Our Faces

Choo Kah Ying

Creator

Formerly an academic researcher in the U.S. for eight years, Choo Kah Ying is a writer/educator and a homeschooler of Sebastien, her autistic son. She is also a former sufferer of manic depression who has recovered from her condition after a challenging 15-year journey. Rising above the odds, she has combined her academic training and work with her life experiences into inspirational and practical books and workshops.

Since her return to Singapore in August 2005, Ms. Choo has published articles on raising and educating autistic children in The Straits Times, Today and magazines.

She has also provided on-site consultations to parents in their homes pertaining to autism and manic depression. Finally, she has trained teachers to design and implement the curriculum at a special needs school.

She is also the author of a self-published picture book, All Because of the Hummingbird or the Horse; a parent training manual with a heart, Raising Sebastien: Realising Your Autistic Child's Potential (Marshall Cavendish); and a book on her recovery from manic-depression, Five Little White Pills... and Then There Were None: A Journey from Manic Depression to Recovery (Armour Publishing).

She has conducted countless talks and workshops for caregivers and teachers regarding autism and other special needs, and more recently, manic depression. She has also provided on-site consultations to parents in their homes and teachers at a special needs school.

Contact Kah Ying at choo.kahying@awakeningminds.com.sg

Jean-Sebastien Choo

Inspiration

Being the inspiration behind the books, learning aids and workshops, Jean-Sebastien Choo plays a vital role in enabling his mother, Ms. Choo, to generate ever-new ideas and perceptions about individuals with autism through the slow, but steady progress of Sebastien over the years.

In particular, the Words, Pictures, Story! (WPS!) writing template was created and modified over the years to facilitate Sebastien's independent completion of his literacy and numeracy tasks.

Just as importantly, he is also the driving force that motivates her to pursue her objectives of: a) building his character and skills so that he can be a contributing participant of society in the future; and b) leaving a world behind that could appreciate and cherish Sebastien for the special person that he is.

Unguided and self-taught, Sebastien has been experimenting with water color since he was 12. Deriving visceral pleasure from unleashing a rainbow of colors with broad strokes, Sebastien has found a rare sanctuary in painting.