Past Events

Talks/Workshops on Autism/Special Needs

  • January 22, 2013: "The Dignity of Risk: Realising the Potential of People with Intellectual Disabilities" (organised by Raffles Community Advocates) was a free talk given to secondary school and junior college students, as part of Raffles’ Institution’s Diversability Forum. This forum sought to promote greater understanding and awareness of the importance of integration individuals with disabilities.
  • August 3, 2012: "The Magic of Scaffolding: How to Design and Implement a Differentiated Lesson (in class/at home)" (organised by AWWA Resource Centre). Targeted at a diverse range of participants (allied educators, teachers from SPED schools & student care centres, staff from VWOs, private practitioners, home therapists & parents), this hands-on workshop introduced participants to the formulation and implementation of worksheets and tasks that are differentiated to match the different functioning levels of the students. Various learning materials and work samples were provided.
  • July 20, 2012: “Open Your Mind, Open Your Heart: Caring for Yourself to Care for Your Special Child” (organised for APSN Katong School). Targeted at caregivers of children with special needs, this workshop addressed the issue of grieving and coping strategies for raising children with special needs, with an additional exploration of dealing with autistic adolescents.
  • May 21, 2012: “The Fantastic Me” — A Self-Esteem Workshop for Students with Special Needs (organised for APSN Katong School). Targeted at students with special needs, this highly tactile and kinaesthetic activity session sought to encourage students to differentiate between positive and negative behaviors.
  • October 28, 2011: Behavioural Management 'Survivor' Style: 'Outlasting' Your Autistic Learner (organised by the Early Intervention Center for the teachers). Through this interactive workshop, participants learnt how to formulate and implement behavioural management strategies. They acquired the knowledge and strategies for observing and analysing behavioural problems [through Functional Behavioural Assessments (FBAs)] and the specific steps of implementing a behavioural management approach. They also learnt the underlying principles of behavioural management in teaching autistic learners the critical lifeskills of making decisions and taking responsibility for one's actions. Finally, participants presented cases of their difficult learners and we utilised the aforementioned strategies to come up with a behavioural management action plan for the participants.
  • October 14, 2011: Capturing the Interest of an Autistic Child: Engaging Learning Activities and Interactional Strategies (organised by the Early Intervention Center for the teachers). In this highly interactive workshop , participants learnt about some of the unique characteristics of autistic learners, which shape their learning and interactions with others. Specific inter-related characteristics that will be tackled are: visual, tactile and kinaesthetic learning styles of autistic learners, language delays, lack of interest in human interactions, task avoidance, and learning challenges. Using these issues as a springboard, I exposed participants to some ideas for learning activities and tasks, as well as interactional strategies, which can be effective in engaging autistic learners. We explored these learning activities and interactional approaches through the use of various learning materials and props, along with accompanying worksheets. Participants were also challenged to tackle the design of learning activities and practise relevant interactional strategies.
  • May 13, 2011 (Pre-scheduled Workshop): "The Magic of Scaffolding: How to Design and Implement a Differentiated Lesson (in class/at home) (organised by AWWA Resource Centre). Targeted at a diverse range of participants (allied educators, teachers from SPED schools & student care centres, staff from VWOs, private practitioners, home therapists & parents), this hands-on workshop enabled participants to learn how to create and implement worksheets and tasks that are differentiated to match the different functioning levels of the students. Participants were exposed to various learning materials and work samples.
  • April 2nd, 2011: Open Your Mind, Open Your Heart: Loving Your Child with Autism at the first-ever World Autism Day (WAD) event in Singapore (organised by the WAD Committee for caregivers of children with autism at five selected schools). I addressed the importance of caregiver attitudes and mindsets in raising their autistic children. By examining this topic with real-life examples of my journey with my son, as well as my work with families, I highlighted effective strategies and approaches in the following areas: a) learning – academic and life skills; b) interactions; and c) behavioural management.
  • March 19, 2011: The Caregiving Marathon: Raising a Child with Autism (organised by The Special People).  Targeted at caregivers of the students attending Little Gardens School, this informal talk presented my perspective of the challenges of raising a child with autism from childhood to adolescence. In addition, I shared my teaching approach and my behavioural management strategies, which have been derived from my homeschooling practice and professional work with families of children with autism, as well as educators working with autistic students.
  • October 9, 2010: "Brainstorming a Story: Let's Compose a Story Together (organised by Henry Park Primary School). Presented to caregivers and teachers, this workshop taught participants how to utilise my self-designed templates, as well as supportive strategies, to teach children with special needs how to write good compositions. These strategies and templates can also be adapted for typical children.
  • July 31st, 2010: "Open Your Mind, Open Your Heart: Raising Your Special Child in Love" (organised by Towner Gardens School -- MINDS). Targeted at caregivers of children with special needs, this workshop addressed the issue of grieving and coping strategies for raising children with special needs.
  • February 5, 2010: Autism Workshop (organised by the NUS Rotaract Club). A 90-minute workshop providing members of the NUS Rotaract Club with a basic understanding of autism and practical strategies for working with autistic children and young adults in their charitable projects.
  • November 14, 2009: "Forging a Bridge of Collaboration and Coordination between Educators and Caregivers of Students with Special Needs” (organised by Montfort Junior School) -- a workshop for caregivers of students with special needs attending Montfort Junior School.
  • November 14, 2009: “Odyssey into an Unusual Mind: Insights into the Complexity of Autism”(organised by Teck Ghee Zone 'F' RC) -- an educational and practical talk on autism for the general public.
  • March 7, 2009: “Words, Pictures, Story! Writing My First Story” (organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS)) -- a workshop for teachers from primary schools, special needs schools, learning centres, and parents.
  • January 15, 2009: “Words, Pictures, Story! Writing My First Story” (organised by Qihua Primary School) -- a workshop for Primary 1 and 2 English teachers at Qihua Primary.
  • March 7, 2009: “Words, Pictures, Story! Writing My First Story” (organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS)) -- a workshop for teachers from primary schools, special needs schools, learning centres, and parents.
  • January 15, 2009: “Words, Pictures, Story! Writing My First Story” (organised by Qihua Primary School) -- a workshop for Primary 1 and 2 English teachers at Qihua Primary.
  • July 23, 2008: “Creating Life Stories that Bridge Life and Learning: An Inter-disciplinary and Multi-Sensory Approach” (organised by Delta Senior School (DSS), part of the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN)) -- a workshop for new teachers at DSS.
  • May 25, 2008: “Forging a Bridge of Collaboration and Coordination between Educators and Parents of Autistic Students” (organised by Bukit Timah Primary School) -- a workshop for parents of students with autism attending Bukit Timah Primary School.
  • April 30, 2008: “Practical Strategies (Interaction/Communication, Social, Academic, Sensory and Behavioural) for Working with Autistic Children -- An Integrated Approach for Teachers in Mainstream Settings” (organised by Yangzheng Primary School) -- a workshop for teachers at Yangzheng Primary School.
  • March 15, 2008: “Language Learning Strategies for Emerging Readers/Writers with Autism and/or Language Processing Difficulties -- For Special Needs Teachers and Parents” (organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS)) -- a workshop for educators from primary schools, special needs school, international schools and language specialists.
  • February 23, 2008: “Profiles of Autism : Exploring the Problems and Challenges of Children with ASD” (organised by Tanglin School, part of APSN) -- a workshop for parents and teachers at Tanglin School.
  • January 30, 2008: “Practical Strategies (Interaction/Communication, Social, Academic, Sensory and Behavioural) for Working with Autistic Children: An Integrated Approach for Teachers in Mainstream Settings” (organised by Bukit Timah Primary School) -- a workshop for teachers at Bukit Timah Primary School
  • September 25 and October 2, 2007: “Create, Differentiate and Engage: Designing Worksheets that Work in the Classroom” (organised by DSS) -- a workshop for Numeracy teachers of DSS and Tanglin School in a two-part workshop.
  • August 29, 2007: “Practical Strategies (Interaction/Communication, Social, Academic, Sensory and Behavioural) for Working with Autistic Children -- An Integrated Approach for Teachers in Mainstream Settings” (organised by Yangzheng Primary School) -- a workshop for teachers at Yangzheng Primary School.
  • July 14, 2007: “Co-Creating Stories with Your Autistic Child” (organised by the NBDCS) -- a workshop for teachers from various special needs schools in Singapore.
  • April 14, 2007: “Creating Life Stories that Bridge Life and Learning: An Inter-disciplinary and Multi-Sensory Approach” (organised by the NBDCS) -- a workshop for teachers at DSS.

    This workshop led to 3 terms of classroom consultation at DSS with selected teachers from the Literacy and Numeracy Departments.

  • April 2, 9, 2007: A two-session autism workshop (organised by Paya Lebar MGS (Primary) to train primary school teachers to work with autistic students in the mainstream settings at Paya Lebar MGS (Primary).
  • January 22, 29, February 5, 2007: A three-session autism workshop (organised by Evergreen Primary School) to train primary school teachers to work with autistic students in the mainstream settings at Evergreen Primary School.
  • November 26, 2006: “Creating a Home-based Learning Programme for Your Child with Autism” (organised by the National Library Board (NLB)) -- a workshop for caregivers of autistic children at the Geylang East Library, as part of the Asian Children’s Festival.
  • August 12, 2006: “Managing Your Autistic Child’s Behaviour Across All Settings: My Child is Autistic” is Not an Excuse for Disruptive Behaviour” (organised by the NLB) -- a free talk for the public at the Marine Parade Library, a free talk.
  • November, 2005-January 2006: A ten-session autism workshop for caregivers (organised by me).
  • October 15, 2005: “Journey into the World of Autism” (organised by Kampung Senang) -- a free talk for the public at Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club.

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Talks/Workshops on Mental Wellness

  • May 29, 2010: "A Journey With..." (organised by the Silver Ribbon Singapore): A free talk by four authors who have written books on their experiences with mental illnesses:

    • Mr. Raymond Anthony Fernando, Mental Health Advocate/Writer, Loving a Schizophrenic
    • Ms. Choo Kah Ying, Mental Health Advocate/Writer, Five Little White Pills... And Then There Were None: A Journey from Manic Depression to Recovery
    • Dr. Rita Goh, Mental Health Advocate/Writer, Back from the Brink of Insanity
    • Mr. Harris Ng, Mental Health Advocate/Writer, Recovered Grace: Schizophrenia
  • April 21st, 2010: Talk on Manic Depression for students at the Executive Counselling Training Academy, Singapore (closed to the public).
  • March 13, 2010: "Reaching for the Stars! Motivating Your Child for Success” (organised by Greenwood Primary School) -- an informative talk for parents of Primary 1 and Primary 2 students attending Greenwood School.
  • February 25, 2010: "Caring with Sanity: A Workshop for Caregivers, the Unsung Heroes" (organised by the Singapore Association for Mental Health). With a strong support group component, this workshop is designed to provide caregivers with the opportunity to share their concerns and hopes.
  • November 7th, 2009: Splintered Beauty: The Road from Manic Depression to Recovery (organised by Teck Ghee Zone 'F' RC) -- an intimate, informative and inspiring talk on manic depression for the general public.
  • October 25th, 2009: Book Launch of Five Little White Pills… And Then There Were None at the Singapore Writers’ Festival.
  • I shared my experience of writing an intimate exposé of my past struggle with manic depression, the lessons I have learnt as a person and a writer, as well as the reasons for producing this work.

  • October 21st, 2009: Interview on Prime Time morning 8:50am.
  • The topic was bipolar disorder. I was interviewed, along with a doctor, on this topic. I shared about my experience of struggling with bipolar disorder and how I succeeded in weaning myself off medication and staying off it for the last four years. Finally, I also shared my reasons for writing Five Little White Pills... And Then There Were None: A Journey from Manic Depression to Recovery.

  • September 8, 2009: Talk on Manic Depression for students at the Executive Counselling Training Academy, Singapore (closed to public).
  • June 1, 2009: Talk on Manic Depression (organised by the Singapore Association of Mental Health (SAMH)) for the peer support group of sufferers of mental illnesses.
  • April 30, 2009: Talk on Manic Depression (organised by the SAMH) for the caregiver group.
  • April 16, 2009: Talk on Manic Depression (organised by Silver Ribbon Singapore) for employees of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) at the Social Service Training Institute.
  • February 28, 2009: “Splintered Beauty - The Road from Manic Depression to Recovery—for the general public at the National Library.
  • February 18, 2009: Talk on Manic Depression-- for students studying at the Executive Counselling and Training Academy.

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Book Launches

  • October 26, 2008: Book Launch of Five Little White Pills… And Then There Were None (organised by Silver Ribbon and Geylang Serai CC) in commemoration of International Mental Wellness Day
  • May 14, 2006: Book Launch of the Picture Book, All Because of the Hummingbird… Or the Horse (organised by the NLB) at the Central Lending Library, National Library.

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