Choo Ling Fong

Speech-Language Therapist

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 a girl. 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
 

Samantha Sebastian

Speech-Language Therapist

Samantha is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in both English and Spanish (spoken/written) from the United States. She has experience working in academic, clinical, and hospital settings. Samantha has worked with a diverse population of children and adolescents, ranging from 3 to 21 years of age, presenting with language and articulation disorders, stuttering, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, social-emotional disorder, and autism spectrum disorder. She has provided intervention in groups as well as one-on-one.

Samantha has had leadership roles implementing literacy-based intervention programs in public schools. She has a special interest in building phonological awareness, literacy and reading comprehension skills. She also enjoys working with children who stutter; in helping to build confidence by equipping them with a toolbox of strategies and reducing negative emotions that can surround stuttering. Prior to her career as a speech-language pathologist, Samantha worked as an ESL teacher in southern Spain for two years; giving her a sensitivity to multicultural differences as well as an appreciation for bilingualism.

Samantha is dedicated to helping children reach their full potential, while focusing on their strengths. She believes in supporting children to relate and think, so they can use their communication meaningfully within social and academic contexts. She highly values the importance of family involvement in a child's learning journey. She enjoys working closely with parents in sessions to ensure their child achieves his or her unique version of success. Samantha has also collaborated with teachers to ensure continuity of strategies and to suggest accommodations that will promote the child's academic performance.

Samantha received her bachelor's degree in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin and her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Texas at Dallas. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In her free time, Samantha enjoys traveling, yoga, cooking, hiking and playing lacrosse for the Singapore National Women's Team.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • B.A. (Linguistics), The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • M.Sc. (Communication Disorders), The University of Texas at Dallas, USA
  • DIR Floortime®
  • Social Thinking®
  • Supporting Children with Feeding and Swallowing Concerns in the School Setting
  • Identification and Strategies for Communication Intervention in Special Populations
  • Bilingual Support for Children with Language Impairment
  • 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)
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CCC-SLP)

Membership:

  • Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association
 

Sinead Carr

Speech-Language Therapist

Sinead is an experienced Speech and Language Therapist originating from Ireland who has been practising in Singapore since 2013. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in Clinical Speech and Language Studies during which she gained ample clinical and theoretical knowledge in communication disorders across the lifespan.

Sinead’s previous work experience includes managing language impairments in the school setting, working as part of an Early Intervention Team, specialised clinics for children with Physical Disability and hospitals. She has worked in the management of communication disorders in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); ADHD; intellectual disability; cerebral palsy; Global Developmental Delays; and developmental speech and language delays.

Through her experience working in an acute hospital in Singapore with adults with neurological deficits, Sinead developed a keen interest in communication and relating. This led her into the Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy field where she explored communication disorders from a developmental perspective.

Sinead has experience in Singapore managing the Speech and Language Therapy services in a busy Paediatric Clinic and Early Intervention Programme. There, she carried out 1:1 therapy, group social communication intervention and Early Intervention therapy. During this time, Sinead felt the desire to go beyond traditional Speech Therapy and became interested in how we can help children with communication disorders relate within their environment and how communication goals can be facilitated through connecting and play.

Sinead is passionate about working with young children and young adults to facilitate them reaching their potential. She strives to continuously expand her professional development and learning , ensuring her practise is grounded in a strong evidence base. She believes the power of the therapeutic relationship between therapists, children and their families is paramount in enabling them to communicate in a way that is functional, appropriate and meaningful for them.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • BSc. Clinical Speech and Language Studies, Trinity College Dublin
  • DIR Floortime®
  • Social Thinking®
  • Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)
  • Early Intervention Support for children at risk of communication disorders
  • Dysphagia Assessment and Management from Infancy-Adulthood – Julie Cichero

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)
  • CORU Health & Social Care Professionals Council (Ireland)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore
  • Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists
 

Shalini Upadhiah

Consultant Physiotherapist

Shalini UPADHIAH 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)
 

Delia Yeo

Speech-Language Therapist

Delia is inspired to pursue working with children with sensory and behavioural issues that affect their abilities to communicate effectively. This led her to Connect and Communicate. Delia has embraced the DIR Floortime approach. The DIR Floortime model informs and supports her work in assessment and intervention with her clients. She is trained in Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking program and uses the Social Thinking frameworks and techniques daily in therapy. She also trained in and utilizes the Hanen parent training programs to support caregivers to better engage their children.

Delia formerly worked at the National University Hospital in a multi-disciplinary team with paediatric and adult caseloads. She is trained in intervention methods including: auditory-verbal therapy method, dual modes of communication, sign language, PECS and visual communication, Orton-Gillingham Program, Lidcombe Program and Hanen Parent Training program. She is also adept at supporting language and literacy development using intervention methods such as: Visualizing and Verbalizing, Story Grammar Marker, Language for Thinking.

Delia has worked with individuals, with a wide range of diagnoses. She has worked with an age range of 4 months of age up to young adults. This includes individuals with speech delay, articulation and phonological issues, hearing impairment, language difficulties, auditory processing difficulties, literacy difficulties, learning difficulties, fluency/stuttering, voice issues and social pragmatic issues. She has also supported individuals with Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders and varied congenital syndromes. She has consulted individually in the clinic, in homes, in schools as well as run group programs and organized holiday camps.

Delia is invested in understanding her clients through a developmental lens. She believes that children learn best if they are taught the way they learn. Delia strives to enable and empower individuals to communicate effectively and she works collaboratively with families and professionals.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • B.A. (English Language), National University of Singapore
  • M.Sc. (Speech Language Pathology), National University of Singapore
  • Hanen® Certified, It Takes Two to Talk
  • Certified in Orton-Gillingham Program
  • Lidcombe Program trained
  • Brazelton Touchpoints trained
  • Oral Placement Therapy
  • 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
 

Chithra Kathiresan

Speech-Language Therapist

Chithra has worked as a Speech Language Therapist in Singapore for over 23 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.

Most recently Chithra completed her expert certification  and mentoring in DIR Floortime with the ICDL DIR Institute. An interest that began in 2003, the DIR Floortime model informs and underpins her work in implementing the Hanen parent training programs and the Social Thinking group programs.

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:

Registrations:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore
 

Azealia Kadir

Speech-Language Therapist

Azealia is a bilingual Speech-Language Therapist who has been working in private practice with the pediatric population in Singapore. Her experience includes working with children with a variety of diagnoses and difficulties, including; language delays and disorders, articulation and phonological delays and disorders, specific language impairment, social pragmatic difficulties, dyspraxia, and repaired cleft lip and palate.

Azealia graduated from City University London, United Kingdom (UK) with a bachelor of science in Speech and Language Therapy. As part of her training, she has worked in a variety of clinical and educational settings, which include; hospitals, community clinics, mainstream primary and secondary schools, and language units in the UK. Whilst getting her degree, she also worked with children of all ages and young adults in various capacities, including as a tutor, youth mentor, and nursery nurse.

Azealia is passionate about the work that she does and providing goal oriented, individualised, and child-centred therapy. She believes in working in collaboration with the families and carers, as this provides a more holistic approach to therapy for the child. It also enables the child’s needs to be met across all communicative environments.

When not at work, Azealia enjoys reading, the theatre, singing, travelling, and kickboxing. She is also currently pursuing her post graduate certification in Cleft Palate Studies from Sheffield University, UK.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy, City University London, UK
  • TEFL (Advanced), TEFL Express
  • Hanen® Certified, It Takes Two to Talk
  • PROMPT: An Introduction to PROMPT
  • PECS: Picture Exchange Communication System (Basic, Advanced)
  • The Lidcombe Program
  • Handling Sensory Issues in the classroom
  • 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)
  • Health and Care Professions Council, UK

Membership:

  • Speech And Language Therapy Singapore
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, UK
 

Vivian Tan

Social Skills Therapist

Vivian is a social skills therapist who has been working with children with special needs since 2013.

She was a founding member of the pioneer team which established one of the first parental-involvement Early Intervention Programs in East Malaysia, and served as head teacher and supervisor from 2013 to 2016. Vivian has worked with children with a wide spectrum of developmental disorders, such as: cerebral palsy, down syndrome, global developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, and communication developmental delay. In addition to spearheading the Early Intervention Program, she is experienced in the provision of home-based intervention and shadow aid services in mainstream schools.

Vivian is a firm believer of active parent/caregiver involvement during the course of therapy. She derives huge satisfaction from encouraging children to creatively express themselves through play, which in her opinion is the best way for children to develop and hone their social skills.

MAJOR TRAINING includes:

  • BSc (Magna Cum Laude) in Psychology, State University of New York, Buffalo, USA
  • Hanen® Trained, It Takes Two to Talk
  • Makaton® Certified (Beginner)
  • PECS: Picture Exchange Communication System (Basic)
  • 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
 

Dr Chia Kwok Ying

Consultant Counsellor

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 ®