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Swords & Stationery launches education therapy programme to manage Dyslexia

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The educational therapy programme based on the Orton-Gillingham approach is a world’s first and launched by Swords & Stationery, a Singapore-based educational therapy centre.

Dyslexia is a neurobiological learning disability, and does not have a ‘traditional’ cure. The disability can be managed through methods designed to overcome the challenges that people with dyslexia experience.

According to the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, the disability affects about 20,000 primary and secondary students in Singapore. An average of 1 to 2 children in a class of 40 students could be dyslexic.

Shaun Low, founder of Swords & Stationery, found that even the Orton-Gillingham method was not sufficient to address all the difficulties that children face. Many students are challenged by low self-confidence, speech and language issues, motor skill difficulties and behavioural problems.

To address the gap, Swords & Stationery has designed and launched an interactive approach in educational therapy where the entirety of the curriculum is in a gamified format. This is the first and only educational therapy programme globally that directly integrates tabletop games, role-playing games (RPGs) and war games into the curriculum. The programme is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach.

Traditional education does not significantly capture the real struggles that students with learning difficulties go through. Through our role-playing games and custom-tailored lesson plans, we have turned literal non-readers into avid writers, non-verbal students into confident speakers and disengaged children have rediscovered the joy in learning. Every child deserves academic success, and our game-based curriculum has been life-changing for our students.

Shaun Low, founder of Swords & Stationery
Swords & Stationery
Image Credit: Swords & Stationery

How does the educational therapy programme’s play-based method help?

The play-based method increases students’ motivation to learn as they become invested in the stories and themes.

Academic literature shows that Swords & Stationary’s unique methodology and use of tabletop games are a powerful and effective tool for learning, requiring students to think differently and strategise, thereby improving and developing their imagination and intellect.

Interactive games can help students work on their academics, as well as their behavioural and emotional management. This is accomplished by simulating specific situations in a controlled and safe environment that allows for the learning of soft skills such as communication and moral values. Through active learning and with improved motivation and behaviour, the students do better in academics.

Role-playing games (RPGs) are a core part of the programme to promote critical and lateral thinking, or the ability to objectively analyse something and think out of the box. They allow students to experience thrilling stories from a first-person perspective, thereby opening new channels of learning.

Swords & Stationery
Image Credit: Swords & Stationery

Executive functioning skills that include mental control, the ability to organise and retrieve information and self-regulate behaviour are also developed through these games.

While these gamified interactions are an integral part of a child’s development, it is also important for students to learn boundaries. Games also teach boundaries to students. Adopting the rules of each game, a child’s responsibility to self-regulate his or her own behaviour is developed over time.

Face-to-face communication also encourages interactions that help children empathise and synchronise better with one another. They reduce pressure and anxiety and create a stress-free learning environment.

Image Credit: Swords & Stationery Facebook Page