FAQs - General
1. What approach do you use in your intervention programmes?
We run our programmes using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) approach. This means we are grounded in principles of behavior modification and apply the strategies in a consistent manner. In our Bridging Program, we also use features of TEACCH (e.g. structures, schedules and visuals) to enhance the effectiveness of the programme. Social stories are also used as a teaching tool when we feel the child might benefit from it.
2. I heard ABA is ‘robotic training’. Is that so?
It is a common misconception to equate ABA completely with Discrete Trial Training. Although Discrete Trial Training has its place in ABA, we also use techniques such as verbal behavior training and pivotal training to make our sessions lively. We stay grounded and guided by ABA principles, even as we tweak the way we teach the child. We also remain open-minded about the strengths of other complementing methods.
For a more comprehensive understanding of Applied Behavior Analysis as an intervention approach,
please visit http://rsaffran.tripod.com/faq.html
3. What is the profile of your therapists and teachers?
Our team of therapists and teachers bring with them years of experience working in special schools, early intervention centers or both. We have multi-disciplinary training in child psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis, Structured Teaching and Theory of Mind.
Above all, our therapists and teachers are keen learners, passionate about what we do, and appreciate the fact that every child we work with is a teacher, who will push us to reflect, innovate and create, so as to make our time with the child meaningful. All these mean, when we plan for your child’s learning, we are scaffolding for your child’s sense of accomplishments, and not just following a fixed curriculum.
4. I suspect my child has some special needs – I’m not sure if I should go for diagnosis. Can you help?
Yes, we can. We are here to prepare children for learning and help them learn. Regardless of the diagnosis, if a child faces challenges in learning, the child needs help and should be helped. We ask that you give us some time to know your child, to understand your child in different environments, so that we can help to identify the areas that your child is facing challenges in. Then, we meet you to put in place an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your child and commence an intervention programme.
If need be, we can refer you to our professional partners for assessment and diagnosis. However, the final decision to go for assessment and diagnosis lies with you, the parents.
5. How do you keep track of what to teach my child and the progress?
The learning goals of every child are documented in an Individual Education Plan (IEP), reviewed
regularly. This serves to make sure that no matter what technique we use to teach, we continue to work towards the same goals.
6. Do you provide home-based therapy / can the therapist come to my house instead?
Yes, we do, subjected to the availability of the therapists. Please make enquiries with us.
7. How long should I provide therapy programme for my child; is there an appropriate age when I can stop?
The goals that we set out in your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) are there to guide the programme and how your child is progressing in the programme. We would like your child to master and generalize as many as possible, the skills we would be working on. However, each child learns andprogresses differently. Other considerations are enrolment into mainstream schools, care-giving arrangements, other enrichment or therapy arrangement and cost. There is no recommended age to when therapy should stop. It really depends on how your child is progressing and of course, as parents, you make the final decision.
8. What is the age range for the Inclusion-Paving Programme (IPP)?
The Inclusion-Paving Programme is designed for children aged (developmentally) 2 to 5. In upholding the spirit of Montessori Method, this is a mixed-age pre-kindergarten programme where learning is differentiated based on the acceptance and learning level of the child, and not the chronological age of the child. Children beyond 5 year-old can be enrolled, if deemed to benefit from this programme.
An assessment will be conducted for every child, preceding enrolment.
9. Is the Inclusion-Paving Programme (IPP) suitable for any child with special learning needs?
The IPP is specially designed to bridge the gap between intensive early intervention programmes and inclusive learning in preschools. Children of the following profile will make the most meaningful gains from this programme:
- With notable developmental delay, specifically in language, but otherwise, able to function with minimal behavior challenges
- With developmental delay across domains, receiving early intervention/therapy, making steady progress and might be ready for inclusive learning
- Made significant gains from early intervention/therapy and ready for inclusive learning in a mainstream environment, but require a transition period to harness acquired skills and increase social confidence
10. How is the Inclusion-Paving Programme (IPP) the same as therapy?
The IPP is not a substitute for therapy and is not meant to replace therapy of any form. Despite a low teacher:student ratio of 1:4, it does not warrant a child the 1:1 attention that is only possible from therapy sessions. It is akin to kindergarten teaching, adapting the Montessori Method, and through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis principles, to prepare children for learning in a typical mainstream preschool. In this programme, we focus efforts on establishing and maintaining strong joint attention and social referencing skills – areas that are usually lacking in early intervention programmes but so very critical in an inclusive learning environment.
This programme can complement the goals of an existing early intervention or therapy plan by giving the child a different learning environment that is more natural and dynamic but not as overwhelming as a typical mainstream kindergarten. This is why we also call it a ‘bridging’ programme.
11. How is the Inclusion-Paving Programme (IPP) the same as a mainstream kindergarten?
In many ways, IPP resembles a typical mainstream kindergarten. It is 3-hours long and in that time, students are taught language, numeracy and have time for motor-sensorial play. By adapting the Montessori curriculum, we also emphasize on Everyday Practical Living skills. In addition, we place special emphasis on joint attention and social referencing skills because we know these are the main areas of challenges that a child with special needs have when making the move from intervention to inclusive learning.
Our programme calendar also runs similar as a kindergarten – a year of 4 terms, with term breaks. To have information on our programme calendar, please get in touch with us.
12. How can my child move forward from the Inclusion-Paving Programme (IPP)?
We will regularly review your child’s progress in this programme and be most glad to inform you when we feel your child is ready for inclusive learning. You may, then, enroll your child into a kindergarten of your choice or speak with our Montessori partners for admission procedures. You may also, for an even smoother transition, consider an integrative shadow support for your child for a transitional period of time. We want to see your child continue to blossom in an inclusive environment and will work closely with you to achieve this.
13. Is it mandatory that my child should be in the Inclusion-Paving Programme for a full year?
No. We ask that you give us a minimum of one term to work and review your child’s readiness for inclusive learning. Should your child consistently demonstrate adequate skills for learning in an inclusive environment, we will be most proud to see his or her progression into a mainstream preschool. Our vision for each child in the IPP is successful inclusion, not to keep them as our students as long as possible.
14.I still want to find out more about your programmes. How should I proceed?
Dropping us an email would guarantee you a prompt response, within 3 working days. Use our contact form or get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also call us at 9839 9633. However, we might not be at convenience to answer our calls in the midst of a session or teaching.
Also, look out for our Programme Presentation dates on our Bulletin Blog and book an appointment to meet us. We would love to meet you!