Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) Presents Preschool Seminar 2020


Experts to share tips and strategies to set preschool children with pre-literacy challenges on effective learning pathways; seminar goes regional as online format attracts foreign participants

SINGAPORE, 11 March 2020 –The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) will welcome more than 200 local and overseas participants to its first online Preschool Seminar on Tuesday, 17 March 2020. The seminar is designed to cater to significantly increasing demand amongst parents and educators for expert advice in giving preschool children with literacy delays the best possible start in their learning journey.

Every year, there are about 3,200 preschoolers in Singapore who require support to overcome learning challenges related to dyslexia. This is based on the estimate that 10 per cent of a population is likely to have dyslexia of differing degrees and four per cent severe enough to warrant intervention. The unique learning needs of these preschool children make it challenging for parents, educators and professionals working with them to transition them into primary school.

Organised by the Specialised Educational Services (SES), a division of DAS, the eighth edition of the DAS Preschool Seminar is a purposeful blend of deep exploration of topics emphasising the importance of early intervention and workshops imparting practical tips to help preschool learners achieve. It will put participants in a better position to identify their children’s learning differences and prepare them intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically to reach academic and life milestones.

The first keynote speaker is Mr Edmen Leong, Director of SES at DAS who will be speaking on child language development milestones, from the perspectives of a parent and an educator, with suggestions on ways to support a developing child with pre-literacy challenges. The second keynote speaker is Ms Geetha Shantha Ram, Director of the English Language and Literacy Division at DAS who will delve into global perspectives on Twice-exceptional (2e) children, referring to young learners who are both gifted and challenged; and explore 2e in the Singapore preschool context.

This year’s workshops will take participants from fun, engaging and effective multisensory activities for developing children’s literacy development; to strategies for promoting handwriting readiness and development for children; tactics for engaging children meaningfully in conversations to support their language growth; and ideas for nurturing 21st-century skills in children with dyslexia through freedom to play.


First Online Preschool Seminar – “We won’t let the virus stop us from learning!”

For the first time, DAS will deliver the seminar online to ensure the safety of participants in light of COVID-19. Despite its online format, sign-ups for the seminar have increased by more than 60%, attesting to the passion amongst parents and educators both locally and from overseas to optimise the learning journey of their children.

The online format has broadened the reach of the event beyond Singapore, providing opportunities for overseas participants to attend the seminar without incurring travel costs. It also allows busy mothers and educators to access its rich content line-up from the comfort of their homes.

The two keynote presentations will be streamed LIVE, accompanied by a Question & Answer session, while the workshops will be delivered via videos made available for participants to view on YouTube for one week.

“Moving into Primary One is a big educational milestone for children in Kindergarten One and Two who are typically developing as well as those who may be at risk of learning difficulties. DAS has designed the seminar to bring parents and educators one step further in helping their children become confident achievers not only when they enter primary school, but during their lifelong learning journey,” said Mr Lee Siang, CEO of DAS.

Since 2006, DAS has helped 2,292 preschoolers with early literacy difficulties overcome barriers through its Pre- School Early Literacy Programme (PELP). The programme is a published evidence-based programme that is evaluated yearly and found to have positive effects on learning outcomes of preschoolers. Targeted at preschoolers who are potentially at risk of having dyslexia or exhibit consistent weakness in early literacy, the programme advocates early support for preschoolers struggling with basic literacy to mitigate the negative lifelong impact.

DAS frequently conducts free awareness talks and basic literacy screening to engage stakeholders in the Early Childhood sector. DAS also extends financial assistance schemes to enable children requiring additional educational support, including those from low-income families, to access their services. DAS delivers PELP at most of its Learning Centres and provides in-school support at three PAP Community Foundation (PCF) preschool centres. Early identification, early literacy intervention and community awareness outreach are at the heart of DAS' daily operations.