Developmental issues in preschoolers: Growing concern in Singapore

In Singapore, the number of developmental issues in preschoolers are rising alarmingly and the numbers are not good. Doctors are trying to create more awareness among parents and teachers to help fight this problem. It is one of the reasons why preschools are become increasingly important for children.

Increasing number of cases

The latest figures show that between 2010 and 2014, there has been a 76% increase in the number of children with developmental problems. The problems include speech recognition, delay in language learning and other developmental delays. Research has found that most of these issues are in kids between the ages of 4 and 6.

play-1Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and speech delays are the top conditions that are currently affecting preschoolers. ASD is a type of disorder that affects social interaction and communication. Children get detached from groups and find it hard to get accepted. The biggest reason for this could be the environment in which they live. Being separated from loved ones becomes a big challenge for such children.

Doctors have remained positive and say that timely detection and diagnosis can prevent developmental disorders in children. Diagnosis also helps children get back to their normal routine and prepares them for schools.

Global rise in cases

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that in Singapore about 1 in every 150 children suffer from ASD and in the world, about 1 in 160. The number of cases are rising and if treatment is not given on time it could easily affect 1 in every 10 children.

The main reason for such high rates is the environment. The place and people matter a lot for children and their brain development.

How preschools can help

Preschools provide a suitable environment for children where they can play and interact with children of their age. In preschools, apart from learning, children develop social and communication skills. Preschools make children aware of different people and situations. Playing and communicating with such people exposes them to a world that was previously unknown to them. It might take time for some kids to socialize but that’s not a problem. In time, they will understand the value of interaction.

The best treatment, or rather prevention, of learning and socializing disorders are preschools. Every child should be admitted in Singapore playgroups and it should become a priority for the government as well as the parents.