Mr. Isaac Tan Chiang Huan
Trained in the assessment and remediation of learning difficulties, Isaac specialises in helping children with ADHD, Dyslexia and other specific learning differences. He provides intervention for children and training for parents and educators. He has also lectured for diploma courses in early childhood education and special education.
Why did you choose to work in the field of SpLD?
Children with SpLD struggle much in their daily learning and functioning, especially in our society with high emphasis on academic achievement. I found it very meaningful to be able to help these children learn and function better, thus reducing their difficulties and enabling them to maximise their potential.
What made me continue in this field for nearly 20 years is that, in Care Corner Educational Therapy Service (where I’ve been working for 18 years now), I am able to help many children with SpLD from needy families. Furthermore, helping needy families is something close to my heart too.
What is one thing that never fails to make you smile in the work that you do?
It is when I see the children in our programmes make marked improvement in their learning abilities and academic skills and hearing from their parents how much their children have improved and that they are able to do what they could not do before.
What do you think is the most important quality/value/belief a person must have when working in the field of Special Education?
Passion. I think it is very important for one to be passionate about helping children with SpLD so that he or she can really impact the lives of these children positively and be resilient serving in this field.
What is the one thing you would do to improve special education in your country?
Findings from recent decades have shown that movement exercise and reflex integration can enhance children’s learning and reading abilities. Special education providers can harness these less known but effective modalities as a complementary intervention to help students achieve better learning outcome.
To improve special education in Singapore, I would like to introduce and advocate the use of these intervention modalities to maximise learning outcomes for students.
What motivated you to become a RETA member and how has it benefitted you?
When I was invited by DAS to be part of Register of Educational Therapists during its initial formation in 2006, I did not hesitate to participate and became a member as I thought it was a very important initiative to help establish the emergent profession of educational therapists here in Singapore. Some of the benefits I enjoy as a member include being recognised for my professional status and getting discounts for registration fees for UnITE SpLD Conferences.
What advice would you give someone who has special educational needs or lives/works with people with special educational needs?
Different challenges come with different types of special educational needs. Generally, I would say this to someone with special educational needs:
Be positive and do not give up though life may be very challenging and you often fail to meet the expectations of people around you or even frustrate them. Appreciate every small progress you have made and celebrate every small success that you have achieved!
Besides working on your weaknesses, discover your strengths and build on them. You are unique and you have potential yet to be discovered and developed!