Learn more about our keynote speakers and the workshops' leaders!

Keynote 1: Building Executive Functioning Skills in Children
Keynote 2: Reboundaries and Resilience: Enhancing Skills that Foster Boundary Recognition, Determination and GRIT!
Keynote 3: Early Identification and Intervention for Children at Risk for Reading Disabilities

Workshop 1: Interactive Story Reading: An Engaging Experience to Teach Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Writing
Workshop 2: Managing Attention issues with Mindfulness
Workshop 3: Using Prompts to Support Children in Conversations
Workshop 4: Naturalistic Intervention Approaches in an Inclusive Classroom


 

Keynote 1: Building Executive Functioning Skills in Children

Dr Sylvia Choo, Senior Consultant Department of Child Development, KK Women's and Children's Hospital


Dr Sylvia Choo is a paediatrician and neonatologist at the Department of Child Development, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Singapore. Prior to this, she worked at the Department of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at Singapore General Hospital. She trained at the Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne in 2003 and was a member of a team awarded a Ministry of Health fellowship looking at integration and continuity of care for children with developmental and behavioural needs at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC Chapel Hill in 2016. Her interests are in family-centred care, family navigation, parent-mediated interventions, integration of care, and early intervention for children with developmental needs. Sylvia is also involved in teaching paediatrics at the 3 medical schools in Singapore – with appointments as Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate School of Medicine and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine NTU.

 

Keynote 2: Reboundaries and Resilience: Enhancing Skills that Foster Boundary Recognition, Determination and GRIT!

Julia Cook, Author, Award-winning Children's Book Author and Parenting Expert


Julia Cook, M.S. is a national award-winning children’s author, counsellor, and parenting expert. She has presented in thousands of schools nationally and internationally, regularly speaks at education and counselling conferences, and has published children’s books on a wide range of character and social development topics. The goal behind Cook’s work is to actively involve young people in a fun, memorable stories and teach them to become lifelong problem solvers. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counsellors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home. Cook has the innate ability to enter the worldview of a child through storybooks, giving children both the “what to say” and the “how to say it.”

 

Keynote 3: Early Identification and Intervention for Children at Risk for Reading Disabillities

Charles W. Haynes, EdD, CCC-SLP, Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston


Charles Haynes, EdD, CCC-SLP, received his doctorate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and is Professor for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. Dr. Haynes teaches courses in spoken and written language disorders and in language, culture and cognition for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program and the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) Program for Reading Specialists. He has long-term research and practical interests in early identification and support of children at risk for dyslexia and related language learning difficulties. In 2012, Dr. Haynes received the Nancy T. Watts Award for Excellence in Teaching – the highest prize given to a faculty member at the MGH Institute. He was inducted into the International Dyslexia Association’s Hall of Honor in 2009 and received IDA's Margaret Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.  Dr. Haynes served as a teacher, Research Coordinator and Director of Speech-Language Services at the Landmark School from 1979-1991, where he and colleagues developed the first language-based curriculum for children with dyslexia and expressive language impairments. In 2018, he co-authored a practical book for teachers entitled, “From Talking to Writing: Strategies for Supporting Narrative and Expository Expression”.

 


Workshop 1: Interactive Story Reading: An Engaging Experience to Teach Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Writing

Mathana Subhas Balan, Senior Educational Therapist, DAS


Mathana is an Educational Therapist for the DAS Main Literacy Programme (ML) since 2013. She also dual-specialises in Preschool teaching. She is a Psychology graduate from Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and is currently pursuing her Masters of Education (Special Ed) from NTU. Mathana has also completed her Specialist Diploma in Educational Therapy from DAS Academy.

Joanne Tan Soek Kiang, Senior Educational Therapist, DAS


Joanne holds a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education and has a Diploma in Dyslexia studies. She values the importance of early literacy and believes that early intervention is crucial in helping struggling readers achieve.

Workshop 2: Managing Attention issues with Mindfulness

Cheryl Yeo, Preschool Senior Educational Therapist, DAS


Cheryl has been an educational therapist with the Dyslexia Association since July 2015. She has more than 15years of experience in working with children from 6 months old to 6years old. She has worked aboard in 6 countries over 12years in Montessori Education and curriculum planning, before returning to Singapore in 2014. Cheryl holds a Masters Education in Inclusive Education, focusing on Social Emotional Behaviour Difficulties in Early Childhood (UK), and an International Diploma in Montessori Education, focusing on early years (UK).

Natasha Mastura, Senior Educational Therapist, DAS


Natasha has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs with University of South Wales (UK). She has graduated from Monash University (Aus) with a Bachelor of Arts and has also received a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Workshop 3: Using Prompts to Support Children in Conversations

Seet Xian Hui, Speech & Language Therapist, DAS

Tammy Wong, Speech & Language Therapist, DAS


Xian Hui and Tammy are speech-language therapists with DAS. They firmly believe that parents and early childhood educators’ words and actions have a huge influence on the speech and language development, as well as socio-emotional development and self-concept of young children. Xian Hui and Tammy are strongly motivated and committed to supporting parents and early childhood educators in realizing the potential of children with diverse learning needs. Xian Hui holds a Master of Science (Speech and Language Pathology), a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Psychology, and a Specialist Diploma in Educational Therapy. Tammy holds a Master of Speech Pathology and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Psychology.

Workshop 4: Naturalistic Intervention Approaches in an Inclusive Classroom

Alison Choo Shi Ying, Senior Speech and Language Therapist, PCF Inclusive Education Team


Alison is a Speech Therapist with PCF and has worked with adults and children with diverse needs and profiles within both hospital and community settings. She has a special interest in providing speech and language intervention in inclusive settings and has successfully incorporated Key Word Sign as a preschool-wide approach. Alison is certified in Hanen More than Words, PECS (Basic and Advanced), PODD, DIR Floortime and a Circle of Security (COS) Facilitator. She graduated with Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) from the University of Sydney and is a registered Speech Therapist with Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore) and on the exco of ISAAC (International Society of Alternative and Augmentative Communication) - Singapore.