Editor: Emeritus Professor Angela Fawcett
Managing Editor: Deborah Hewes
Editor: Emeritus Professor Angela Fawcett
Managing Editor: Deborah Hewes
Welcome Message from Lee Siang, CEO Dyslexia Association of Singapore
Introduction from Angela Fawcett, Editor and Research Consultant to Dyslexia Association of Singapore
SpLD Assessment Services
The SpLD Assessment Services (SAS) serves as a gateway to DAS programmes and intervention. SAS conducts close to 1000 SpLD assessments every year. Besides assessments, SAS also provides consultations and talks to support the ongoing development of people with specific learning difficulties, including those beyond dyslexia.
DAS English Language and Literacy Division
The English Language and Literacy (ELL) Division is focused on helping learners with dyslexia overcome their challenges with English while enabling them through their individual strengths. ELL, therefore, develops English language and literacy programmes and resources, enhances current intervention to ensure that it remains beneficial for learners with dyslexia, prepares teachers and guides the implementation of appropriate intervention and evaluates the effectiveness of the programmes under the division.
The Specialised Educational Services (SES) is a division of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore which aims to uncover the true strengths of individuals with learning differences and empower them with the necessary skills and strategies to succeed. All of our professionals are highly qualified and specially trained to help persons with learning differences who may be struggling in different areas of their lives. We have a good understanding of the curriculum and the demands that today’s education systems place on a student and strive to bring out the very best in every
individual that we see.
DAS International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore since its inception in 2011 has been providing one to one Specialist support for students with literacy and Maths challenges through a customised one to one programme. In response to demand, DAS International has responded with new initiatives that aim to support students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) in Singapore and the ASEAN region.
Formerly the training arm of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS), DAS Academy is now a Private Education Institution (PEI) registered with the Council for Private Education (CPE) since 2010. As Singapore began to respond to the vision of an inclusive society in 2004, the desire to create an inclusive learning environment in schools grew, and the demand for special needs training subsequently followed. We responded by increasing the repertoire and depth of special needs courses we offered. This move necessitated our registration with the CPE. DAS Academy currently specialises in training for teachers and professionals and empowers them to support children with specific learning differences (SpLD). The DAS Academy’s courses provide a multi-disciplinary perspective of SpLDs, tapping into the perspectives and experiences of educational therapists, psychologists and speech therapists at the DAS. DAS Academy also draws on DAS’ 29 years of rich heritage of providing specialist dyslexia assessments and intervention to provide adult learners with an applied learning experience.
Embrace Dyslexia brings together stories of success.
This chapter encompasses a number of interesting articles, including the success of a student on the DAS Speech and Drama Arts Programme, Student Wellness at DAS, Dyslexia Friendly Publishing, the success of DAS Staff at the British Dyslexia Association Conference and a study on Singapore Entrepreneurs with Dyslexia. A very interesting chapter about embracing dyslexia.
Since the age of two years old, Kane Chia was moving from one childcare to another for various reasons. When he was three years old, he was placed in a new childcare with a big group setting. He struggled to settle in and faced many difficulties. Most times he would be alone and not interacting with the other children in his class. Then, he had to move to another preschool centre for his benefit. His parents hoped that a smaller classroom setting in one of Singapore’s premium preschool would help. Unfortunately, Kane was still shy and not comfortable interacting with new people and new situations.
‘Everyone knows what emotion is until asked to give a definition’ (Oatley & Jenkins, 1996:96). Yet we all use this term and seem to quickly understand what, in our experience, it relates to. Well-being emerges from our thoughts, actions, and experiences, most of which we have control over. However, due to cultural influences and our own beliefs, what we may seem to have control over gets lost in translation. Amidst these challenges, we still crave happiness as an outcome of our actions. How are emotions in particular, so connected to our overall well-being and functioning? Have you found yourself in a situation where you are forced to complete a task you dread doing that all it leaves you with is to be upset? More significantly, when someone asks, “Are you happy?” how long did you take to respond or ponder about how you truly feel?
There are a number of ways in which we can make the reading and learning experience for our students with dyslexia a more comfortable exercise. Educators, and indeed, Publishers, should consider adopting the following recommendations which will help to promote best practices when providing information for our students who learn differently. As a publisher and designer of resources for those with dyslexia I would like to recommend that these factors be considered when presenting text to our readers with dyslexia.
DAS has well-thought-out staff day activities through which staff have the opportunity to engage with each other in a casual setting. DAS has also invested in training staff by funding their training with external agencies and in providing continued training throughout the staff’s service in the form of in-service training. Annually, staff are also identified for conferences and further training, both local and overseas. The implementation of the Staff Professional Development Division is to further enhance the professional and career development of DAS staff and is a mark of the organisations’ commitment to staff welfare – by ensuring that staff are exposed to various strategies to effectively manage their job responsibilities – and to ensure that the service we offer is of the highest quality possible. While DAS has career and professional development pathways for all staff, individual attention will be given to everyone’s personal professional wants and individual initiated professional development is not only supported, it’s applauded.
The incidence of dyslexia in the Singaporean entrepreneurial population is unknown. This study compares Singaporean Entrepreneurs who have dyslexia and those who do not have dyslexia. This research examines the educational experiences and personal attributes of Singaporean Entrepreneurs, to identify the differences between those with dyslexia and those who are not dyslexic. A survey was conducted over a 12-month period and the data revealed that the incidence of dyslexia in the Singapore entrepreneurial population was 26%, this is more than 2.5 times that dyslexia would be found in the general population. The educational experiences of dyslexic entrepreneurs were significantly negative for primary and secondary education, however, in tertiary education, their educational experiences were significantly positive. Dyslexic entrepreneurs indicated two of the major factors why they were inspired to start their own business, these were to have ‘control’ over their lives, time, and success and the other was because of their ‘dyslexia’. Singapore entrepreneurial traits were explored and there is a tendency for Singaporeans to answer positively yet dyslexic entrepreneurs scored significantly less in empathy, interpersonal skills, public speaking, and memory ability compared to their non-dyslexic peers. Two attributes where dyslexic entrepreneurs scored significantly higher were visual thinking and visual-spatial ability. The findings from this research can be used to support the development of policies and support for Dyslexic Entrepreneurs in Singapore.
DAS serves to elevate public awareness and understanding of dyslexia through talks and screenings. DAS has been actively liaising with various schools and organisations to arrange for FREE awareness talks in the hopes of empowering different groups of audience.
Situated strategically across Singapore are 14 DAS Learning Centres that not only conduct dyslexia remedial classes but also provides essential services to parents of about more than 3500 students. DAS Learning Centres are at the forefront of the organisation in engaging parents, assisting them with queries and applications of programmes as well as supporting the Educational Therapists to ensure classes run smoothly. DAS Learning Centres are manned by Centre Managers and Students Service Associates to serve parents, students and the local communities.