Comparison Between Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy and physical therapy are similar. Both can be used to help one recover from physical injuries. However, there are some distinct differences. If your child struggles to grasp his toys, do you seek occupational therapy for children, or do you go to a physical therapist? 

Physical therapists are specialists whose concern is the movement of the body. They use massage, exercises, and other techniques to improve motion and mobility. Physical therapists are mainly concerned about the rehabilitation and treatment of physical impairments. 

Occupational therapists, on the other hand, have a variety of functions. They don’t just focus on a single issue. Instead, they help to improve physical, cognitive, visual, and general coordination functions. The occupational therapy Singapore techniques go beyond the physical. 

While physical therapists attempt to strengthen one’s muscles to improve movement, occupational therapies try to understand the root cause of the physical limitations. 

Does your child need occupational therapy? 

Is your child lagging in the development of fine and gross motor skills? Does he have behavioural challenges that keep him from completing tasks? Does he have emotional outbursts that make it difficult for you to predict his mood and reactions? If your response to either one or all these questions is yes, then you need occupational therapy for children. 

Professional Occupational therapists use techniques that focus on three major areas; habilitation, rehabilitation, and wellness promotion. 

The holistic approach used by occupational therapists attempts to identify the reasons behind a child’s inability to perform daily tasks. For example, a child with delayed speech or poorly developed motor skills will be examined for health conditions, such as ADHD, neuromuscular disorders and autism. 

Once the cause is identified, occupational therapy for children is undertaken to improve the child’s independence as much as possible.

Some of the symptoms to look out for in children in need of occupation therapy include;

  • Sensory-processing problems. For example, does your child have delayed or no reactions to physical stimulation? 
  • Poor visual perceptual skills. Some children struggle to make sense of what they see. For instance, some children have a difficult time distinguishing b from d, or p and q. 
  • Poorly developed cognitive skills. A common problem that occupational therapy for children addresses is the inability to pay attention. 

Difficulty with small muscle movements, usually with the fingers, hands, and toes. For example, if your child struggles to grasp a pencil to write, an occupational therapist will introduce exercises to improve your child’s fine motor skills. 

Relationship between physical and occupational therapy

Children in need of physical therapy are not usually in pain. Some need their muscles strengthened to allow them to function optimally. For example, children with a short joint range motion can undergo physical therapy to boost endurance and improve movement in the legs, arms and feet. 

There are cases where occupational therapy for children and physical therapy are necessary to improve a child’s quality of life. After analyzing your child’s shortcomings, it is best to determine if both therapies are necessary. Physical therapy is often used for a limited period. If it is not helpful, the physical therapist may recommend alternative treatments, such as occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy Singapore tends to be a long-term treatment option. This is likely because children are trained to manage the difficulties they face. For example, therapy to improve a child’s social skills may be necessary beyond his childhood years.

Occupational therapy for children requires commitment because what works for one child may not work for another. Occupational therapists try different technique until they find the perfect fit for your child.

Waitlists in Singapore Preschool Programs: Are they Worth It?

Have you approached a preschool in Singapore to seek admission for your child? How often have you put your child’s name on the waitlist? Even worse, if you wait too late, you may be told the school has no vacancy for the next two years! Is the high demand for the particular school or the preschool program? 

According to the Ministry of Social and Family Development, over 90% of children aged five to six years have been enrolled in preschools in the past three years. Preschool in Singapore is optional. Some parents choose to homeschool, but most prefer the preschool program. 

The transformation of the preschool program 

In the 90s, Singapore had very few premium preschool programs. The various kindergartens were also located in town. Since the demand was higher than the preschools available, the waitlist culture was born. Expectant parents even booked slots for their unborn children to ensure they get a place when they get to school-going age!

Although waitlists are still common in some preschools, the lists are not as long as they once were. Between 2007 and 2017, the available slots for preschool children more than doubled, from about 62,000 to 143,000. Child enrolment also increased from 50,000 to 108,000. In 2019, 130,000 children were enrolled in preschool.

The Singaporean kiasu culture was one of the driving forces behind the pressure on specific preschools with long waitlists. Fortunately, some of the popular preschools opened more branches, which increased the number of slots. Additionally, new preschools were established. 

The size of preschools has also been increasing over the years. Today, Singapore is home to the largest preschool in the world. It has enough space that could comfortably fit seven football fields for 1,060 children to learn and play. 

Impact of ECDA on Preschools in Singapore

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) was formed in 2013. It was tasked with overseeing key aspects of development in children below seven years of age. This includes their preschool education. 

The ECDA subsidises some preschools to enable children from disadvantaged homes to access the preschool program at an affordable rate. The ECDA also made it possible for children attending specific preschools to get direct admission to some primary schools. 

This reduced the waitlist in some schools since some parents preferred not going through searching for the ideal primary school for their preschoolers. Some don’t want to take the risk of being on the waitlist, so they opt for the most direct route, which is admission in the identified kindergarten, irrespective of the preschool program. 

Should you join the preschool waitlist or opt for another kindergarten?

Preschool is the first step to formal education for all children. However, for some parents and kids, this is the first time they will be separated for several hours a day. Parents are looking for the ideal preschool program and an environment that is safe for their young ones. 

The question of whether you should remain on the waitlist depends on your reasons for choosing that specific kindergarten. Is the preschool strategically located? 

Before deciding whether you should place your child’s name on the waitlist or move on, it is best to find out if you can easily get a similar preschool providing equally good services. Instead of focusing on the preschool, look at what you find appealing about the preschool program. 

Is it the teacher-children ratio? The amenities in the preschool? The curriculum? Have a list of the things you are looking for in a preschool. If your preferred preschool has no space, find if you can find another that is strategically located but have a lot in common with your preschool of choice.

As you plan for your child’s preschool years, it is important to have a list of possible preschools and programs that you prefer. This way, if your first choice has no vacancy, you can easily go for plan B. This way, you can continue with your plans without the uncertainty and misgivings of being on a preschool waitlist. 

How do I teach my child read and write Chinese?


Children are very intuitive and intelligent and you will realize that they adapt to learning a new language like fish to water. Once you start with teaching your children Chinese, you will realize that children are far more advanced in understanding daily conversations than they are in recognizing Chinese characters. This is very common and one should create a learning environment for the children to develop listening skills and speaking skills through daily conversation.

How do I teach my children to read Chinese?

It is very important to have a very solid grasp on Chinese characters no matter at what age a child starts to learn Chinese. This is important to develop good reading skills. Children are very easily bored by the complexities involved in going from a phonogram-based language (English), to a logogram-based language (Chinese). It is the job of a teacher to make the child feel confident right at the start of their Mandarin-learning journey. This will help them to naturally sustain their enthusiasm and maintain their interest in the subject. 

How should I prepare a younger child to learn Chinese?

For younger kids it s very easy to learn if you associate physical objects to the characters. What you can do is print out Chinese characters in a large font with their pinyin and stick it around the house and put these flashcards on the objects. This will help kids learn faster and they can also relate to the character much more and make Chinese characters seem much more approachable and fun.

Create a game and make Learning fun

You can make learning Chinese great fun for kids by creating a game out of it. You can start by asking your children to match Mandarin Chinese character flashcards to the objects in the house. All you need to do is prepare a host of flashcards and run around the house to stick the correct flashcard to the correct object. Slowly expand the game to the outdoors as well and match flashcards to items in the supermarket.

Buy Basic Level Chinese Books

For older kids when they attain a certain level proficiency, you can buy them Children’s books in Chinese. These Chinese children’s books are very child friendly and written with pinyin next to the characters. This is to help sound out the phonetics and can be a good confidence builder and be a very good resource to help expand your children’s vocabulary. For older kids it is very important to retain their excitement and maintain their interest in the subject. In order to that one must invest in the variety of books available on the market today. These books cover a variety of topics such as cooking, nature and comic books. 

How do I teach My Child to Write Chinese Characters?

Apart from enrolling your kids in a Chinese Kindergarten in Singapore writing Chinese characters can be pretty daunting for a child for the first few times and the child might feel it pretty difficult, but the key is perseverance and this needs to be taught to the child. Towards the beginning the child might feel it is doing rout memorization but their skills definitely improve over a period of time and the important thing is not give up. Practice makes perfect and eventually your kids will be able to write structured sentences in Mandarin Chinese. It is very important that you make the child understand that Chinese needs to be written by hand and you can introduce rewards to encourage the same.

These are some of the basic tips to help your child read and write Chinese. As already mentioned, perseverance is key in this regard.

How Can Math Enrichment Programs Help Your Kids?

Well-designed math enrichment programs support, improve and deepen students to understand mathematical concepts and lessons. The scope of these programs can go much beyond than simply helping pupils to be at par with their other batch-mates or peers. Enrichment class for toddlers are good as it helps in expanding mathematical knowledge and generate genuine and sincere interest in this subject from young. Students who are good with mathematical concepts and the subject may be keen for higher challenges and want to get enrolled in these programs that are usually conducted by highly-skilled math tutors.

These courses have been specially designed so that your child learn much more than what they do in their schools. This will challenge their capacity in their mathematical ability. Coupled with instructors that are specially trained, children will enjoy what they are learning with great precision, and it will build their tenacity in understanding concepts.

Here are three ways in which a Math enrichment programs can actually benefit your kids.

Improve your child’s self-esteem

There will be very few people who will disagree with the fact that abacus math for kindergarten is an extremely challenging method . When there are not so successful trials to master it, your child may suffer from issues related to his or her self-esteem. It is possible for math enrichment program’s to foster an environment, which is both supportive as well as positive, thus ensuring that the concerned students are confident in their abilities to grasp the subject well. Errors, if committed are regarded as a part and parcel of the overall learning process. Additionally uphill are motivated to learn from their mistakes and utilize their learning as they go ahead.

Promoting in-depth understanding of the subject

People learn through different ways. There could be some students who learn better when the concepts are explained through real-world and practical examples while there could be other students who find the graphic and visual representations simpler to understand the same mathematical concepts well. The aim of math enrichment programs is to utilize various mathematical models for promoting an inclusive and complete understanding of the different concepts and lessons being explained. The beauty of these programs is that the lessons are explained in such a manner that the subject becomes alive and interesting, thus becoming more enlightening, entertaining and engaging for pupils irrespective if their level of expertise.

A focused way of learning

The mathematical challenges faced by each student can be unique. This factor is taken into consideration by math enrichment programs so that a customized approach can be developed targeting the challenges faced by each student.