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    Lives in sunny Singapore. Will travel ANYwhere.

    A very warm welcome.

     

    Since 1985 till now, it has been a wonderful and fruitful journey for me as I work in partnership with caregivers and parents, planning a future of their children,

     

    My passion is to share with you what I have learnt through the years and support you and your child to achieve a quality of life that is worthwhile and one that embraces LIFE !

     

    Have faith because there is hope,

     

    I want to equip caregivers with the skills and knowledge to work with their children with Special Needs. I believe that everyone is uniquely abled!

     

    Learn the tools of meaningful engagement during our sessions, reap the benefits and by all means pass it on to others. I will show you how the mind learns, how to motivate and create an appetite for learning for your child.

  • Tools of my trades

    There is no ONE method that DOES it all for your child. You need a comprehensive approach.

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    Brain Based Method that I can transfer to you.

    The right type of interaction can create an appetite for learning !

    The work of an internationally renowned Israeli Professor of Psychology (Reuven Feuerstein) plays a key role in shaping my beliefs. Feuerstein is well known for his work with children and adults who struggle to learn. His work is based on his theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability (SCM)

     

    1 Modifiability means adaptability and the capacity to enhanced one’s achievements.

    2 Cognitive derives from the ability to learn, to reason, and to think.

    3 Structural means there is a framework in the mind involving organization as well as cognitive functions that make up thinking.

     

    In fusing these three concepts, all learners are viewed to have the potential to change; the ability to regulate their thinking and benefit from learning across diverse and varied situations.

     

    A distinctive approach known as Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) plays a vital role in targeting cognitive growth to enable academic, social and developmental progress.

     

    The MLE view on cognitive development

     

    Feuerstein proposed the significance of a human mediator as the decisive factor in accounting for differential cognitive development that can enhance social interaction.

     

    He argues that a person’s capacity to learn and to interact is not solely determined by his or her genetic endowment and suggested that modifiability is possible regardless of a person’s age and stage of development.

     

    Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) theory holds that the child and environment facts are distal determinants and has little effect on cognitive development. Instead, MLE constitutes the proximal determinant that influences the Structural Cognitive Development.

     

    For MLE to occur, an intentional human being must interpose himself or herself between the world of information and knowledge and the learner’s responses, with the intention of mediating clarity to the learner. Taking into account the child’s needs, interest and capacity, the mediator playing an active role during interaction, distinctively bring into the child’s interpretation of the environment. The mediator selects the timely stimuli and consciously makes the component of the environment, as well of the past and future experience, compatible with the child. The mediator helps the child make explanatory rules that serve to organize observation and to test the applicability of such rule when he or she faces different circumstances.

     

    Inadequate MLE leads to cognitive functions that result in underdeveloped, impaired or fragile in their presence and affect contribution to learning and cognitive behavior.

     

    Though understanding the underlying thought processes that are established in the mental act, the mediator can use the criteria of MLE to engage in social interaction. The mental act is further expanded in my blog : thinking observed.

     

    MLE requires the presence of three parameters that are object of deliberate attention on the part of the mediator. These three criteria are :

    • Intentionality and Reciprocity
    • Transcendence
    • Meaning

    In other circumstances, other perimeters of mediation are brought forth based on situational variables.

    MLE is not solely dependent on language. It also takes into consideration other modalities of social interaction, like gestures, kinetic energy, mimicry, and exposure to models of activities.

    Through MLE, the child acquires cognitive functions, mental operations and strategies for learning that can be internalized into his or her system.

     

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    Building Bridges through integrating our senses

    Stability + Balance + Coordination = Organization

    A person with poor sensory integration has trouble receiving and responding to information coming through the senses.

     

    They may be under or oversensitive to things around the environment. They may appears to be uncoordinated, accident prone, has poor sense of body awareness and may even hard time engaging with others.

     

    Steady Steps intervention uses different methods to help desensitise the senses and reintroduce the brain to learn how to adapt and accept the sensation. In general it involves helping the person to do better in everyday activities and to help them get used to things they can't tolerate. The program creates opportunities for the person to master important skills of relating, thinking and communicating. The interaction is aim to help the person move forward and help with the sensory issues as well.

     

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    Our unique senses

    Your brain is so unique ... it is a fact that NO ONE else has a brain like yours. Every part of your being is connected through the senses and your senses carries the messages to the brain; which in turn send messages to the limbic system where regulation of emotions are stored. At the same time, your brain also releases chemicals to your body and tells it what to do : to stay still, to run away or to stay and face the challenge. Your behaviour is also the outcome of your internal state.

     

    Your senses are the radars of the environment. In my course of working with people with Special Needs I find that when I put together a customise programme for them, the change observed is encouraging.

     

    Two senses are often overlooked. The auditory and olfactory senses are seldom looked in conventional Intervention setting. I take a keen interest in these two senses and has incorporate them into my intervention and parent coaching sessions. I dig up, read them and get myself certified in the science behind them and explain them to parents so that they can appreciate how they works.

     

    I shall share more about these senses in my blog ... look out for them.

  • THINGS I DO

    Future Proof your child's learning though a brain based method

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    Motivate your child

    Learning HOW to learn is a crucial process that we can deposit in our children. The work for the future of your child is yet to be. What can you deposit today that can prepare your child for the future?

     

    Too much focus has been on the outcome of producing results when it comes to learning. However without having a clear understanding of the PROCESSES of learning, the outcome can be very disappointing.

     

    Failure has become a bad stigma and many children today CANNOT accept failure nor know how to benefit from the experiences.

     

    Come and learn the Feuerstein's method - I will model for you this reach to teach brain based approach. Understand what are the building blocks of learning and bridge the gap.

     

    Learn how to create an appetite for your child to want to explore ANY learning situation in a loving and trusting relationship.

     

    The Feuerstein's method has been well researched around the world and I have the privilege to have an early start since 1996 to stand on the shoulders of some of these 'giants' in the brain research fields and personally benefitted from their coaching.

     

     

     

    I love you,  you are safe with me and it is worthwhile to act.

    Partnership with you

    You are part of the team. Sit in, observe, ask questions, be involved in my sessions.

     

    Bring to the table your past experiences and lets see how we can integrate them into your child's learning.

     

    Learn the building blocks to learning as you watch how your child respond during intervention. It is happening before your eyes ... know what to look out for ... learn tools needed in building bridges from book smart types of learning to real life applications.

     

    Learn how your values, beliefs and culture can produce deep learning and self discovery. See how creativity is unfolded through the process of mediation.

     

    I will coach you. You will walk away with hands on that you can apply immediately.

     

    Intelligence is not static, its is modifiable. Learning the right tools will create 'super highways' in the brain. Information are carried in these 'highways' for problem solving.

     

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    Share with others

    Let's create a community of pro active Caregivers. If we pull all our resources together ... surely we can lighten our burdens and also encourage another person's journey.

     

    I acknowledge that there are some things that a family reaching out to another family can do that a therapist cannot provide.

     

    This journey need not be a lonely trip. It can be a fruitful one. Through the years, I am encouraged to see friendship forged and playdates happening among caregivers.

     

    I want to create a platform here to such happenings.

     

  • TESTIMONIALS

    Steady Steps is the Intervention program of Steady Essentials

    Catherine Tan : "MLE is a powerful tool !"

     

    Part 1 ... For several years, I knew that my daughter needed early intervention in her learning. I sought help from special language teachers, an educational psychologist and speech therapist. However, there were little breakthrough.

    Mid 2009, I was referred to Steady Steps but I was hesitant . It was when my speech therapist commented that Nikki was a very experienced practitioner in a unique method known as Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) ,

    that I decided to give it a try.

     

    In every session, I was able to sit in and watch how MLE created a need-based system for my girl to engage in her task. The MLE sessions were very enlightening. An appetite for learning was building up within me and for my girl.

    Nikki was patient, kind and gentle to my child and yet firm when the need arose. In some sessions, he imparted good values to my child for her character growth. I've learnt that meaning derived from learning builds motivation. My girl has since developed a greater awareness of the strategies that help in her learning.

     

    I was well briefed of the program and its framework. Nikki was clear and passionate in explaining the rationale behind each assigned task for the child. My queries were also well answered. Hence, I felt empowered to do more beyond these sessions. We are still on this early intervention journey and I believe that these meaningful MLE sessions will yield optimal results for my girl's learning abilities.

     

    Part 2 ... In the past 3 years of therapy, my daughter Elizabeth, has grown in her awareness of the factors that contribute to better learning. She is now more confident and motivated to take responsibility for her learning and behaviour. The person who is most transformed under MLE, however, is myself - the homeschool mum. It is a privilege to be under Nikki's "apprenticeship" by always observing his therapy sessions. Nikki would often point out the principles of mediation so that I can learn by his example. The result is that I, the parent, has also been transformed to be a more effective educator. I feel liberated from my old ways and can successfully move forward to lovingly nurture my children with these MLE techniques. MLE, is not for those who demand quick result that fades away. MLE is a powerful tool for those who would persevere and enjoy a lifetime of learning for both parent and child...

     

    Dr Alice Seng

    Nikki has the perseverance and motivation to help children develop their potential to their fullest. He is trained in using the mediated learning experience strategy

    from several well researched tools.

    His application of this strategy is commendable. He has worked very well within my research team for three years.

    His background makes him a very established and knowledgeable service provider in his expertise area.

    Julia Lam - Previous Director of

    TOUCH Special Group

    I have known Nikki for many years and have seen him worked tirelessly to help children with special needs as well as their caregivers to enable them to enjoy a

    better quality of life and independence.

     

    Nikki is an experienced trainer and practitioner who possess a strong depth of experience in this field having worked many years in the disability sector in Singapore.

     

    Using the mediated learning experience, he has helped many children with learning difficulties and autism in their cognitive, social and emotional development. To support their growth and learning, he has also run support groups for caregivers to equip them with practical strategies, tools and tips so that they can better support their

    children in their growing up years.

     

    If you are looking for help for your child with learning difficulties, I strongly recommend you to consult Nikki.

    Lynda : A mother's learning journey

    Teacher Nikki has been most helpful to my son. We came to him for MLE and reading instruction. I loved the fact that he allowed me to sit in for lessons with him and gave me clear instructions how I could work with my son at home.

     

    Teacher Nikki is very observant and helped me to become more aware of areas that my son stuggles with. This is something which none of the psychologists reports really showed since parents do not sit in during assessment.

     

    He then gave many suggestions for addressing my son's challenges which really opened my eyes to the many strategies and therapies I could use to work with my son at home. I felt comfortable in sharing my struggles with him and he always had a non judgemental listening ear and enabled me to process my feelings and move forward with my son more positively.

    My son's breakthrough !!!

    My son Jon has a genetic health condition which we discovered when he was six years old. Aside from reading, spelling and learning difficulties, he also has gross and fine motor skill issues as well as issues with hand-eye-coordination.

     

    As a trained teacher with a degree in Special Education, I worked with him to the best of my ability for 6 years but began to feel exhausted, frustrated and helpless. We were at that time also dealing with other associated health issues like allergies etc and for those, essential oils and supplements were all incorporated as well. There was just too many things that he needed help with and aside from helping him with his academic subjects, I needed something that could tie it all together. Yet I had no idea what that is.

     

    I engaged Teacher Nikki to work with him and noticed that he was using Braingym and BAVX. To be honest, I am unfamiliar with those programs but as an educator, I understand that it would take time for programs to work and decided to just trust his expertise. Initially the improvements were not stark at first glance but are slow but sure.

     

    When he started lessons with Nikki, he was reading but not very fluently nor willingly. He is now able to concentrate better, is able to sit down to read a classic independently and do his assigned work like research a topic and write it out. He has also started computer coding and we are hoping to develop his interest in it further.

     

    Recently our family went on a cruise and to my utmost surprise, my now 16-year-old son is able to serve and return a volley even though he has never played a racquet game prior to that. I am impressed that his hand-eye coordination has improved tremendously. Some sports that require more co-ordination like swimming still remains a challenge but his ability to take on new tasks independently has continued to be a huge encouragement to me as a mother. I’m so grateful to have found a teacher with the expertise, passion and care.

     

    Thank you Teacher Nikki!

     

    Mrs Tan SJ

     

     

     

    My Mind-blowing Journey : From Drilling to Thinking

    We have been doing ABA since Jason was 5 yo, for 1.5 years, and switch to VB for another 3 years, until we realized that we can't drill him for abstract concept. Teaching him to "get" the why and how is so hard with the VB method. Especially when he past Grade 3, there were so much of abstract, pragmatic, conceptual learning, that is harder to drill in. Then we went on board in search for other methods to help him, and we are grateful that we found the Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) approach.

     

    After a brief discussion via email, we decided to fly into Singapore and booked his time for consultation. During consultation, Nikki took the time to present and explain MLE to us as this was the first time I came across it. (it's hard to find information and understanding about MLE online). It was an eye-opening moment for us, that we have done it the wrong way, we didn't teach my son the most important skill, the Thinking Skill. I came to learn that by giving him the ability to learn how to learn, eventually he will have the ability to learn anything that is presented to him. There are so much things in this world and we can't teach him all just by drilling and pouring facts and knowledge into his brain. We need to give him the mental tools for him to be able to learn on his own, by giving him the skills to think, to analyze, and to problem solve.

     

    Thus, we started our journey with Nikki and from then onwards it has been 8 years ! Since we are living in Jakarta, we asked him to fly over. We organized a small group of parents that show interest in learning MLE and started our humble journey back then. With all training provided by Nikki (mind you, it won't be fast to grasp everything), it took me personally a few years to be able to "see the whole and parts" of MLE clearer, and it has helped me also in my personal dealing with people in my business. MLE taught me especially how best to present my business to others. It provides a framework for me to present the need (mediation of meaning), the purpose (mediation of intentionality) and the application (mediation of transcendence) in order for my clients to see how the parts and whole of my products would meet their need.  Though learning to apply MLE in my work, my clients and I can problem solve together.

     

    The Jason today is a very different boy, we see that he has demonstrated to us the ability to analyze, search, and problem solve many things in his daily life. Jason plan his own schedule for his days, weeks and months. He is proactive to search for information that he is curious about , and he can reason and even attempts to persuade us to follow his plan. He seeks to understand the why and how (not everything in life of course as it's still a continuous learning path for him).

     

    Once we went on a hiking trip, we had an enjoyable time exploring and observing the surrounding. Jason was able to demonstrate how he use his 'thinking tools' to express to me what he notices in a systematic and thoughtful manner. We discussed that day in our 'open classroom' geography, biology, math and art. What he has learnt in school can now be integrated into reality through the use of MLE !!!

     

    We feel that we are on the right track with MLE as with continuous teaching of the thinking skills, I believe Jason will be empowered to think on his own, to learn on his own and problem solve things on his own. Isn't that what we need in life basically?

     

    We are grateful to have Nikki on-board with us. In the past, we have engaged other so called MLE consultant before but they didn't have the same depth of understanding of MLE and they didn't train us to learn about MLE. We were told just to follow what they assigned to us. With Nikki, we learnt about MLE through step by step coaching, even though it's hard at time to grasp the theory. With our feedback, he would present and change the method from telling to showing to bring about clarity. Slowly and surely, through hands on projects, onsite coaching and partnering with him, MLE begins to take it roots not just in my mind but also in my heart. I wish more parents would come on board this journey. For me, it is all worthwhile.

     

    Yuliana

     

     

     

  • Look See Look See

    What sparks my interest ... little pieces of here and there ... put together

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    MLE Guide Cards : Digital Download

    MLE Guide Cards : Digital Download

    S$15.00
    I have designed these engaging cards as a guide for you to learn how to go about making meaningful conversation with your child. Use these cards to guide you to learn how to approach an activity, how to make meaning of the learning and also how to help your child to express and communicate clearly. These cards are handy to carry around as you can have mediation outside the classroom.

    It is recommended that you underwent an online MLE workshop and coaching to cover the depth and breath of this theory. The online workshop will have additional keys to unlock thinking skills. Email me.
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    Making Connections  : The use of logic : Digital Download

    Making Connections : The use of logic : Digital Download

    S$10.00
    Making connections is a series of activities that requires the need to use logic. Within the pages are varied activities that introduce how to approach problem solving in a systematic and logical manner.
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    Classification Exercises : Digital Download

    Classification Exercises : Digital Download

    S$10.00
    Within these pages are activities that teaches sorting and classifying. A variety of models are presented through the pages as learner engages in classifying according to a certain criteria.
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    Coaching Online

    Coaching Online

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    Is your child facing the same unresolved problems? Would you like to meet up online and explore what are the missing gaps? Each meeting is one hour and we will focus on one area that you would like to be coached.
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    Comparison Activities  : Digital Download

    Comparison Activities : Digital Download

    S$10.00
    This is a digital download on activities that requires the need to compare. The ability to compare is a foundational cognitive functions that is required throughout our lives. The activities provided in this download present a variety for which you can teach comparison.
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