional regulation and sense of control
  • Improve their fine and gross motor skills
  • Express themselves creatively
  • Improve their focus and attention

How Art Therapy Complements Occupational Therapy in Singapore

Occupational therapy focuses on enabling people to engage in meaningful daily activities, while art therapy utilises creative expression for emotional and psychological healing. Together, they provide a holistic approach, using purposeful activities and artistic outlets to address physical, emotional, and mental health challenges to foster a comprehensive and personalised therapeutic experience.

Why Does the Integrated International School Singapore Provide Occupational Therapy and Art Therapy?

At the Integrated International School, we offer an integrated approach to therapy, combining the expertise of teachers, psychologists, and therapists in a safe and nurturing learning environment. This collaborative effort ensures that each child receives a tailored intervention plan to address their unique needs. This approach fosters positive relationships between students and support school specialists, leading to effective intervention outcomes, and ensuring every child receives the personalised support they need to thrive academically and emotionally.

 

Want to learn more about how the Integrated International School can help your child? Contact us today for a school tour. See you soon!

Occupational Therapy in Singapore at the Integrated International School (IIS)

Nurturing Your Child’s Growth through Occupational Therapy in Singapore

In the intricate tapestry of childhood development, some children may need more support than others. In the previous blog, we explored the effectiveness of child counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and play therapy services in Singapore. Today, we’ll be introducing how Occupational Therapy singapore creates a strong foundation for your children to flourish in their developmental journey.

Occupational Therapy in Singapore

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a treatment designed to help children with sensory integration or developmental delays achieve independence in their daily activities, including writing, tying a shoelace, and zipping a jacket. Occupational therapy aids children in their physical, cognitive and social development, ensuring these early challenges do not impact future learning, and enhances their self-esteem.

With occupational therapy, children can:

  • Develop fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys
  • Improve eye–hand coordination 
  • Master basic life skills like bathing, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and self-feeding
  • Learn positive behaviours and social skills by practising how they manage frustration and anger

Here are some key signs that your child may need Occupational Therapy:

  • Delayed oral motor and sensory skills (e.g., difficulty chewing, swallowing, and drinking)
  • Failure to reach physical, age-appropriate developmental milestones such as sitting, crawling or walking
  • Poor fine motor skills (grasping, buttoning, cutting, shoe-tying, utensil use)
  • Not developing age-appropriate play and social skills

 

At the Integrated International School, our in-house therapist professionals will develop specific goals and interventions personalised to your child’s developmental stage, so that your child can achieve independent, maximised functioning.

Why Does the Integrated International School Singapore Provide Occupational Therapy?

At the Integrated International School, we offer an integrated approach to therapy, combining the expertise of teachers, psychologists, and therapists in a safe and nurturing learning environment. This collaborative effort ensures that each child receives a tailored intervention plan to address their unique needs. This approach fosters positive relationships between students and support school specialists, leading to effective intervention outcomes, and ensuring every child receives the personalised support they need to thrive academically and emotionally.

Want to learn more about how the Integrated International School can help your child? Contact us today for a school tour. See you soon!

Child Counselling & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the Integrated International School (IIS) Singapore

How Child Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Play Therapy Can Help Empower Your Child in Singapore

Navigating an unfamiliar school environment can be daunting for children, and some may require additional support to work through their daily challenges. Wondering how support services in Singapore, like child counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and play therapy can make a difference to your child? Read on to find out.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Child Counselling: Nurturing A Child’s Emotional Well-being

Child Counselling & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: What's The Difference?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps children to modify their thinking patterns and habits in the present. It involves identifying and examining how negative thoughts influence their actions and then replacing them with positive ones. On the other hand, Child Counselling is more focused on the child's past experiences. The effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling varies depending on the child's needs. While cognitive behavioural therapy may work better for some children, counselling may be more effective for others.

Conditions Addressed through Child Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy include:

  • Anger management
  • Anxiety/Panic Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Behavioural Issues
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Chronic Stress
  • Communication Challenges
  • Depression
  • Disruptive behaviour disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Lack of Emotional Regulation
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Self-harm
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Child Counselling

Managing and nurturing the emotional well-being of children is extremely important, but it can be challenging to approach the topic and get a child to open up. Having identified this issue, child counselling services are provided at the Integrated International School to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children can express themselves freely with a trained in-house counsellor. 

Through individual or group counselling, children will discuss their thoughts and emotions and are equipped with tools for stress management, self-awareness, mindfulness, and problem-solving. Our professional support staff will encourage students to discuss anything that’s on their mind. These child counselling singapore sessions help children identify their emotions and provide them with the tools to handle stress, grow self-awareness, utilise mindfulness techniques, and develop problem-solving skills.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of talk therapy that aims to help children identify and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. The method is useful in tackling personal challenges that the child may be facing, fostering resilience, and equipping children with valuable life skills.

For example, a child might say “Reading is so boring and difficult for me. I give up, I am never going to read books again!”. Cognitive behavioural therapy approaches the situation from a more positive and objective standpoint, such as “Reading may be a challenge for me, but I am not going to give up. I am just as smart as the other kids and I will overcome this challenge.”

Cognitive behavioural therapy singapore also focuses on the present and future, which helps children understand that they have little control over what has happened in the past. Children are instead encouraged to reflect on how they can better regulate their emotions and behaviour. Empirical methods used in cognitive behavioural therapy have proven effective in treating various conditions.

At the Integrated International School, our team of experienced teachers work closely alongside our in-house psychologists and therapists to tweak each child's cognitive behavioural therapy approach, in environments where the children feel most at ease. This level of detail ensures that positive relationships are fostered, children are more receptive to therapy sessions, and ultimately leads to more effective intervention outcomes.

Play Therapy: Helping Children Express Themselves Through Play

Play therapy helps children to express their thoughts and feelings in a safe and non-judgmental environment. It is based on the idea that children naturally use play as a way of communicating, and that by using play in therapy, children can express themselves more easily than through traditional talk therapy. This therapy is generally used with children who are between the ages of 3 and 12.

How can Play Therapy help my child?

Play therapy is a helpful approach for children dealing with emotional or behavioural issues. It provides them with a safe and natural outlet to express themselves through play, allowing them to develop a sense of control and work through difficult situations. Play therapy also helps children to learn important social skills, such as communication, cooperation, and negotiation. By engaging in play, children can acquire new coping mechanisms and learn how to redirect inappropriate behaviours.

Play therapy can be either directive or nondirective. In the directive approach, the therapist specifies the toys or games to be used and guides the play with a specific goal in mind. In the nondirective approach, the child is free to choose their own toys and games and play in their way with minimal instructions or interruptions. The therapist observes closely and participates as appropriate.

Sessions must take place in an environment where the child feels safe and where there are few limitations. The therapist may use techniques that involve creative visualisation, storytelling, role-playing puppets, stuffed animals, dance and creative movement, arts and crafts and more. Through playtime, the therapist can observe and gain insights into a child’s problems. The therapist can then help the child explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma.

Play Therapy may help in a variety of conditions:

  • Aggressive or angry behaviour
  • Anxiety, depression, grief
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Developmental delay or learning disabilities
  • Domestic violence, abuse, or neglect
  • Eating and toileting disorders
  • Facing medical procedures, chronic illness, or palliative care
  • Family issues, like divorce, separation, or death of a close family member
  • Natural disasters or traumatic events
  • Problem behaviours in school

However, it's important to note that play therapy should not be considered a substitute for medication or any other necessary treatments in case your child has a diagnosed mental or physical illness. Play therapy can be used alone or in combination with other therapies to help your child manage their condition more effectively.

Why Does the Integrated International School Singapore Provide In-House Child Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Play Therapy?

Child counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and play therapy will be pivotal in supporting your child's emotional well-being, fostering resilience, and equipping them with essential life skills. At the Integrated International School, we offer an integrated approach to therapy, combining the expertise of teachers, psychologists, and therapists in a safe and nurturing learning environment.

This collaborative effort ensures that each child receives a tailored intervention plan to address their unique needs. This approach fosters positive relationships between students and support school specialists, leading to effective intervention outcomes, and ensuring every child receives the personalised support they need to thrive academically and emotionally.

Want to find out more on how the Integrated International School can help your child? Contact us today for a school tour. See you soon!