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


Keynote 1: Learning in Young Children: A Singaporean Pediatrician’s Perspective 
Keynote 2: Social-emotional Competence in Preschoolers

Workshop 1: Playing with Sounds: Strategies for Developing Phonological Awareness for Better Reading Success
Workshop 2: Nurturing Social Smarts in the Early Years
Workshop 3: Building Comprehension Skills for Preschoolers
Workshop 4: Behaviour IS a form of Language

Keynote 1 Title: Learning in Young Children: A Singaporean Pediatrician's Perspective

Associate Professor Lourdes Mary Daniel, Head/Senior Consultant, Dept of Child Development, KKH

Lourdes Mary Daniel is a Senior Consultant Pediatrician and Head of the Department of Child Development in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH). She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Yong Loo Lin and Lee Kong Chian Schools of Medicine and the Duke-NUS Medical School.  She is trained both in Neonatology and Child Development. She received her neonatal postgraduate training in Singapore and Australia and her child development training in the USA, at the Kennedy Krieger Institute of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has worked with high risk children in KKH from the antenatal period prior to their birth to primary school for more than 30 years. In Harvard, she focused on the link between the brain and education, thus helping her to understand the learning and behavioral problems of high risk children.

Till 2012, she headed the Neonatal Ambulatory Services (which provided developmental care for both High Risk and healthy babies) in the Department of Neonatology.  She planned the formal developmental assessment programme (from 0-3 years), for high risk children, which is currently being run in the Department of Neonatology. She is the past Director of the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) Programme in KKH and was involved in the review of the UNHS program in Taipei (Taiwan) and in Hue (Vietnam) and is still involved in research in this area. She has been a part of the Very Low Birth Weight Follow up programme in KKH from 1999.  She was the co-chairman of the workgroup which developed both the 2011 and 2018 versions of the Professional Practice Guidelines for the Psycho-educational Assessment and Placement of Students with Special Educational Needs. She is the co-lead in the Neurodevelopmental domain of the GUSTO project (Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes), a birth cohort study with more than 1000 children. 

Her main research and clinical interests are in learning difficulties, especially in high risk children, hearing loss and developmental screening. She is actively involved in the development of community resources to support children with special needs and their parents, as well as the teaching of medical and postgraduate students.

Keynote 2 Title: Social-Emotional Competence in Preschoolers

Fong Pei Yi, Specialist Psychologist, DAS

Pei Yi has been a specialist psychologist with the DAS since August 2012. Her responsibilities include conducting psychological assessments for students who experience difficulties with learning and facilitating the placement of students in learning programmes at the DAS. Pe Yi is also involved in research conducted at DAS in the area of dyslexia.


  • Bachelor of Psychology with Honours
  • Master of Arts in Applied Psychology (Educational Psychology) 


  • POSTER - International Conference on Education, Psychology, and Social Sciences in Taiwan in 2014
  • POSTER - International Dyslexia Association conference in 2015


FACETS Vol. 4 2015

International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Conference 2015

Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences Vol. 3 No. 2, 2016

Parental literacy skills, home and phonics support predicting preschoolers' phonological and literacy skills

Workshop 1 Title: Playing with Sound: Strategies for Developing Phonological Awareness for Better Reading Success

Sylvia Foo, Senior Lecturer, DAS Academy

Sylvia is a Senior Lecturer with the DAS Academy. She has two decades of experience as a specialist in dyslexia, literacy and English Language teaching in various educational institutes including the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. Sylvia has a Diploma in Education (NIE) and is trained in the Orton-Gillingham (OG) and Hornsby approaches to dyslexia intervention. She has trained and mentored teachers in the early childhood industry to support their professional skills development. 

Nadia Ali, Preschool Educational Therapist, DAS

Nadia is a Preschool Educational Therapist with the DAS. She holds a Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies from Monash University, Australia and is trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach. Nadia has been involved in the early childhood industry since 2010. She believes learning should take place in a fun and comfortable environment. 

Workshop 2 Title: Nurturing Social Smarts in the Early Years

Elizabeth Lim, Speech & Language Therapist, DAS

Lee Er Ker, Speech & Language Therapist, DAS

Liz and Lee firmly believe that parents and early childhood educators play a key role in facilitating speech and language development in young children, and are influential in facilitating the development of social thinking in them through the purposeful use of language. As firm believers of early intervention, Liz and Lee are committed to supporting parents and educators of young children with diverse learning needs.

Liz is formerly a preschool educator and lecturer who holds a Master of Science (Speech and Language Pathology) and a Master of Education (Special Education). She is currently a Speech and Language Therapist with the DAS.

Lee is formerly a mainstream school teacher who holds a Master of Science (Speech and Language Pathology) and a Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics). He is currently a Senior Speech and Language Therapist with the DAS. 

Workshop 3 Title: Building Comprehension Skills for Preschoolers

Vera Tai, Preschool Educational Therapist, DAS

Vera Tai is an Educational Therapist teaching on the Preschool programme. She joined the Dyslexia Association of Singapore in 2018 and has worked with students in preschools and primary schools.

With a Diploma in Child Psychology and Early Education, Vera continued to pursue her studies in her interest and has also graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Psychology from the University of Singapore (NUS). Vera is passionate when working with children with learning difficulties and aspires to make learning an enjoyable and fun experience for students. She also uses a variety of strategies and resources to suit each child's interest and individual needs. At DAS, she strives to help children see their potential and achieve.

Shakthi Bavani Sathiasilan, Preschool Educational Therapist, DAS

Shakthi has been an Educational Therapist with the Dyslexia Association of Singapore since 2015. She works with both preschoolers with early learning difficulties as well as primary and secondary school students with dyslexia. Shakthi graduated from James Cook University with a Second Upper Honours Degree in Psychology and is deeply interested in the application of research in teaching. She is also a member of the Register of Educational Therapist Asia (RETA) and enjoys learning from children.

Workshop 4 Title: Behaviour IS a Form of Language

Cheryl Yeo, Educational Therapist, DAS

Cheryl has been an educational therapist with the Dyslexia Association since July 2015. She has more than 15 years of experience in working with children from 6 months old to 6years old. She worked aboard in 6 countries over 12 years 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). She has recently, in January 2017, achieved a Certificate in Autism (Early Intervention) with the Autism Resources Centre Singapore. 

Natasha Mastura Malek, Senior Educational Therapist, DAS

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

Joanne Tan, Senior Educational Therapist, DAS

Joanne is a Senior Educational Therapist at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. She holds a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College. Her interest in literacy development and early intervention sprouted work in research, curriculum planning, teacher’s training and awareness talks. She believes in taking a holistic approach to help children learn and appreciate literacy.