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Other Developmental Delays

The terms “developmental delay” or “global developmental delay” are used to describe a child who is slower to reach developmental milestones in the way he moves, communicates, thinks, learns and behaves. Over time, some children’s developmental delays could be mitigated.

In other children, their delays could be associated with medical conditions – such as autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome – and they could be diagnosed as having a physical, intellectual, developmental, or sensory disability.

Other common developmental delays include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and language and speech delays.


Therapy & intervention

Rehabilitation and therapy can help persons with developmental delays manage their conditions with confidence and even improve certain functions. Intervention goals vary from individual to individual. Common forms of rehabilitation include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Services & programmes

EIPIC is likely the most common programme for children with special needs. Activities at EIPIC centres aim to maximise the child’s developmental growth potential and minimise the development of secondary disabilities.

Ad-hoc therapy

If your child is not in a programme or school where therapy is already provided, he/ she can still go for therapy sessions offered by other VWOs or private intervention centres.

Other useful information:


Child care

Services & programmes

For caregivers looking for childcare and before- or after-school care, they could consider services such as the Integrated Child Care Programme (ICCP) for pre-schoolers aged 2 to 6, or Special Student Care Centres (SSCCs) for students aged 7 to 18.

Other useful information:



Apart from early intervention programmes, including development support and learning support (DS & LS) which are short-term interventions for pre-schoolers with mild developmental needs, pre-schoolers may enrol in inclusive or integrated pre-schools.

Education is compulsory up to age 15 in Singapore, so children from age 7 will need to enrol in either Special Education (SPED) schools or mainstream primary schools.

Some children with developmental delays ‘catch up’ with their peers and are able to enrol in mainstream primary school. For children with learning needs like dyslexia, mainstream schools run learning support programmes and school-based dyslexia remediation programmes. They also have other provisions and support for children who may need help in literacy and numeracy.

Caregivers of children with more severe conditions may like to turn to SPED schools supporting young people with multiple disabilities, including the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School.

Parents can speak to medical professionals, social workers or teachers to seek their recommendations on whether the child should go to a SPED school or mainstream school.

Service providers:

Other useful information:


Other forms of disability support

As the child grows up, developmental delays could be mitigated, or could persist later into life and present as a permanent disability affecting physical functioning, cognitive functioning, sight, hearing and/or communication.

Many disability schemes and services require that the beneficiary be certified to have a permanent disability.

For an overview of disability supports available, please click on our Introduction to Disability Support page. You can also click on the links to get more information on disability support for people with physical disability, intellectual disability, sensory disability and autism spectrum disorder.

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