Parents' Toolkit

As a parent of a child with special needs, you may sometimes feel like you need more support (or knowledge) in supporting your child. Intervention seems like something best left to experts in clinics, therapy centres and schools. Yet there will be queues and additional costs are involved. You want to do something to help your child, besides waiting on the sidelines. Now, you can.

Developed by KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities and the Lien Foundation, ECHO is an early intervention service framework designed for both early intervention professionals and parents. Comprising best practices in child development from the US, Europe and other parts of Asia adapted to the Singapore context, it can be used by child development specialists in hospitals, early intervention centres and preschools. But its techniques can also be easily used by ordinary moms and dads.

To learn how, just remember “WAH!”.

Watch

  • Be fully present and attentive when you are with your child
  • Observe what your child does or says
  • Notice what interests or bores him or her

Act

    Increase the range of your child's behaviour by:

  • Imitating what your child is doing
  • Commenting on what your child is doing
  • Asking questions
  • Showing other ways of doing the same activity
  • Trying different objects or materials to create new scenarios for your child to react to

Hi-five!

  • Praise your child for his or her effort
  • Comment positively about the result of your child's activity
  • Help your child enjoy the reward of his actions (eg. seeing his car roll down a ramp that he built)
  • Overall, the aim is to help your child feel more engaged and willing to repeat the same activity in future

In general, think about how to help your child:

  • relate better to others
  • learn something new or practice what he or she already knows
  • become more independent