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21-22 June, Singapore


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Assoc Professor Mariam Aljunied

Principal Educational Psychologist

Special Educational Needs Division
Ministry of Education


About Mariam Aljunied

Associate Professor (Dr) Mariam Aljunied is a Principal Educational Psychologist in the Ministry of Education’s Special Educational Needs Division. Concurrently, she is an adjunct associate professor with the Psychology Department in National University of Singapore, and the Office of Education Research in National Institute of Education. Dr Mariam is a chartered psychologist and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, and is an Honorary Research Associate of the University College London’s Department of Psychology and Language Sciences. With 30 years’ experience as a practitioner and researcher in the field of special needs and educational psychology, Dr Mariam has spearheaded many initiatives and programmes to enhance the support for children and adolescents with special educational needs, including strengthening the professional development of psychologists and allied-health professionals in the field. Alongside her many years of working with mainstream and special schools in Singapore, Dr Mariam also contributes actively in several social-service organisations, and is currently a council board member of the National Council for Social Service.

"More than what meets the eye" – Social-Emotional Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities

Students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, make up the largest group of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in our mainstream schools. With better awareness among educators and continued professional development, schools’ capacity to support the educational needs of students with learning disabilities have steadily increased over the years. Studies have shown that students with learning disabilities are at higher risk of experiencing other difficulties, including mental health conditions (e.g. depression, anxiety). Thus, while striving to help these students overcome their learning needs, it is important that we also strengthen their protective factors. This presentation will discuss the ‘risk’ as well as ‘resilience’ perspectives of the learning needs of children with learning disabilities. Drawing from international as well as local research, A/P Mariam will discuss the approaches and strategies that schools can adopt to look beyond the ‘learning deficit’, and build resilience in students with learning disabilities.

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