Preschooler Parent’s Guide to Educational Pathways : Part II

In part I of this series, an introduction to Special Education and needs identification was made. Part II highlights the activity and decision process starting from the request for an evaluation by a psychologist right through the evaluation phase...

...leading to a report with recommendations for a school placement decision.

How? 
(i) Obtain a referral from paediatrician in hospitals or private practice doctor
(ii) Self-initiated

When?
Approximately 5 year 6 months or mid K2 year whichever is earlier

What?
Determining if there is a need to be formally assessed for special educational needs (SEN)

Who?
Ensure the psychologist is qualified with relevant child/medical experience and training. In Singapore, they also have to be fully registered with the Singapore Register of Psychologists.

What? 
(i) Collecting in-depth information regarding
    * reason for referral
    * birth, medical, academic and social history
(ii) Bring along your child’s previous assessments and reports

Why? 
(i) Helps to identify the purpose of the evaluation as well as the number of hours of testing that will be needed
(ii) To help clarify what the child needs during the psychological evaluation

How? 
(i) Parents' interview
(ii) School's interview

What?
Collection of information and data from parents and school staff

Why?
To provide information about the child and his/her behaviour at home and at school

Where? 
Mostly in the psychologist’s office

What? 
(i) Cognitive/Developmental Assessment
(ii) Adaptive Skills Assessment (these are usually assessed via interviews with parents)
(iii) Academic Skills Assessment
(iv) Visual Motor Assessment
(v) Language Assessment

How?
The assessment process (combination of paper-based, task-based, verbal-based assessments) allows the collection of quantitative information across different domains to support identification of the child’s needs so as to guide school consideration decision.

How? 
Different psychologists/organisations do the feedback process differently.

What? 
(i) Integration of all collected data
(ii) Identification of the level of special needs education required
(iii) Feedback on school placement

Why? 
(i) Helps to identify suitable schools
(ii) Helps to identify the support needed at school
(iii) Helps to identify the type of interventions needed outside of school

Who? 
By psychologist

What? 
Report is valid for 2-3 years

Jessie Ooh

Jessie is a registered psychologist in the Singapore Registrar of Psychologists, a full member (International affiliate) of the American Psychological Association and a member of APA’s Society of School Psychology (Division 16) and Paediatric Psychology (Division 54). She currently serves as a board member in the Special Education Network In Asia: Singapore (SENIA‐Singapore) as the Community Liaison. 
She can be reached at Jessie_OOH@hotmail.com

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Video Spotlight

Credit: A video by Channel 5

Credit: A video by Trixie Chua & Celine Kim for Special Seeds Singapore.

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