Building A Strong Academic Foundation Is Essential

The School Readiness Programme is a tailored individualized programme that’s been specially designed to better help students who are diagnosed with developmental delay and those who are on the spectrum of ASD. These children generally have persistent difficulties at school age, with motor deficit, issues in grasping academic concept and low functional participant in the school context.

To gain more understanding of this intervention programme, we turned to Adeline Chai, the co-founder of Brain Connection for more information

How Did The Programme Come About?

Just like we build strong foundations of our homes, I understand the importance of how building that strong cognitive level and academic base can lead to a more confident and compliant student. This programme is something that through trial and error with my own son has slowly developed into what it is today. Although my son was attending a mainstream school from the ages of 7 to 9, I was assisting him throughout the 3 years with my own method. That’s because children in the ASD spectrum usually learn differently from their typical peers. I broke down each method into complex manner so that he is able to understand and grasp the concepts at his own comfortable pace. In doing this with him I realised that many more children with the same issue could benefit just as he did with the programme.

What Subjects And Topics Do The Programme cover?

The programme covers 5 main areas, Physical Movements, Maths, Science, English, as well as Cognitive and Focus. It’s important for our students to gain a strong base in Maths, Science and English as they are the core subjects in education at large.
Physical Movements include neuro exercise, gymnastic, and Rhythmic Movement Training International (RMTi) are incorporated into the student’s daily program. Regular participation in these types of physical activities has been associated with improved gross motor skills, which lead to better academic performance and important school day functions, such as attention and memory. Cognitive and Focus consists of activities that help our students to improve their copying and writing skills, as well as academic attainments.

What Are The Different Advantages That We Can Expect?

What we first need to understand is that not all children are academically driven. This is why firstly it is important to understand that larger groups of kids in a classroom will inhibit the attention needed from teacher to student. Secondly, being able to adapt to a child’s learning pace is crucial as they will easily get lost in a mainstream learning pace. This where a child will benefit from The School Readiness Programme, as it is customized to each child. We understand that every child learns and adapts differently to academics. This programme is tailored specifically to each child’s learning styles to enable them to achieve various levels academically.

How Does The Programme Work?

As mentioned earlier the programme covers 3 main subjects at its core. Our aim with the programme is to fundamentally help children gain the core basics of each subject. For example with Math when we begin, we start the child off with 3D Visual and engage them with their senses (sensory play); this is one of the first fundamentals. From there they advance to 2D Visuals and lastly they work numerically on sheets. At every stage, the child must grasp the concept fully before he/she is moved on to the next stage. We work with them at their level and don’t rush their learning pace. This way though it takes a longer amount of time the child comes out with a greater understanding of what he or she is learning, which then enables them to apply these concepts in daily life.

What Are Other Key Concepts That Children Will Learn From This Programme?

Addressing motor function challenges at an early stage is an area that we focus on. Studies have identified that children with ASD can have varying levels of difficulty with fine and gross motor skills. This is why we give special attention to physical movements through daily exercises, sensory play and rhythmic movement training to help integrate their immature reflexes and muscle tones.

What Is The Right Age To Start?

There’s no right age or time to start. A common misconception especially with kids on the spectrum or kids who are generally considered ‘slow’ in a mainstream setting is that they have the inability to learn and because of this a lot of parents avoid getting their kids to attempt academic skills. But that’s not the case, some children actually can thrive academically. This is why it is important to get them to at least try in order to identify where they are, how they learn, and what they need. We recommend that kids from ages 4-10 to join the programme before entering mainstream schools (private/international school or even before they enter a home school programme).

Testimonies From Parents

Ashley joined Brain Connection (BC) School Readiness 2 years ago. It’s a structured programme that tailored according to the child’s level and pace of learning. We like the method and approach used by this programme, especially when related to logical thinking and conceptual skills, which can be very challenging for many autistic kids. With the dedication and commitment from the BC founder and teachers, Ashley has shown significant improvement on her academic level and other areas.
From Wilson & Nicole Tan

During Dylan’s kindergarten age, he attended the BC School Readiness Programme for 2 years. The structure of the programme has helped him to build a strong foundation for his core educational skills such as writing, reading and arithmetic. The physical activities had also helped to improve his motor skills and flexibility. He’s now attending an international school and is progressing well with all his core subjects.
From Mr. Chew

Russell was 3 years old when he was enrolled into the BC School Readiness Programme. After 2 years of intervention and 1 year in BC Homeschool Programme, he showed tremendous improvement in reading, counting and socialising. He has indeed acquired a strong foundation in all his core subjects and this gives him a smooth transition into the mainstream school that he’s attending right now. I would recommend the School Readiness Programme because of its conceptualised method and the dedication of the teachers and founder.
From Cynthia Lau