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
- Allied Health Professions Council (Singapore)
- Speech And Language Therapy Singapore