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APSN

Established in 1976, Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) is a social service agency providing special education for persons with mild intellectual disability (IQ 50-70). Today, APSN operates four Special Education (SPED) Schools (APSN Chaoyang School, APSN Katong School, APSN Tanglin School and APSN Delta Senior School) for students aged 7 to 21, an APSN Student Care Centre for children aged 7 to 18 and an APSN Centre for Adults for persons aged 16 and older, benefiting over 1,200 beneficiaries each year.

The APSN Schools and Centre adopt a holistic approach in its curriculum, comprising academic, vocational and social skills, which are important for open employment and lifelong learning. APSN seeks to enable persons with special needs to be active contributors of the society and is committed to inspire and build capabilities of its partners and community to lead and advocate an inclusive society.

To date, APSN’s growing database has more than 5,000 beneficiaries, comprising students, trainees and alumni. The Association is constantly expanding its network to reach out to and understand the needs of its members to better support them.

Get In Touch

Email: hq@apsn.org.sg
Phone: 65 6479 6252
Address: 900 New Upper Changi Road, Singapore 467354

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Understanding Mild Intellectual Disability (MID)

Intellectual disability (ID) is a development disorder where the individual faces more difficulty than others in grasping concepts and solving problems.

Significant limitations in intelligence

0%
of ID Population
IQ 50-70
(Mild ID)*
0%
of ID Population
IQ 35-49
(Moderate ID)
0%
of ID Population
IQ 20-34
(Severe ID)
0%
of ID Population
IQ <20
(Profound ID)

*APSN provides programmes and services for this group of persons

Source: Bouras N, Holt G, Day K, Dosen A, editors. (1999). Mental Health in Mental Retardation: The ABC for Mental Health, Primary Care and Other Professionals. London: World Psychiatric Association.

Significant limitations in the skills

  • Significant limitations in the skills needed to live and work in the community
  • These include difficulties with communication, self-care, social skills, safety, and self-direction

Limitations in intelligence and living skills

  • Limitations in intelligence and living skills are evident in the developmental period (i.e. before the person is aged 18 years)

Intellectual disability involves impairments of general mental abilities that impact adaptive functioning. Some of the common problems faced by MID individuals may include:

Difficulty remembering what is taught
Takes a longer time to learn
Poor understanding skills
Weak problem solving
Poor social skills
Poor coping skills
Shouting
Tantrums
Meltdowns

While intellectual disability does not have a specific age requirement, an individual’s symptoms must begin during the developmental period and are diagnosed based on the severity of deficits in adaptive functioning. The disorder is considered chronic and often co-occurs with other mental conditions, such as:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Down Syndrome (DS)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Epilepsy
Diagnosis & Treatment

Where there is a co-existence of mental illness and intellectual disability, accurate diagnosis and treatment are particularly challenging because of the individual’s impaired cognitive abilities and attention, functional deficits, communication difficulties, and other co-morbid developmental disabilities, such as autism.

For people with intellectual disability, mental disorders can seriously affect their daily functioning, disrupt family relations, and prevent access to community resources for care, training and habitation. The mental disorder often manifests as behavioural difficulties or changes, which require a proper assessment from an inter-disciplinary team of mental health professionals, so that appropriate treatment can be given. Treatment includes the prudent use of medicines, behavioural therapy and occupational therapy. The treatment plans usually look into addressing sensory issues, improving communication skills, advising on environmental manipulation, changing maladaptive behaviour and optimising functional capabilities.

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