Our Team, Our Strength

At Connect and Communicate, you don’t just get a therapist, you get a team! Our stellar team consists of dedicated and passionate professionals who have worked in both the community-based and medical-based sectors in Singapore. We have extensive local expertise and work closely with local organisations including: Schools and tertiary institutions (mainstream primary and secondary schools, international schools, Poly, ITE), VWOs, SPED schools and hospitals.

We are committed to learning and growing our skills, so we can add more value to every child and family. To achieve this we engage in rigorous, continual internal tutoring from expert mentors as well as peer supervision. This culture of learning ensures sound application of evidence-based theories to best clinical practice.

Connect and Communicate Team

Chithra has worked as a Speech Language Therapist in Singapore for over 26 years. During this time she has worked in both adult and pediatrics within local hospitals and community settings.

She left full-time employment as Head of Speech Therapy at KK Women's and Children's Hospital Rehabilitation Department in 2000, to care for her two children. She has been in private practice since. Always a team player, she practiced as Senior Speech Therapy Consultant at Kaleidoscope Therapy Centre until early 2013.

Chithra has a special interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders and neuro-developmental disorders of relating. She is constantly exploring new tools to best meet the needs of this unique group of children. The following programs in particular have had the most impact on her professional career and continue to define her practice.

Chithra was first certified in 1997 in the Hanen level one workshop, It Takes Two to Talk (ITTT). At the time, the idea of working with parents rather than directly with children was controversial. Chithra continued to work within traditional models using modified ABA, TEACCH, PECs and Oral-Motor Talk Tools. Further to her training and experience in the areas of Sensory Integration and DIR Floortime, Chithra came to recognize the benefits of child directed social-pragmatic approaches. She pursued her advanced level Hanen certification in More Than Words (Parent program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders) in 2003 in Sydney, Australia. The inaugural More Than Words parent program in Singapore commenced in January 2004 and continues several times a year. In 2010 Chithra was certified in the Hanen Talkability parent program for verbal children with ASD, in Sydney Australia.

Chithra was introduced to Social Thinking in 2005 and attended mentorship training with the founder Michelle Garcia Winner in 2006. She has conducted social thinking programs since. In 2008 she attended the Inaugural Social Thinking Providers summit in San Francisco followed by more training at Michelle's Clinic. In 2012 Chithra was invited to be a member of the Social Thinking Speakers Collaborative in the USA.

In 2003, Chithra was introduced to DIR® Floortime™ and has pursued it since. She sought intensive mentoring in the model from senior faculty. She has presented to senior faculty at DIR® Institutes in the US. In 2012, she qualified as a DIR® Floortime™ Expert with ICDL. In 2013, she was in the inaugural DIR® Trainer program with Dr. Serena Wieder, founder of the certifying body Profectum, and co-developer of the DIR Floortime model. Chithra is associate Profectum Faculty and has taught on their online professional certification program, as well as tutored professionals world-wide. She co-presented a DIR® workshop in Australia with Senior DIR® Faculty. She has also presented several DIR-Floortime® trainings in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and India.

Her training in developmental approaches to supporting individuals with difficulties in relating, led her to found ‘Connect and Communicate LLP'; a centre dedicated to helping individuals become better connected within and hence to relate better to others. Chithra hopes to work collaboratively with families and professionals alike, to empower individuals to communicate effectively and integrate successfully.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • B. App. Sc. (Speech Pathology), Australia.
  • Hanen® Certified, Canada (ITTT, MTW, Talkability)
  • Certified in Paediatric Dysphagia & TalkTools® (Feeding & OralMotor)
  • Trained in Sensory Integration & M.O.R.E.
  • Profectum Academy Trainer Certificate in DIR® Floortime™
  • Profectum Foundation Faculty 
  • Member of theSocial Thinking® Speakers Collaborative , USA

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore
 

Ling Fong is a versatile therapist who has a diverse background that allows her to understand the needs of a child through the ‘eyes’ of a teacher, psychologist and speech-language therapist.

Prior to joining Connect and Communicate, Ling Fong worked as a speech-language therapist at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS). She provided assessment and intervention for children, from preschool to secondary school students, with a range of communication difficulties. These included students with language impairment and dyslexia, ADHD, autism and/or weaker cognitive abilities. She provided intervention both on an individual basis and in small groups.

Ling Fong was formerly a senior psychologist at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS). Thus she has an advantage of appreciating psychological assessment findings and comprehending how it translates to learning needs. Not content with just making recommendations in reports, Ling Fong decided to make a direct difference to the children. She pursued her postgraduate MSc in Speech-language Pathology at NUS. This has deepened her discernment of the interplay between communication and learning.

Ling Fong's journey in helping children with special needs and their families started in her university days. In addition to her major in Psychology, she worked as a freelance ABA home therapist with children with autism. Over the years, she has worked in various capacities including a teacher in an inclusive preschool. She understands the children and their families' needs both at home and at school.

She welcomes opportunities to educate the community and share. She was a guest lecturer at the DAS Academy. Ling Fong is a proud mother of two girls. She enjoys working with families and watching them grow in their ability to support their child.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • B.Soc.Sci, with 2nd Upper Honours in Psychology, National University of Singapore
  • M.Sc. (Speech Language Pathology), National University of Singapore
  • Certificate in Autism (Autism Resource Centre, Singapore)
  • Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding
  • Social Thinking®
  • DIR Floortime ®
  • Narrative Intervention for Building Social-Emotional Skills and Self-Regulation in Children and Adolescents - Dr Carol Westby
  • Play, Language, and Social-Emotional Development - Dr Carol Westby

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore
 

Xue Ying is an energetic, enthusiastic and engaging Social Skills therapist. A well-travelled global citizen, she has worked with children and families from different walks of life, across cultures, settings and countries.

A Psychology honours graduate from NUS, she believes relationships are pivotal in promoting mental well-being in individuals of all ages. She has trained caregivers, parents and teachers, in promoting their self-awareness and quality of interactions with the child. She has worked with children with difficult emotional behaviours, and maintains close and open communication with parents and professionals, to maximise outcomes for the child.

Xueying is fluent in English and Mandarin. She has worked and volunteered with children with special needs, in both groups and individually. Xue Ying is an active collaborator, across the settings she has worked in - private centre, SPED and mainstream schools and community based-settings. Her rich and diverse experience extends beyond Singapore, to overseas settings in Hangzhou, China and London, UK. These learning experiences have exposed her to the needs and vulnerabilities the children and families face across settings; and thus deepened her intentions to serve as an advocate for the special needs community.

Xue Ying strongly believes that every child's voice deserves to be respected and heard, and that they should learn and grow in socially meaningful and respectful ways. She is passionate about creating a safe environment that is stimulating, encouraging and adaptive to every child's needs, abilities and motivations.

Xue Ying finds joy and inspiration in exploring the world through travelling and reading. Xue Ying is in love with yoga, dance and the arts. She is also the co-founder of Ground Zero, to promote conscious and sustainable living, and helms many initiatives in Singapore. Xue Ying is passionate about making a difference to the lives of individuals and humanity!

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • B.Soc.Sci, with Honors with Distinction in Psychology, National University of Singapore
  • Certificate in Autism Movement Therapy (Level II)
  • Singapore Sign Language (Level II), The Singapore Association For The Deaf
  • Social Thinking®
 

Fidelia is a bilingual Speech-Language Therapist who has had intensive experience working at a major paediatric hospital. Her wide experience includes early intervention, communication, feeding and swallowing in extremely fragile children with multiple medical complexities. Fidelia was one of the clinic leads and was a key member in several multidisciplinary project teams. She was also involved in mentoring and supervising student and junior Speech-Language Therapists.

Fidelia strongly believes that the focus in therapy should be to discover, value and build on what individuals can do. She values the privilege of speaking into the lives of children and their caregivers. She is intentional in collaborating closely with them as they uncover connection and find joy. Fidelia's commitment to building rapport with those she works with is recognised when she was accorded the Gold Award in the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards.

Prior to her career as a Speech-Language Therapist, Fidelia worked as a teacher in an autism school, caring for a class of 13-15 year olds. She also has extensive experience in both local and overseas voluntary work with disadvantaged children and communities. These have deepened her appreciation for a holistic approach towards a person's development.

Fidelia enjoys traveling and exploring new places, being enraptured by the beauty of nature and learning about different cultures. She also delights in trying out different recipes in the kitchen, and absolutely embraces quality time with her family.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • B.A. with Second Upper Honours (Sociology), Nanyang Technological University
  • M.Sc. (Speech & Language Pathology), National University of Singapore
  • DIR Floortime®
  • Social Thinking®
  • Hanen® Certified, It Takes Two to Talk
  • The Orton-Gillingham Approach
  • Maximising Functional Outcomes: Applying Language Models in Aphasia Rehabilitation
  • Language HMDP on School-Aged Children by Dr Suze Leitao
  • Foundation of Breastfeeding and Lactation
  • Three-Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy
  • TalkTools Feeding Workshop by Lori Overland

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore (SALTS)
 

Jacqueline is a Speech Language Therapist from New Zealand. Her range of clinical experience includes private practice work in Singapore, as well as clinical placements at the Ministry of Education and Child Development Team in New Zealand. She has worked with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delay, William Syndrome, language and articulation disorders and Cleft lip/palate, to name a few. In her previous role, she was also heavily involved in devising structures for peer mentoring and quality control in service provision.

Jacqueline is a strong advocate for evidence-based practices and is committed to helping clients live functional and meaningful lives with the gift of communication and relationships. Her background in Health Science and Psychology have also equipped her to work with clients using a biopsychosocial approach, which considers the client in a holistic manner, thus giving her an appreciation for working within inter- and trans-disciplinary teams to help clients achieve holistic outcomes. She also favours a strengths-based approach to therapy, which she believes is key to keeping clients engaged, motivated and confident throughout the therapeutic journey.

Jacqueline’s past experiences in various teaching roles within community organizations and special school settings have also given her insights into working with neurotypical, as well as severely disabled children. She believes that the best outcomes can be achieved when parents, teachers and significant others are involved in the child’s therapeutic/learning journey and therefore, frequently collaborates with them in coaching/consultation capacities.

Having lived in several different countries, Jacqueline is keenly aware of cultural and linguistic differences in a multicultural population like Singapore. Her experience has taught her to be a creative, empathetic communicator and to embrace life ‘outside the comfort zone’. During her spare time, she loves to cook, travel, learn new skills and join her husband in looking for the next fun playground to take their little boy to.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • Master of Speech Language Therapy Practice, 1st class honours (University of Auckland)
  • Graduate Diploma of Science, Psychology (University of Auckland)
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences (University of Auckland)
  • DIR Floortime®
  • Social Thinking®
  • Narrative Intervention for Building Social-Emotional Skills and Self-Regulation in Children and Adolescents - Dr Carol Westby
  • Play, Language, and Social-Emotional Development - Dr Carol Westby
  • Learn to Play by Dr. Karen Stagnitti
  • Makaton sign (basic)

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore (SALTS)
 

Weijean is a graduate of the highly competitive MSc in Speech and Language Pathology programme at the National University of Singapore, and also holds a Bsc in Psychology from the University of Nottingham.

She has experienced working with both children and adults – adults in the nursing home and community hospital settings, and children in the special education, local kindergarten, and private clinic settings. She has worked closely with Special Education teachers, as well as alongside speech-language therapists, occupational therapists, music therapists, and art therapists. Through her experience working with children in these diverse settings and with different professionals, Weijean is accustomed to working with a team to ensure holistic development of students, with functionality as the central goal.

Children she has worked with include toddlers, preteens, and teenagers with different communication needs, stemming from speech and language difficulties, as well as from broader developmental challenges, such as autism, Global Developmental Delay, and Down's Syndrome. As such, she appreciates and respects the individuality of each child she sees.

Weijean is able to communicate in English and Malay (spoken and written), as well as in Cantonese and Mandarin (spoken). Having experience in both Malaysia and Singapore, Weijean is accustomed to working with children and families of different language and cultural backgrounds. She is sensitive to cultural differences and welcomes diversity.

Weijean believes that intervention is not targeted at mending deficits, but in empowering the individuals to see how their strengths can support the development of areas of challenge. This empowerment comes not just from within the client, but also their support circle. She is therefore keen on understanding her clients in a holistic manner. This includes viewing her client’s development from different lenses, exploring different stakeholders’ goals and strengths – and involving key stakeholders in the intervention process, in order to provide tailored, meaningful, and effective intervention. She strives to build relationships with her clients and their loved ones to help them navigate their worlds, fluidly and effectively.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • BSc (1st Class Hons) in Psychology (University of Nottingham)
  • M.Sc. (Speech Language Pathology), National University of Singapore
  • Social Thinking®
  • DIR Floortime ®
  • Advanced DIR Floortime ® - Embrace the Complexity of Autism and Redefine Potential Across the Lifespan - Dr Serena Wieder

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Shu Zhen is a bilingual Speech-Language Therapist (English/ Mandarin), who worked several years with one of the largest early intervention service providers in Singapore. She worked closely with families, caregivers within community settings, to shape the lives of their children within the home and school. She handled a diverse caseload independently, as well as develop models of service provision, support teams and new staff. Her wide experience includes children with language and articulation disorders, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, intellectual disability and feeding difficulty.

Shu Zhen is passionate about helping children with special needs to achieve their full potential through engaging, interactive and functional activities. She believes firmly in early language development and achieving therapy goals through naturalistic approaches. She endeavours to make a difference in her client’s communication abilities, so they can lead richer lives and participate fully within the community. Working in a transdisciplinary team, with OTs, PTs, teachers, aides and other professionals, has shaped her client-centered and holistic approach to therapy. She strongly believes in fostering that collaborative effort from families, caregivers and other professionals; the relationships that will grow the child.

She learns from the team and she regularly shares, both formally and informally. Shu Zhen has provided training and worked closely with parents, teachers and support staff, to ensure therapy goals are generalized into the home environment and beyond. Shu Zhen has also taken on various leadership roles, and she highly values the importance of knowledge sharing among various professionals. She coordinated clinical sharing within the speech therapy team, mentored junior speech therapist, and supervised fresh graduate speech therapists and speech therapy students. She also developed and implemented multiple collaborative projects with teachers and occupational therapists, focusing on developing language and play skills within classroom routines.

Shu Zhen received her bachelors degree in Biomedicine and her masters degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Living abroad for several years, has heightened her awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences; and developed her adaptive and communication skills in working effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, swimming and travelling.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • Bachelor of Biomedicine, (University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • Master of Speech Pathology, (University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • Social Thinking®
  • DIR Floortime ®
  • PECS: Picture Exchange Communication System (Basic)
  • PROMPT: An Introduction to PROMPT
  • Pediatric Dysphagia
  • Learn to Play
  • Narrative Intervention for Building Social-Emotional Skills and Self-Regulation in Children and Adolescents - Dr Carol Westby
  • Play, Language, and Social-Emotional Development - Dr Carol Westby
  • Orton-Gillingham Preschool Training

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore (SALTS)
 

Louisa is a bilingual Speech-Language Therapist whose clinical experience includes centre-based and preschool-based programmes, where she has worked with children and teenagers across a range of ages and diagnoses, including developmental language and articulation disorders, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder and various genetic disorders. Louisa has also had placements in both paediatric and acute adult hospital settings, and special education schools.

Having trained and practiced across different settings has helped Louisa develop an understanding of both the academic and socio-relational demands on the individual at each stage in life. It has anchored Louisa in her belief of the importance of empowering her clients to cope and function better in his/her daily environments, as well as equipping the stakeholders in their lives (parents, caregivers, teachers, peers) with the tools to support them in their journey.

Recognizing that everyone carries their own unique blend of personality, experiences and strengths, Louisa seeks to maximize each individual’s potential through a holistic, trans-disciplinary approach. She has worked in multi-disciplinary teams consisting of Educational Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Social Workers, and has actively incorporated and adapted strategies from the various disciplines to best support her clients’ development and learning. Louisa also spearheaded research on the combination of Music Therapy and Speech Therapy during intervention. This novel research won Louisa a research award and also provided her with opportunities to present and share her experiences with fellow professionals at various conferences including the prestigious ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Convention.

Louisa’s diverse background has taught her to take on creative, inventive perspectives and methods in working with clients, while her own experience of attending therapy (for a lung collapse) keeps her empathetic and relatable. Outside of work, Louisa enjoys playing squash, doing yoga, making music and indulging in good food!

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • Bachelor of Social Science (Political Science and Business Management), National University of Singapore
  • Master of Science (Speech Language Pathology), National University of Singapore
  • Social Thinking®
  • Hanen® Certified (More Than Words)
  • Key Worker TM – Noah’s Ark Inc
  • Narrative Intervention for Building Social-Emotional Skills and Self-Regulation in Children and Adolescents - Dr Carol Westby
  • Play, Language, and Social-Emotional Development - Dr Carol Westby

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Maria is a skilled, bilingual Speech-Language Therapist, who values building long-term relationships with her clients and their families. Realising one's potential is a journey and Maria is not afraid to go the distance, to make a difference to her children and parents. In the course of her career, she has worked with children, teenagers and adults in various settings and of various diagnoses. She has helped individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delay, developmental language disorder, dyslexia, hearing loss, and selective mutism, to name a few. Maria has provided comprehensive assessment and intervention services to clients in a 1-to-1 centre-based programme, and also dedicated time to train their caregivers. Her work in a special education school for children with hearing loss, helped them to thrive in the classroom environment and grow in confidence. In addition, Maria worked closely with adults with autism and their coaches in a day activity centre, to apply day-to-day strategies to enhance communication, emotional regulation and life skills. She is not fazed by angry or upset students. She listens, understands, calms and holds them. Her experiences have honed her ability to work effectively with the whole individual and his/ her environment.

Maria endeavours to empower clients as well as their families and teachers to achieve their goals. She includes caregiver preferences into individualised therapy for speech, language, literacy, communication, social interaction and/or play skills. She understands that caregivers are a big part of their children's lives and actively engages them during the intervention process. She also collaborates with other significant stakeholders like teachers and allied educators for continued progress, outside of therapy sessions. Maria takes great pride in her work and strives to go the extra mile in whatever she does.

Maria makes time to constantly upgrade and update herself. She takes initiative to review and reflect on her work. She welcomes feedback and maintains open communication with clients, parents, teachers, colleagues and supervisors. She does not hesitate to seek support to ensure she is doing her best by her client. Maria actively seeks learning, attends courses, and reads extensively. Evidence-based practice is a priority to her. In addition, Maria enjoys giving back to the community and volunteers her time to advance her profession in Singapore. She is part of the committee at Speech and Language Therapy Singapore (SALTS) association. Her caring nature and sense of adventure extends to every aspect of her life. Playing with her two dogs, exploring new food and new places, brings her great joy!

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology, Applied Linguistics), University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Master of Speech Pathology, Flinders University, Australia
  • Social Thinking®
  • PECS: Picture Exchange Communication System (Level 1)
  • Positive Behaviour Support for Persons with Disability
  • Understanding Creative Play and Development for Early Intervention
  • Basic Key Word Sign
  • Certification in Supporting Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties in English Exam Skills

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore (SALTS)
 

Dr. Chia Kwok Ying has been practising psychotherapy and counselling for over 17 years. Her clinical experience has honed her expertise in understanding and working with challenges in intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, especially in the parenting and caregiving of children. She has worked extensively in the treatment of trauma, emotional regulation and attachment. Mindfulness is a core competence in her practice. She also conducts Mindfulness training for adults and children.

She has served in various settings including with psychiatrists in a hospital, a therapy centre for special needs children, a Family Service Centre for twelve years especially on issues of family violence and abuse; as well with individuals who have experienced complex trauma. She supervises students in counselling, and practising counsellors and social workers. She is now in private practice and consults with Connect and Communicate LLP.

Professional accreditation includes:

  • Registered Member of Singapore Association of Counselling (SAC)
  • Registered Social Worker, Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board (Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore).
  • Clinical Membership for Association of Family and Marital Therapy, Singapore
  • Member of EMDR Singapore and EMDR International Association, USA
  • DIR Floortime ®
 

Shalini received an Overseas PSC Scholarship to pursue the field of Physiotherapy in Manchester. She graduated from the University of Manchester with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy. Upon graduation, she worked in K.K. Womens' and Childrens' Hospital and then moved on to work in private practice where she further specialized in working with children with neurological impairments. Shalini has worked for 20 years as a Physiotherapist.

Shalini is experienced in the management of a wide range of neurological, respiratory and orthopaedic conditions involving children. Her passion and specialty lies in the area of paediatric neurology. She is a certified therapist in NeuroDevelopmental Therapy(NDT, USA), a well recognised and established mode of treatment particularly for children with movement disorders such as cerebral palsy.

Shalini used to run a busy physiotherapy practice dedicated to providing effective therapy care for babies and children with developmental issues and neurological impairments. She worked together with her team of therapists to provide therapy to a wide range of paediatric conditions to both local and international clients. After having 3 lovely children, she continued to provide physiotherapy to babies and children through her company, The Little Children Physiotherapy Services. She is our specialist consultant at Connect and Communicate. She see’s our children with movement and motor based challenges. As well as provide clinical supervision for our team to support development as an integrated whole.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy 1998, The University of Manchester, UK
  • NeuroDevelopmental Therapy(NDT, USA)

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)