|Choosing a Speech Therapist, Occupational
Therapist, Physiotherapist or Educational Support Teacher for your
child is a difficult task. This is especially so now that there is an
increasing amount of people and centres offering these services within Singapore.
It is possible to obtain a list of Local Support
Services for children with special needs. These can be sought from a
variety of specialist centres and schools depending on the area of
special needs that your child has. For example, the Autism Resource
Centre has a list of professionals that work specifically with children
with autism. Also, if you speak to the staff at these
centres, they will generally be able to give you verbal recommendations
as to who would be most suitable to teach your child. Additionally, the
local special needs schools and some International
schools, such as the Singapore American School and United World College
have their own list of professionals that they refer their children to.
How can you find out which therapy is most suitable for
A Speech Therapist helps to assist in the following
· Language difficulties/disorders: encoding/decoding,
dysphasia/aphasia, delayed or deviant language development, etc.
· Articulation disorders: substitution, distortion or omission
of sounds (phoneme) or addition of extra sounds, etc.
· Fluency disorders: irregular rate, continuity and muscular
effort when speaking, etc.
· Voice disorders: atypical pitch, intensity, quality, etc.
Occupational Therapy is the treatment given to help a
child towards greater independence. They address areas such as:
· Activities of Daily Living: feeding, dressing, toiletting,
bathing, play/leisure skills and vocational skills, etc.
· Gross Motor Skills: postural stability, balancing issues and
· Fine Motor Skills: manipulation and dexterity, pencil and
scissor control, handwriting skills, hand-eye coordination and
bilateral skills, etc.
· Social and Emotional Skills: self esteem, interactional
skills, management of feelings, etc.
· Visual-Perceptual Skills: spatial awareness, visual
discrimination, memory skills, etc.
· Sensory Skills: tactile defensiveness, sensory processing
Physiotherapists often work closely with Occupational Therapists. They
also address similar areas although are based more on gross motor
skills such as: muscle strength and endurance, joint motion, posture,
balance, body mechanics and the function of the heart and lungs. They
concentrate on how to perform daily tasks and recreational activities,
An Educational Support Teacher works on all academic and
social areas in need of development. This includes
language/communication, writing/pre-writing, mathematics/cognition,
fine and gross motor skills, social interaction and play skills. They
should work independently or along side the schools individual
educational programme, if applicable.
How can you find out which therapist is best for your
A good therapist is someone who:
· is willing to help you as well as your child.
· is willing to listen and do more than just the hourly session
with your child.
· is willing to become more involved in your child’s
schooling and to liaise with the teachers and other therapists, where
· is willing to give you feedback on each session and give you
ideas for future goals.
· is happy to listen to your own ideas and take them seriously.
RATES FOR THERAPY
Choosing a therapist by their price rate does not dictate how good they
are. For example, by going to the most expensive does not mean that you
will get the best. Similarly, by going to the cheapest does not mean
that you will get the worst; it also might not mean, however, that you
will be getting the best value for money. It is therefore important to
enquire about other issues such as qualifications and experience first,
before letting the price sway you.
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