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#Provisional Speaker List & Profiles

Dr. Lim Boon Hock (Malaysia)

Special Education Consultant (Malaysia)

Founding Chairman of Melaka Centre for Developmental Disabilities
PhD Med (Deakin University, Australia)

Dr. Boon Hock Lim is the Founding Chairman of Wings, a center in Melakka that provides care and support to Special Needs Children. Their aim is to making a difference in the lives of people with special needs and their families by providing learning opportunities that will enable them to achieve their full potential. His professional work focuses on screening & assessing young children for developmental disabilities. He provides consultancy for families with children showing developmental disabilities, learning difficulties, emotional and behavioral difficulties.

PARENTS AS ACTIVE PARTNERS IN THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN WITH ID

Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores parents’ confidence in their children’s education. Students with involved parents or other caregivers earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior.
This is especially so if the child has an intellectual disability, or some areas of special needs. We know that when teachers and parents work together to support the learning and social-emotional needs of their children, these children are likely to do better in school. Not only does it help the children learn and achieve academically, it helps them develop positive peer relationships as well. Parents have a shared responsibility in educating their children.

 

Dr. Chia Kok Hwee (Singapore)

Special Needs & Resource Consultant (Singapore)
EDD, FCP, FCOT, FCOLLP, HONFRSAS, BCET, BCSE, LTCL, ACP


Dr Chia, a Special Needs & Resource Consultant in private practice, is currently working for i-DDD Clinic. For more than 20 years, Dr Chia has trained mainstream school teachers, learning support/resource teachers, student care teachers, special education teachers, early childhood teachers, allied educators for learning and behaviour support, school counsellors, social workers and psychologists in Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Macau SAR and several other countries and cities. He also works with children with special needs. In addition, he is also a clinical instructor for several training programmes in Special Needs Educational Therapy, Arts as Dialogic-Diagnostic Therapy, Special Needs Community Care & Services, Educational Diagnostics, and Reading Therapy.

PARENTAL ADJUSTMENT TO DISABILITY, STRESS INDICATORS AND THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL SUPPORT

According to the Disabled WorldTM (2019), an estimated 650 million people throughout the world have some form of disability. That is about 10% of the world’s population. This number is expected to increase over the next decades. This is certainly worrisome for parents as well as educators and allied professionals who have to cope with the challenging issue. The topic statement given focuses on the parental adjustment to disability, stress indicators and influence of social support – a pessimistic perspective to begin with! However, in this short 30-minute presentation, the speaker has proposed another perspective – more optimistic – of re-looking at the topic by challenging the given statement categorically with the main goal of raising parental awareness.

Prof. Chris Forlin

 International Inclusive Education Consultant (Australia)

 Professor of Education (Inclusive Education)


 Chris Forlin is an international education consultant, researcher and independent public school reviewer, based in Perth, Australia. She provides leadership in research in education reform for special and inclusive education in the Asia-Pacific region and has widespread extensive international experience in the education of children with  disabilities, working in the field for more than 45 years. She provides regular international workshops and keynote addresses and has published more than 100 journal articles and
books on inclusive education for students with disabilities.

 

PARENTS AS ACTIVE PARTNERS IN THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN WITH ID

This presentation will focus on the role of parents as active partners in their children’s education and the key importance of social inclusion of learners with intellectual disabilities (ID) in schooling. While substantial research has underpinned the need for modifications or differentiation of the curriculum and pedagogy to enable children with ID to participate in schooling; there has been considerably less emphasis placed on the necessity to ensure all children and their families are socially included.
Social inclusion does not simply happen by placing students with ID into regular classes. Indeed, this approach to inclusion has been proven to be ineffective and unsustainable. Yet in many schools, teachers are uncertain as to the best approach to take to ensure all students are fully included socially and have a strong sense of belonging within a caring and accepting community. It is evident from parents’ stories that schools need to work much more closely with families to support them and their children to be accepted valued members of a school community, where no one is alienated or marginalized because of their difference.
This session will outline how to overcome some of the challenges and review how parents can be proactive in ensuring structured social inclusion so that their children can gain full benefit from their schooling in preparation for transition into adulthood.

Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan

Consultant General & Developmental Pediatrician (Malaysia) 

MBBS HONS(N’cle upon Tyne, UK), M MED SC (Leeds UK)


 Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan is a Consultant Developmental Pediatrician at ParkCity Medical Centre and Baby and Beyond Child Specialist Clinic and a Visiting Consultant at University Malaya Medical Centre. Dr. Rajini represents the subspecialty of Developmental Pediatrics as a co-opted Member of the Specialty Sub-Committee of Pediatrics, National Specialists Register in Malaysia. She was previously a Committee Member of the Chapter of Child Neurology and Developmental Pediatrics, under the umbrella of the Malaysian Society of Neurosciences and remains active in the Chapter now.

 

 WHAT FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW & DO TO SUPPORT THEIR CHILD’s TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD

 The journey into adulthood is daunting for all parents, more so when their children have other challenges such as physical, mental and emotional difficulties. Preparing for this journey does not start as they enter adolescence but even in their early years. Often the focus in the early years tends to be on skill acquisition and trying to prepare children for schools but families and teachers need to look beyond school and how the skills we equip our young children prepares them for life’s journey throughout the years. This talk aims to review current evidence on how families can prepare their child and the community as a whole in transitioning to adulthood as well as how this evidence can be put into practice.

Dr. Francis Xavier M. Dimalanta (Philippines

Developmental & Behavioural Pediatrician 

Section Chief, Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, Institute of Pediatrics & Child Health MD, 

Dr. Francis Xavier M. Dimalanta is one of Asia’s top Behavioral and Developmental Pediatricians. He is a staunch proponent of non-conventional learning methods for nonconventional children. Being an authority on the health and wellness of the whole child, he has initiated some of the most influential and progressive thinking on the subject of education for children. In his pursuit and vision of reaching out to more children with special needs, Francis is currently the Medical Director and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Cerebral Palsy Inc., Stepping Stone Learning Center, Cerecare Foundation, and a Child’s DREAM Foundation.

M.Sc. Mo Ng 

Louis Program (Hong Kong)

PhD candidate at University of Hong Kong


Inspired by her motherhood experience she embarked on a postgraduate learning experience in psychology and with distinction. Marrying the practical experience and theoretical knowledge of parenthood, Ng pursued her postgraduate career further by undertaking the PhD study (research title: “From Despondency to Competency: Psychological Well-being of Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs in Hong Kong”) in the Faculty of Education at The University of Hong Kong since 2013. Her study aims to support parents by enhancing their parental self-efficacy belief through intervention programs.

THE 3 R’S OF TRANSITION: RESPONSIBILITY, REGULATION AND RELATIONSHIPS

 To follow soon! 

 

PARENTAL ADJUSTMENT TO DISABILITY, STRESS INDICATORS AND THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL
SUPPORT

Nowadays, parents are more intellectual with new knowledge swiftly acquired from schools or by devices. Competent parent may not realise how stressful one comes to the borderline of collapse, “when confronting to my own child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” Devastated in despondency and helplessness despite the abundant knowledge and resources, support from family or friends, competent parents are in distressed. Past research postulated key factors were found to be influential to parental psychological well-being, namely parental self-efficacy (Coleman & Karraker, 1997; Hastings & Brown, 2002; Teti & Gelfand, 1991), hope (Lloyd & Hastings, 2009) and social support (Bristol, 1984; Sanders & Morgan, 1997) in facing the daily challenges of child’s behavioural problems related to ASD symptoms (Abbeduto et al., 2004; Sharpley et al., 1997). Are these factors protective or detrimental? Parents are desperate to know, “Is there a way out?” Factors effect to be discussed from parental perspective.

Robby Kojetin (South Africa)

International motivational keynote speaker and author
Extreme Sportman


Robby is an ordinary guy with an extraordinary story. In 2006 Robby broke both ankles in a climbing accident, permanently damaging both ankles and putting him in a wheelchair for the longest year of his life. With crippling debt, severe depression and constant pain, Robby spiraled into an abyss of despair and hopelessness, with literally nothing left. Nothing, but the power to decide, and a dream. This is a story about losing everything and what it takes to rebuild a life from absolute rock bottom and not giving up until you reach the ultimate goal...the summit of Mount Everest. Robby is not the first, youngest or the fastest to summit Everest ... Just the most driven.

SELF-CONFIDENCE AND COMMITMENT

 To follow soon! 

 

Jeff Rotmeyer (Hong Kong) 

Teacher and Author 

Founder and Director of Love 21 Foundation, Founder of Impact HKl



Jeff Rotmeyer founded LOVE 21 Foundation because he saw a great need for higher expectations and emphasis put on health and nutrition for the Down syndrome and autistic community in Hong Kong. He is passionate about creating a community that is focused on improving their health and fitness while having fun with friends. He also runs a variety of sport and exercise classes as part of the new health and nutrition programme.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLE WITH AND WITHOUT INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY

 To follow soon! 

Dr. Dianne Chambers (Australia) 

Coordinator Research/ Special Education 

Associate Professor University of Notre Dame


Dr. Dianne Chambers coordinates and teaches into units on catering for students with disabilities, inclusion and behaviour management at undergraduate level. Postgraduate teaching areas include adaptive education, behaviour management and social skills, children with special needs, contemporary issues in special education and educating students who are gifted and talented. She also supervises students within the School of Education Masters and PhD programs. She is published in the field of inclusive education, assistive technology and children with ASD.

INDEPENDENT LIVING FOR PEOPLE WITH AN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY

 To follow soon! 

Dr. Angela Dew

Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead

PhD at School of Social Sciences - Sydney


Dr. Angela Dew is Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead with the Intellectual Disability Behaviour Support Program at UNSW. Angela is a sociologist with over 30 years working in the disability field in direct service, management, teaching and research roles. Angela’s main research interests relate to the lived experiences of people with a disability and their family members. Angela completed her PhD at The
University of Sydney graduating in 2011. Angela’s PhD thesis explored the later life relationships of adults with cerebral palsy and their non-disabled siblings as parents aged.

ARTS-BASED KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION WITHIN THE DISABILITY RESEARCH SPHERE

Traditional research methods assign participants to a passive role - providing information to researchers who then produce academic outputs which may be of little value or interest to participants. The disability sector is increasingly advocating for participatory and inclusive research approaches that value participants’ lived experience. Co-design and co-production are two terms commonly used to describe this approach. The involvement of people with disability, family and carers, practitioners and policy makers throughout the research process, including in identifying research questions and design, data collection and analysis and dissemination of findings, means the research will address questions of most relevance to them. Resulting research outcomes need to then be communicated in a timely way using accessible formats and avenues. The emerging field of knowledge translation challenges researchers to think  beyond traditional ways of producing and disseminating research to increase research integrity, uptake, and applicability. Participatory and inclusive arts-based research strategies provide opportunities to actively connect with research at a deep experiential level to enhance the meaning of the research topic, captivate target audiences, and change practice. Arts-based research methods are  particularly useful for exploring sensitive and controversial topics, which can often be difficult to articulate verbally. They are well suited for engaging people with intellectual disability for whom traditional research methods can be limiting. Arts-based methods have the potential to empower people with disability to engage more fully in research, which provides a greater understanding of their experiences, views, and feelings. This presentation will provide an overview of the theory underpinning arts-based knowledge translation and explore some of the ethical issues involved. Examples will be given of a variety of arts genres used as research methods and the knowledge translation strategies used to develop, make meaning of, and communicate disability research to a broad audience.

Nicole Rogerson (Australia)

CEO of Autism Awareness

Founding Chairman of Melaka Centre for Developmental Disabilities


Nicole Rogerson is one of the nation’s leading spokespersons for the awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
A passionate disability advocate and social policy campaigner, she is a frequent public speaker on these issues and often appears in the media advocating for families with children on the spectrum. She is a determined advocate for evidence-based interventions and funding support for individuals withdisabilities.

FAMILY PERSPECTIVES ON A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ID
BRING ON THE FUTURE – SUCCESSFUL TRANSITIONING INTO ADULTHOOD

Parents often forget that their children will be adults for MANY more years than they will be small children. The intense focus on early intervention and the school years can mean we put off planning for our child’s adulthood. The fact is, we need to be planning for the adult years when our children are still young. Planning ahead, teaching pre-requisite skills and building a scaffold are the best ways to help our children transition into a happy and fulfilling adult life.

#Conference Topics

 

 

 

1. PARENTS AS ACTIVE PARTNERS IN THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN WITH ID
From a special education teacher’s perspective, there is a critical need for parent involvement that is active and empowering. Parents want the best education that is possible for their child, teachers want to work in positive ways with the families, and students want to be encouraged and supported in their learning. Together, strong partnerships can be formed that empower the entire team, not only at the school and family level but also eventually spreading into the community.


2. FAMILY PERSPECTIVES ON A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO ADULT HOOD FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
The transition to adulthood is stressful for families of typically developing youth and even more so for families of youth with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. One likely reason for heightened stress in these families is the added burden of finding, coordinating, and financing adult services. Young adults with ID/DD and their parents must become their own advocates for services and supports after the youth leaves high school.


3. WHAT FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW & DO TO SUPPORT THEIR CHILD’s TRANSITION TO ADULT HOOD
As any parent of an adolescent knows, a child’s transition into adulthood presents extraordinary opportunities for growth, reflection, and responsibility. The child with special needs faces all of these changes along with the added challenges brought on by his or her individual disability. It is not unusual for a child with special needs to have a specialized set of caregivers and support organizations in place for guidance and direction through these complicated years. However, at some point in a child’s early adolescence, most families suddenly realize that the services and programs that they rely on to care for the child will soon disappear. These will be replaced by radically different benefits, most of which abruptly come into play once a son or daughter leaves the public education system, which often provides the bulk of the child’s care and daily structure.


4. THE 3 R’S OF TRANSITION: RESPONSIBILITY, REGULATION AND RELATIONSHIPS
As a society, we are familiar with the three R’s of reading, writing and arithmetic that have formed the core of our traditional education curriculum for centuries. But most of us are less familiar with a different set of R’s that students with autism and other learning differences must learn as well if they want to become as independent as possible. Methods for teaching and supporting the development of these skills vary widely, but in all cases, the ultimate goal of parents and educators is to maximize the quality of life for their young people with differences. The best way to do that is to teach them how to make their own decisions and live an independent, self-directed life.


5. A MOTHER’s / FATHER’s STORY
Teaching the child how to adapt to the world is on-going. Life gets more complex and it all needs explaining. The ultimate goal is having less fear and more trust as a parent. Finding that balance to help the child develop him/herself but not lose him/herself. Not an easy job for any parent!

6. I AM A SIBLING
The role of a sibling in the life of a person with an intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) is as complex as it is meaningful. Many of our participants know firsthand what it is like to grow up with a family member with I/DD. We understand and share the vision you have for a healthy, full, and independent life for your sibling.


7. THE IMPORTA NCE OF FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLE WITH AND WITHOUT INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
Friends are important for several reasons. They support each other emotionally, are willing to see things from the other’s point of view and provide assistance and feedback when needed. Friends choose each other and remain close through good times and times of crisis. They provide companionship for community and school activities and help each other enjoy new experiences and appreciate life more fully. Friendships between people with and without disabilities usually enrich the lives of both.


8. PARENTAL ADJUSTMENT TO DISABILITY, STRESS INDICATORS AND THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL SUPPORT
Research into families of children and young people with disability maintain that parents or caregivers seem to experience higher levels of global stress than parents of children without disabilities, thereby presenting a high risk of developing disorders in their health and quality of life. The aim of this speech is to understand the differences in parental stress and social support among groups of parents whose children have different disabilities in the context of parental adjustment to disability.


9. INDEPENDENT LIVING FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED PEOPLE
What does independent living look like for people with intellectual disabilities? How can they be supported to make their own decisions? Is personal assistance suitable for people with intellectual disabilities? There are various guides on independent living for people with intellectual disabilities to answer these and other questions. They challenge stereotypes preventing people with intellectual disabilities
from living independently, by addressing some frequently voiced concerns regarding this topic. They also provides useful information on how independent living looks like in practice for people with intellectual disabilities.


10. IMPROVE QUALIT Y OF LIFE AND INCREASE INDEPENDENCE OF INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
Family quality of life is a recent concept in disability research. Living with a child with disabilities can affect everyday life in many ways. Researchers have mostly focused on the quality of life of the children with disabilities rather than the caregivers’. It is therefore interesting to explore the parents’ opinions regarding their quality of life. The purpose of this presentation shall be to find out what parents of children with disabilities think about their quality of life in the family. Therefore, the objectives are: To explore the parents’ opinions regarding their quality of life in the family, to see how parents perceive that a child with disabilities affects their quality of life and to explore the parents’ suggestions for improvement in their quality of life.

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