Special Seeds e-zine is very blessed to have with us a growing team of compassionate subject matter experts who have taken time out to volunteer their expertise in supporting this ezine.
They come from various fields of work and are experienced and respected practitioners in their profession.
All of them have extensive experience working with children, youth and adults with special needs and in supporting their caregivers in their journey.
Our experts partner Special Seeds ezine as regular contributors of articles in their relevant field. They also help to answer questions our readers may post relating to their areas of expertise.
They support both the Question of the Month and Ask the Expert sections on this ezine.
Here is our current team on the professional Experts Panel:
is a Speech Language Therapist with a Doctorate Degree from Southern Cross University, Australia. Having had her basic education in India and a Graduate Diploma in Business administration in Singapore, She has been living in Singapore for over two decades. She has over 25 years of experience in the industry having worked in the major restructured and private hospitals and special school settings in Singapore. She is a professional with key strengths in Clinical Education, Planning and Implemention of Patient Care Programs.
She started her career in the early 1990s at the Spastic Children’s Association of Singapore, subsequently moved to Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles hospital and then to the Singapore General Hospital to eventually head the Speech Therapy Department at the hospital. Following the completion of her Ph.D, she moved out to establish a private practice partnership in 2006 called Integrated Speech and Swallow Works Pte ltd. After 8 years of successful business, she has now set up her own solo venture STRAVANTIS Pte Ltd.
With a strong hold in the area of Neuro-Rehabilitation, Radika’s core clinical expertise and special interests include feeding and swallowing disorders in children and adults, language disorders in adults and voice disorders. As a singer and a student of Hindustani music, she holds a special interest in working with people with voice issues and problems.
She is the VITALSTIM trainer for the Asia pacific region and has conducted several training programs across Asia, Australia, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Qatar. She also conducts regular clinical skill building workshops in the region.
As a senior professional with a full registration with the Allied Health Professional Council, Radika also provides Clinical Supervision to the young talent pool in Singapore. She is also trained in Basic Hypnotherapy, Timeline Therapy and basic Body Talk Techniques and is a NLP practitioner. She has co-authored a book on Language development for children and has been actively involved in the development of the profession in Singapore.
In her own words …
I believe I am fortunate to be given the opportunity to help people across ages with differing needs and challenges. Each one of them teach me a lesson in life… while I am there to help them achieve their goals- be it talk, use their voice better or swallow safely…or just be there for a family member listening to their stories…
Dr Radika's other interests include Music, writing poetry, Yoga and Arts. She enjoys painting and regularly raises funds for charities with her art works.
Jessie began her career with a private clinic where she wrote the curriculum of the domains of cognitive and social development for an award winning online program for parents with children 0-6 years old. This online program was awarded 'The Enterprise Challenge award' (TEC) in 2002. Following this, she then moved to the USA as a trailing spouse and taught special education as well as the fifth and sixth graders in an inclusive elementary school.
Before she joined National University Hospital (NUH), she was the school psychologist in the Singapore Autism School (now known as ‘Eden School’). In NUH, she has been the Head of Psychological services in the Department of Paediatrics. Ms Ooh started the behavioral sleep services at NUH and facilitated the development of the various subspecializations of the psychologists, a move in tandem with the medical professions’ development in the department.
Jessie’s main educational training is from Singapore, both NUS and NTU/NIE. She also received training in the USA in various techniques applicable for children with Autism, ADHD and behavioural problems, examples are ‘TEACCH/ PECS/ Collaborative Problem Solving’. She also completed an attachment where she ran sleep clinics with the psychologists and physicians in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
As an Educational Psychologist, she was also the main member in collaboration with MOE and other agencies in the development of the first psychological guidelines for Psychologists in Singapore, launched in November 2011. In her work with MOE, she had sat on the main MOE panel looking at the placement of children into the various special educational schools in Singapore as well as involvement with work groups reviewing ADHD diagnosis and interventions, as well assessments, educational placements of children with chronic medical conditions.
Ms Ooh is a registered psychologist in the Singapore registrar of Psychologist, a full member (International affiliate) of the American Psychological Association and a member of APA’s Society of School Psychology (Division 16) and Paediatric Psychology (Division 54). She currently serves as a board member in the Special Education Network In Asia: Singapore (SENIA-Singapore) as the Community Liason.
Samantha enjoys working with children and families from under-privileged backgrounds and special needs. As a teenager, her exposure to volunteering at different centers and homes had made on impact on her course of studies in the university.
Samantha graduated with a Master 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 in 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.
Kidz-Paediatric Occupational Therapy Consultants
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy
Bachelor of Science (Major in Psychology)
Occupational Therapy Board Certified (USA & Canada) OTR, OT(C)
Allied Health Professions Council (Full Registration)
Sensory Integration & Praxis Test Certified (SIPT)
School Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (School AMPS) Certified
Interactive Metronome Certified (IMC)
Certificate in Clinical Supervision
CogMed Certified Practitioner
Alvin Chan is an occupational therapist who is registered and licensed with the Canadian and American Certification and Licensing Boards. He is also a member of the Singapore Association of Occupational Therapists. In 1999-2000 he was the chairperson of the Sensory Integration Paediatric Special Interest group. He is also Sensory Integration & Praxis Test (SIPT) Certified.
He has had working experiences in Canada, Australia and the United States prior to arriving in Singapore. His experience in Singapore includes two years as the sole charge therapist in an international school and one year as a senior therapist at a private occupational therapy center. He took on the role of Clinical Director of Kidz-Pediatric Occupational Therapy Consultants in 2001.
Alvin is experienced in working with both special needs and mainstream school children with various diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, attention deficit disorder, developmental delay, speech and language disorders, learning disabilities, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Down syndrome.
He has published occupational therapy protocols which are being used in private school setting, non-profit organizations and private clinics in Asia.
He is adept in the provision of clinic, school and home based intervention. Utilizing Sensory Integration as the primary frame of reference, he is equipped with the knowledge of various intervention techniques and modalities within its scope of practice. He believes strongly in continued education to update himself with the latest information and studies in order to provide the best care for his clients. He is also the first accredited clinician and provider of the much researched and highly acclaimed Interactive Metronome Program in South East Asia. Due to his experience he has been called upon to present his approach and ideas at the Autism Association, regional training centres as well as many parent care groups.
Invested in his clinical skills and knowledge base, Alvin continues to seek to continue to improve himself as a clinician. He is also invested as an educator. He has had the privilege to co-present with the renowned author of the “Out of Sync Child” series, Carol Kranowitz and was one of two key presenters in the Indonesian National Occupational Therapy Conference in 2010. He also continues to mentor and provide supervision to students and professionals from Canada, Europe and South East Asia.
Clinically, he is presently experienced with these:
- * Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Vestibular-Visual Protocol
- * Sensory Defensiveness, Sensory Modulation & Sensory Processing
- * Therapeutic Listening Program
- * Samonas Sound Therapy
- * Alert Program for Self Regulation
- * MORE : Integrating the mouth with sensory-postural function
- * Play – Theory, Assessment and Intervention
- * Interactive Metronome
- * The Developmental, Individual-differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model (Floortime Approach)
- * Feeding, Oral Motor, Interactive Sensory Oral Motor Therapy
- * CranioSacral Therapy
- * Early Intervention Program
- * Mediated Learning Experience
- * Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance
- * Social Thinking
- * School AMPS (Assessment of Motor and Process Skills)
Principal Occupational Therapist
Insight N Access Pte Ltd
MSc. (Occupational Therapy)
BSc. (Occupational Therapy) SIPT (USA)
OTR (USA), AHPC (S’pore, Full Registration)
AIOTA Certified Handle Practitioner (USA)
Certified Emmet Practitioner (Australia)
Anita Leo has been working as an Occupational Therapist since graduating in 1997, with more than 18 years of experience working with children with special needs. Her extensive experience includes working with parents and children with a wide range of challenges including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, PDDNOS, Sensory Processing Disorders, Multiple Disabilities, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Syndromes, Epilepsy, Developmental Delay, Visual Motor Difficulties, Global Developmental Delay, Intellectual Difficulties, Coordination Difficulties and Handwriting Difficulties.
Anita has been working with children in mainstream, special school and gifted programs, age ranging from 4 months onwards to young adults. Anita works with children and young adults from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. She also has experience in various working systems while working in a national hospital setup, nonprofit organization, local mainstream and international school setups in Singapore.
Anita is trained in specialised areas such as Sensory Integration, SAMONAS Sound Therapy, Floortime approach, Play Therapy, Handwriting Without Tears, Art Therapy, Wilbarger TheraPressure Protocol, HANDLE approach, Braingym, RMT and EMMET.
Using a blend of these approaches, she customises a holistic approach to engage the child targeting various senses and assists the child to meet the demands of age appropriate goals. Anita strongly believes in constant upgrading of her professional skills, in order to provide the most updated care for her clients.
Anita believes in the use of the medium of Music, Art and Dance movements as well as sensory exploration incorporated into play, during her work with non-verbal children and children with sensory needs.
Anita is a keen advocate for the inclusion of children with disabilities into mainstream education. She specializes in the use of assistive technology in both classroom, work and home environment. She has conducted numerous workshops for professionals, parents, teachers and volunteers on the awareness of, and use of, accessible electronic and information technology. She has conducted workshops in areas such as handwriting difficulties, seating assessment, wheelchair modifications and handling techniques.
Anita has carried out environmental accessibility assessments and provided recommendations and facilitated modifications for barrier free access in home, school and corporate companies.
Anita is a strong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and is very active in disability sports. She is the International Federation Disability Sports (IFDS) national classifier for paralympic sailing as well as an International Paralympics Committee (IPC) classifier for athletic events.
Anita has worked as a clinical supervisor and supervised students in both Diploma (Nanyang Polytechnic) and Masters programs (Curtin University).
Paediatric Physiotherapist, NZRPT, C/NDT (paeds)
Janell is a physiotherapist with more than 10 years of paediatric experience having worked in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand with a diverse group of children in a variety of settings such as acute hospital (neonatal ICU and special care nursery), school, pre-school, community and home. She is NDT(neurodevelopment treatment) certified and is a certified infant massage instructor. Her special interest is in treating children with developmental delays and cerebral palsy. She is a firm believer in early intervention with these children to help them achieve their highest quality of life.
Janell’s scope of practice includes working with premature infants, children with developmental delays, neuromuscular conditions, cerebral palsy, congenital syndromes, brain injury, muscular dystrophy and developmental coordination disorders. She also manages children with orthopaedic conditions such as torticollis (wry neck), club feet, Erb’s Palsy and scoliosis. She has experience in managing children with cerebral palsy post-botox injections or post surgical procedures.
Janell teaches handling techniques and positioning to caregivers. She recommends suitable adaptive equipment, mobility aids and orthotics and teaches clients how to use them.
Education: BHSc Physiotherapy (University of Sydney)
New Zealand registered physiotherapist
Singapore registered physiotherapist
NDT certified in Paediatrics
Maureen is the Founder and Executive Director at Pawsibility Pte Ltd. Pawsiblity specializes in the use of Animal Assisted Therapy in conducting counselling and social emotional learning programmes for children and youth aged 4-20 years old.
Working alongside her is her therapy dog Telly, who is a friendly and playful Labrador Retriever Mix. As a team, they have been working extensively with individuals, families and groups in the United States and in Singapore.
Both Maureen and Telly were trained in the United States of America. Maureen obtained her Master of Social Work and Certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work from the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work.
Her focus at Graduate School was clinical work with families, with an emphasis in animal assisted interventions. Maureen was also the recipient of the PJ & Hart Loving Bond Award and Scholarship.
In addition, Maureen received her training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy at the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy.
Maureen plays an active role in serving the local community. She is the advisor to local charity, SOSD's Healing Paws Animal Assisted Activities programme, equipping owners and their pets to visit with various charitable organisations.
S.W.I.M. Movement, Club O.A.S.I.S
AUSTSWIM certified Aquatic Educator
Jeremy Tan graduated from Nottingham Trent University and Staffordshire University in Business Admin major in marketing, formerly a competitive swimmer and waterpolo player in his schooldays and represented the ARMY ‘Signal Formation’ in 1997-1998. He enjoys sports and outdoor activities. He took on Triathlon training to overcome his phobia to swim in the sea during his university days, however, it was cut short due to back injuries. In 2007, he was the co-team manager for Punggol Central CSC swim team for the annual swim Meet.
Being a professional swim coach had never crossed his mind until one of his close friends died of cancer in 2002. It dawned onto him to help people in need. His first voluntary job was to assist a swimming coach to teach children with disabilities in 2002 with Singapore Disability Sports Council. SDSC has sent Jeremy for the ‘AUSTSWIM’ teaching people with disabilities accreditation course. In 2003, Jeremy has joined APS Swim School under Mr Ang Peng Siong as a swim teacher before setting up the S.W.I.M Movement in 2013.
In 2012, Jeremy developed the “S.W.I.M DAD Programme(Safety in Water Inclusive Model) while he engaged his son in the water by chance. The S.W.I.M DAD programme has built a closer tie between him and his son. S.W.I.M DAD Programme was a interactive programme which helps his son to love and enjoy the water without fear. Like him, his son has aqua phobia.
Jeremy is currently the principal S.W.I.M educator at SWIM MOVEMENT. His focus is always on the overall wellness of a learner. Besides, developing the right swim technique, the learners will benefit from “indirect front-loading the experience” swim programme.
Jeremy has collaborated with another experience Special need swim educator, Mr Danny Ong , Former Team Manager for Para Games, Beijing to setup a Social enterprise, CLUB O.A.S.I.S to reach out to more disadvantage families in Singapore in 2014.