Learning Differently

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Students who learn differently are individuals who encounter difficulties in their academic journey for various reasons, such as having a learning difference such as dyslexia or a yet-to-be-diagnosed learning difference. Some may have some learning difficulties but do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of a learning difference.

They may lack foundational knowledge or skills, have attention and focus issues, challenges with executive functioning, and/or emotional and behavioural difficulties. These students require additional support to reach their full potential. A good number of these students have “fallen through the cracks”. The Dyslexia Association of Singapore recognises the obstacles these students face and provides specialist services to help them overcome their challenges and achieve academic success. DAS services are effective for those with dyslexia as well as those who struggle to learn.

 

The main difference between a learner who learns differently and a learner with a diagnosis of a learning difference is that the latter has been formally assessed and diagnosed with a specific learning difference, such as dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), for example. A diagnosis of a learning difference highlights the underlying deficits that result in the challenges experienced by individuals and allows for targeted interventions and accommodations tailored to the student’s specific needs and challenges.

In contrast, a learner who learns differently may exhibit similar difficulties in learning but has not yet been formally diagnosed with a specific learning difference or disability, or may not meet all criteria for a diagnosis but is still having difficulties in learning. These learners can benefit from targeted interventions and support, such as specialist tutoring and small-group instructional learning programs such as the Main Literacy Programme, but their needs and challenges may be less clearly defined than those of students with a formal diagnosis.

Therefore DAS defines those who “learn differently”as:

Students who learn differently are those who encounter difficulties in their learning journey for various reasons, such as a lack of foundational knowledge or skills, executive functioning challenges, attention and focus issues, and emotional and behavioural difficulties.

 These students may have a diagnosis of a learning difference, may not be formally diagnosed or do not meet all criteria for a diagnosis but require additional support to reach their full potential. 

 

 

 

DAS services are available to any student who is experiencing difficulties with learning, regardless of whether they have received a formal diagnosis of a learning difference. 

 

Before being accepted into our programmes, students are required to sit for a profiling test. This test will surface their learning needs and challenges and will help DAS to place the student into an appropriate class. Upon receipt of the enrolment application, our staff will be in direct consultation with parents to explore how their child can be supported at DAS.  Once they have been accepted into the appropriate programmes, they will need to commit to at least one term of lessons. If further investigation is then required, we may recommend additional screening or assessments to ensure that your child receives timely and appropriate intervention. 

 

Profiling is programme-specific. For instance, for our literacy programme, the profiling test may include some tests of reading and spelling. For specialised programmes like Chinese, the profiling test involves an orthographic awareness test, word recognition of Chinese characters and spelling, while the Math profiling test assesses proficiency in number sense, the four operations, and word problems. Through profiling, we can get a sense of the child’s skills in relation to the curriculum that will be covered, which will allow us to place them in a class that suits their learning pace/needs at the point of enrolment.

DAS services for learners who learn differently are available to students of all ages, from preschool through adulthood with variations from programme to programme. 

Connect with us and we can discuss what is available for you.

At DAS, we provide a comprehensive approach to supporting students who learn differently, including

Individualised Assessment: We conduct thorough assessments to identify the specific needs and challenges of each student.

Multisensory Teaching: We use multisensory teaching techniques to engage students with different learning styles, making learning more accessible, effective, and enjoyable.

Structured Intervention: Our structured intervention programmes are designed to provide targeted support that addresses each student’s individual needs.

Experienced Educators: Our educators are experienced in working with struggling learners and are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide effective support.

Holistic Support: We recognise that students face a range of challenges that impact their ability to learn, and we provide holistic support that addresses these challenges and aims to instil a love of learning especially when many of these learners do not enjoy being in an educational setting.

By combining these approaches, we can provide struggling learners with the support they need to achieve their full potential.

 

The length of time it takes for a student to see progress with DAS services can vary depending on the individual student and the specific challenges they are facing. However, we work closely with each student to set achievable goals and monitor their progress regularly to ensure they are making meaningful strides forward.

 

Yes, parents are an important part of the learning process at DAS. We believe that parents play a vital role in supporting their child’s learning and development, and we provide regular feedback and updates on their child’s progress to ensure they are fully informed and involved in the process.

Parents can get started with accessing DAS services for their child by contacting our team to schedule an initial consultation. 

During this consultation, we will discuss the student’s needs and determine the best course of action to support their learning and development.

 

There are costs associated with DAS services for those without a diagnosis of dyslexia or other SpLDs, standard fees apply.  All programme fees can be found here: PROGRAMME FEES

Financial Assistance: 

Financial assistance via the MOE grant for the Main Literacy Programme is only available to students who have a diagnosis of dyslexia, are Singaporean and studying in a MOE school. 

Our team can provide more information for families to navigate the process of accessing funding for assessment services.  Currently, DAS needs more funds to support our bursary fund to provide financial assistance to students without a diagnosis.