Struggling learners encompass a diverse group of students facing challenges in their educational journey. These challenges can arise from various factors, including specific learning differences such as Dyslexia or ADHD, gaps in foundational knowledge and skills, executive functioning difficulties, attention and focus issues, as well as emotional and behavioural concerns.

Some of these students may have received a formal diagnosis of a learning difference, while others may not meet all the diagnostic criteria but still require additional support to achieve. DAS is dedicated to providing tailored interventions that empower struggling learners with the tools and strategies needed to achieve their true potential.

Demographic of Struggling Learners


1. Special Education Students (10%) - SpLD Learners

  • These students have received a formal diagnosis, such as dyslexia.
  • They require specialised support tailored to their specific learning differences.
  • Our programmes are designed to address their unique needs and help them succeed academically.

2. Students Who Need Supplemental Support (20%)

  • These students are at risk of "falling through the cracks" academically.
  • They do not have a formal diagnosis of a learning difference.
  • They may not meet the standard academic benchmarks expected for their grade level and they may not meet all the criteria of a specific learning difference.
  • The focus is on providing additional resources, strategies, and guidance to help them improve their academic performance and bridge learning gaps.
  • Our support programmes can bridge the gaps in their learning and boost their performance.

3. Intermittent Strugglers (5% - 10%)

  • This group consists of students who are not mandated for special education services.
  • They do not receive ongoing supplemental support but may face occasional academic challenges.
  • Intermittent strugglers may benefit from intermittent assistance to address specific difficulties as they arise while fostering self-sufficiency in their learning journey.
  • Our programmes can provide them with the skills and strategies to help them in their studies.






The Dyslexia Association of Singapore recognises that all students deserve access to quality education and support, regardless of the obstacles they face. By providing specialist services for struggling learners DAS aims to level the playing field for these students and help them achieve their true potential.

Struggling learners are eligible for DAS programmes, but without a formal diagnosis of a learning difference, they do not qualify for the MOE grant that is applicable to the Main Literacy Programme (MLP). However, while struggling learners may not be eligible for the MOE grant, DAS' range of programmes and services, including MLP, can equally benefit struggling learners and help them overcome their learning challenges. DAS programmes are designed to help students build their foundational literacy skills, improve their confidence, and develop a love of learning that will serve them well throughout their academic journey.

We encourage parents to contact DAS directly to learn more about the programmes and services that are available for struggling learners, and to discuss the options that may be best suited to their child's needs.

Find out more about services for Struggling Learners HERE


At DAS, we understand that every child's educational journey is unique. While some learners progress smoothly, others may encounter learning gaps or struggle with foundational skills. We believe that with the right support and resources, these challenges can be overcome, and every child can reach their full potential. In this guide, we'll explore how we address learning gaps and help build strong educational foundations.



Learning gaps refer to the areas in a student's education where they haven't grasped essential concepts or skills necessary to progress. These gaps can emerge for various reasons, including missed instruction, interruptions in learning, or differences in learning pace.

Common Signs of Learning Gaps:

  • Difficulty Advancing: A student may find it challenging to move to more advanced topics because they haven't fully understood foundational concepts.
  • Struggles with Mastery: Difficulty mastering basic skills like reading, writing, math, or critical thinking can be indicative of learning gaps.
  • Low Confidence: Learners with gaps may lack confidence in their abilities, affecting their overall motivation, perseverance and self-esteem.
  • Frustration: As learners encounter difficulties, they may become frustrated, leading to disengagement from learning.


Many students face unique challenges that can impact their educational experience. One such challenge is Executive Functioning issues, which play a crucial role in a student's ability to plan, organise, manage time, and more. In this guide, we delve into the realm of Executive Functioning and its significance in the lives of struggling learners.

Challenges Faced by Struggling Learners with Executive Function:

Struggling learners may experience difficulties in one or more areas of Executive Functioning. These challenges can manifest as:

  • Disorganisation: Students may struggle with keeping track of assignments, materials, and deadlines.
  • Time Management Issues:  Difficulty in managing time effectively, leading to missed assignments or poor time allocation.
  • Procrastination:  Putting off tasks until the last minute, which can negatively impact academic performance.
  • Forgetfulness:  Frequent lapses in memory, making it challenging to remember instructions or complete tasks.
  • Impulsivity:  Acting without thinking through consequences, which can affect decision-making and behaviour in the classroom.



One common hurdle that many struggling learners encounter is difficulty in sustaining attention and maintaining focus. In this guide, we explore the complexities of attention and focus issues and their impact on students' learning experiences.

Challenges Faced by Struggling Learners with Attention and Focus Issues:

Struggling learners may encounter various attention and focus challenges, which can manifest as:

  • Short Attention Span:  Difficulty in maintaining focus for extended periods during lessons or when completing assignments.
  • Easily Distracted:  Tendency to become sidetracked by external stimuli or internal thoughts.
  • Difficulty with Multitasking:  Trouble managing several tasks at once, leading to reduced efficiency and accuracy.
  • Inconsistent Focus:  Uneven attention span, making it challenging to sustain engagement in various subjects or activities.
  • Difficulty Shifting Attention:  Struggles when switching between tasks or adjusting focus as needed.



At DAS, we recognise that every student's journey in education comes with its unique set of challenges. For some, these challenges may extend beyond the academic realm, encompassing emotional and behavioural concerns that affect their overall well-being. 

Challenges Faced by Struggling Learners with Behavioural and Emotional issues:

Struggling learners often grapple with emotional and behavioural concerns that can hinder their academic progress and overall development. These challenges may include:

  • Frustration:  Feelings of frustration or inadequacy in response to academic difficulties, leading to avoidance of learning tasks.
  • Isolation:  Withdrawing from social interactions due to anxiety or difficulties in social situations.
  • Low Self-Esteem:  Negative self-perceptions stemming from academic struggles, impacting self-confidence.
  • Behavioural Outbursts:  Expressing frustration or stress through disruptive behaviours in the classroom.





(Tick the box for any questions that might apply to your child)


Struggle with spelling, grammar or writing?


Have difficulty with math or problem-solving?


Have difficulty with reading and reading comprehension?


Have trouble keeping up with their schoolwork, despite their best efforts?


Find it challenging to remember information they have previously learned?


Have difficulty in understanding or completing homework assignments?


Have challenges in staying organised and planning their time?


Find writing task challenging and don’t know where to start?


Have difficulty expressing themselves clearly or understanding others?

  Have emotional or behavioural challenges that impact their learning?

Frequently express frustration or negative feelings about their schoolwork?

  Have difficulty expressing themselves clearly or understanding others?
  Have trouble regulating emotions, such as getting upset or frustrated easily?

Have difficulty with social interaction or making friends?

  Tells you he/she does not want to go to school?


(Tick the box for any questions that might apply to your child)


Does not hand in homework on time or at all?


Is unable to demonstrate their knowledge in written work


Has poor academic progress in relation to his/her peers?


Has trouble paying attention or staying focused in class?


Has trouble following instructions?


Is not enjoying school?

If you have concerns about your child's learning based on your observations and response to this checklist, we encourage you to reach out to DAS to learn more about how we can support your child's learning needs.