Special Seeds is a digital parenting resource initiative of the Rare Disorders Society of Singapore (RDSS), a local registered charity which engage individuals and organizations to raise awareness on rare disorders.
We are a part of RDSS' efforts to engage and collaborate with multiple stakeholder groups: disability and special needs support groups across diagnosis, members of public, schools and policy makers through better engaged conversations, shared experiences and perspectives to effect positive change as One Voice and seed a truly enabling and inclusive environment for the special needs population and their caregivers in Singapore.
Mary is Mommy to three lovely young children. K, her littlest one, is diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Mary advocates for Down Syndrome, and authors the blog Simply Lambchops to chronicle memories of her children. She also actively shares her experiences and reflections on parenting a child with Down Syndrome on her blog, in her church and everywhere else possible.
She enjoys connecting with like-minded parents venturing on this same journey, so that as a community, there is stronger support and sharing of ideas to improve the future of their children. Mary's biggest wish is for people to see K beyond her disability. She wants to have a stronger influence on the society through her voice and efforts - that some day, Singapore can be truly inclusive and accepting to all persons who are differently abled.
Mary is a secondary school educator by profession. She is passionate in moulding the younger generation with sound values and the right attitudes as an individual, as well as teaching the wonders of Biology and Chemistry. She is currently taking a break from her work to focus on her family.
Bachelor of Science/ Diploma in Education
The parents’ daughter.
The loving wife.
The Super Mom of Jovan and Sarah.
Jasmine has never thought that she will be a parent to a Special Needs child. Her life changed and took her on a roller coaster ride with the birth of her daughter Sarah. It took her time and a lot of support from fellow Special Needs parents to accept the fact that Sarah is going to be a very brave and special warrior.
She hopes to reach out to new parents of children with special needs. She strongly feels that no parent should be left alone to struggle with the uncertainties and challenges of their special parenting journey.
Rare Disorders Society Singapore gave out their very first Caregiver Awards in 2015. Jasmine is honoured to be chosen as one of the award winners. As she says, “I am collecting it on behalf of all the caregivers, because all of us are the greatest in giving the best care to our child!”
Samantha enjoys working with children and families from under-priviledged backgrounds and special needs. As a teenager, her exposure to volunteering at different centers and homes had made an impact on her course of studies in the university.
Samantha graduated with a Masters in Education (Special Needs) from the University of Sheffield. She obtained her Graduate Diploma in Psychology from the University of Sydney. Samantha completed her Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of Melbourne. Samantha continues to pursue professional development in various intervention approaches (such as HANDLE, Brain Gym, Rhythmic Movement Therapy, NAET, Touch for Health, Move to Learn, etc.) with the aim to better guide and support the children and families that she works with.
Samantha had previously worked in a local children’s hospital and is currently working at a private center. Samantha’s caseload comprises of international and local families, with developmental delays and learning difficulties. Samantha works with children on the Autism Spectrum, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Global Delay, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc. Samantha conducts assessments and involves caregivers in the child’s intervention journey. Her work also involves school and home visits, partnering with professionals in the field; to empower each child and to bring out their full potential.
Samantha’s dream is to create greater awareness for the special needs population locally, to have the public being more sensitive about the needs and struggles of families with special needs, to bridge the existing gaps between policies and daily lives of families, and have a safe place where children can grow and blossom.
Masters of Education (Special Needs), University of Sheffield.
Graduate Diploma (Psychology), University of Sydney
Bachelor of Science (Psychology), University of Melbourne
Jayna joined the editorial team because she thought her nickname in the team was pretty darn cool – Spiderwoman - Gosh, is this a dream job or what?
She is mummy to a little koala, an endearing “koala bear” who happens to have epilepsy, taking baby steps and starting to babble. She hopes that the said “koala” can gradually grow up in a society which accepts him for who he is and not who he should be.
Before mummyhood, Jayna was a reluctant, geeky and trying-not-to-appear-geeky kind of project manager at an IT firm. For someone who wanted to avoid people when she first chose Computer Science, she has come to appreciate and enjoy building relationships with real people.
She still secretly fantasizes about tinkering around lines of codes in the company of multiple computer screens, though.
Also, she is most definitely not a writer and finds it extremely tough to write a bio, in third person no less. Is this quite long enough?
In compliance to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) of Singapore, Rare Disorders Society (RDSS) wants to demonstrate its firm commitment to protect any information collected.
This Policy Statement contains useful information about how and why we collect, use and disclose your personal data (PD). You can have our assurance that it will only be used in accordance with this statement
Your Personal Data
Your PD collected is limited to administrative purposes and what is necessary to facilitate the coverage of feature stories, articles, interviews, event/workshop/contest/quiz (on site or online), outreach Programmes RDSS organises or administers.
It will be kept confidential and will be used strictly for RDSS related programmes only. It will not be disclosed to external parties without your consent. Your PD is retained only for as long as it is reasonable to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected for or as required by the law.
RDSS has put in place necessary security measures and administrative, physical and technical procedures to minimise the risk of unauthorised access or disclosure and unlawful destruction or alteration, and also to ensure the appropriate use of information.
Data Protection Officer (DPO)
RDSS has appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to ensure compliance with the PDPA of Singapore.
Various terms are used interchangeably when referring to a person who is differently abled. Sometimes, he is referred to as a person with disability (PWD), and sometimes as a person with special needs.
To avoid too much confusion, we provide some information on the disability terms we use or reference to in Special Seeds.
We generally follow the disability terms used by SGenable.
Type of Disability
What is Visual Disability?
This comprises visual impairment that ranges from low vision to blindness.
What is Hearing Disability?
This comprises hearing impairment that ranges from profound to complete hearing loss.
What is Learning Disability?
A learning disability is a congenital disorder and is not acquired. One is usually diagnosed with a learning disability as a child, when his/her pace of learning is affected.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
One is usually diagnosed with ASD as an infant or child. ASD severely impairs thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others, and affects basic areas of psychological developments. ASD can present itself through different symptoms such as poor social interaction, poor verbal and nonverbal communication, repetitive behaviours or interests, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
What do Multiple Disabilities refer to?
This refers to a combination of two or more types of disabilities. For example, cerebral palsy is a condition that affects the control of movement, but is occasionally accompanied by mental impairment. A multiple disability is either congenital or acquired due to external factors such as a brain injury.
Reference Source: https://www.sgenable.sg/pages/content.aspx?path=/faq/disability-terms/
We respect individual writer's preference on how they would like themselves (if they are differently abled) or their loved ones to be identified. Hence in our content in the ezine, you may see some interchangeable use of the term disability with the term "special needs". When in doubt, just know that they reference to one and the same population who are differently abled in Singapore. We try not to be overtly fussy about this and choose to focus instead on the key messages the writers wish to convey in their contributions.
To us, persons with some form of disability be it visual, hearing, sensory or multiple disabilities that impact their daily living, have the same meaning as the term of reference "persons with special needs".
This ezine serves this special population and their caregivers.
Credit: A video by Channel 5
Credit: A video by Trixie Chua & Celine Kim for Special Seeds Singapore.
Credit: A video by NCSS