MONDAY, 7 MARCH 2022 - 4:00PM TO 5:30PM

Supporting Third Culture Kids with Learning Differences

PART 2: In Secondary Schools

Hosted by Anaberta Oehlers-Jaen, Head of DAS International



TOPIC 1: Navigating children with SpLD: Overcoming challenges and practical tips for parents

TOPIC 2: A tool kit for parents in supporting their children in secondary schools

TOPIC 3: Alternative educational pathways and opportunities: Is the vocational route a possible option?

TOPIC 4: Using technology to make connections and as a support system








 AnabertaOehlers Jaen Anaberta Oehlers-Jaen


Ms Anaberta Oehlers-Jaen started her career at the DAS in 2005 as an Educational Therapist and has since held various portfolios. For 4 years, she was the Preschool Manager of the DAS Preschool Service and was actively involved with children at risk of literacy delay and helped to launch the service at DAS. She assumed the position of Head of DAS International in 2011 to support the local and expatriate international community of students, who may be experiencing learning differences through Specialist tutoring and Assessments. In her role as Maths Programme Director in 2014, Anaberta has presented at International conferences delivered in Singapore, the ASEAN region and the UK.



george cowie  George Cowie

Director & Founder, Learning Support Asia

George has over 20 years of experience teaching in international and UK schools. He also spent over two years working as an inclusive education advisor in Cambodia through Voluntary Service Overseas. He did a master’s thesis on identifying and supporting dyslexic students in multilingual learning settings and has published research on supporting autistic students in mainstream education. He is now awaiting the publication of a chapter that he has contributed to the Routledge International Handbook of Dyslexia on dyslexia in the Cambodian context at the request of DAS. He now lives in Phnom Penh with his wife and son where they have their own tuition centre, working with schools and individuals to promote inclusion in education.

 harshi sehmar Harshi Sehmar

School Principal, The Village (International Special Needs School)

Harshi is the Founder and Principal of The Village International Education Centre. A highly respected Special Needs school in Thailand that has been supporting and developing children with special needs for over 20 years.

A highly experienced and recognized educationist, Harshi has, over a career spanning 35 years, made significant contributions to the field of Special Needs in the UK and South East Asia.

He has been instrumental in driving awareness of Neurodiversity through his approach which uses the child’s strengths to help them deal with their challenges. This positive, non-medical approach has been very successful as the students push themselves to rise to the higher expectations of their teachers and therapists.

His unique approach to holistically educating the child and working closely with the family has been pioneering and has helped in the development of tailor-made programs for children with different special needs.

Harshi, during his 25 years in Thailand has established strong working partnerships with International Schools in the region and local universities like Chulalongkorn & ABAC where is he also a guest lecturer.

He has also forged a decade-old partnership with the University of Northampton, UK to bring the MA degree in Special Needs to Asia along with best practices in the field of special education.

Harshi loves to cook, play squash and teach and finds the first two relaxing & the other rewarding.

 jun athens Jun Athens

Parent & Educator, Binus School - SIMPRUG

Jun is a middle school teacher at Binus School Simprug, Jakarta who originates from Singapore. She is the Subject Head for Individuals and Societies and has also been an Affective Head at the school for 3 years. She has been advocating for a more inclusive school environment at her school.

With 19 years of classroom teaching experience, Jun has met many families of third-culture kids, as well as several students with neurodiverse profiles. She has networked with organisations and individuals to bring more awareness about neurodiversity and inclusive education. She has presented in the IB Dunia Workshops for international teachers on inclusion and diversity.

Married to an American teacher, her three children have never lived in Singapore or America. Two of her three kids have neurodiverse profiles. Having experienced the challenges of parenting third-culture kids with learning difficulties, Jun is happy to share her own experience.

Jun is currently pursuing higher education in special and inclusive education in order to be a better advocate and support for her children and students. In her free time, she brings expat children together for drama classes as well as cooking and baking with her family.

 shilpa madane Shilpa Madane

Senior Specialist Tutor, DAS International

Shilpa started her teaching career with a private preschool in Singapore catering to children of various nationalities. After her stint with the school for 5 years, she decided to equip herself with skills to help children with learning difficulties.

She trained in Orton-Gillingham Approach and later obtained the Double Diploma in Teaching and Dyslexia from Cambridge University conducted by DAS. Before joining DAS International in April 2013, she taught Literacy and Maths to students with multiple learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADHD for about 6 years as a private tutor.

Her students are from lower and upper primary up to upper secondary and come from a mix of MOE and International schools. Having a strong background and interest in Mathematics & English drives Shilpa to cultivate a love of the subjects in her students.

Her aim is to understand the strengths, weaknesses and learning styles of children, to design individualised programmes to help and motivate them to achieve their targets. Shilpa believes that it is important to build a strong rapport with students and create a conducive learning environment for the smooth delivery of knowledge.


Deborah Hewes
Parent & Assistant Director of Publicity and Publications, DAS

Deborah has been with DAS since May 2011. Deborah has dyslexia and is passionate about raising awareness about learning differences. All three of her children have learning differences and as a result, she has spent most of the last 20 years supporting her children’s academic careers as well as helping other families with children who have learning differences. Deborah has lived in Singapore since 2001 and she has devoted the first 10 years working in an International School as a Learning Support Assistant and parent volunteer supporting students who learn differently with math, reading and literacy. She has also worked as a shadow assistant for students with behavioural issues, ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Deborah completed her Psychology honours degree at Singapore University of Social Sciences and her thesis was titled “Adolescents with learning disabilities: an investigation of academic self‐concept, self‐esteem and depression in International school students.” Deborah graduated from the University of South Wales with a Masters in Special Education Needs with Merit in 2019. Her dissertation researched "Singaporean Entrepreneurs and Dyslexia"

Deborah is the Managing Editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences and the annual DAS Handbook. In 2015, she edited the first book of its kind in Singapore, “Embrace a Different Kind of Mind—Personal Stories of Dyslexia” and in 2017 designed and published the 25th-Anniversary book for DAS, “Clearly Different-Dyscovering the Differences”