A HIGHLIGHT of Ms Michelle Lim Peck Hong’s career was when one of her students received the Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship in 2016 at the SPD-ITE Inclusiveness Conference.
The scholarship was awarded by SPD, an organisation that works with people with disabilities, to those who demonstrated excellent academic credentials, strong leadership potential and a passion for higher learning.
The award was all the more inspiring for Ms Lim, 30, a senior allied educator (Learning & Behavioural Support) (AED) (LBS) at Bukit Merah Secondary School, as her student has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
She recalls that he used to struggle with daily school tasks and found it challenging to control his voice level because of his ASD. To improve his self-awareness, she used visual prompts and role-play activities to help him overcome his anxiety during class presentations.
“It was rewarding to see him deliver his thank-you speech on stage beautifully and confidently,” she says.
Pillar of support
As an (AED) (LBS) trained by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Ms Lim works closely with teachers, parents and peers of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) to help them with their daily functional and academic skills so that they can become independent learners.
Ms Lim works with students who have ASD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia, among others.
After graduating with a Diploma in Multimedia Technology (now called Diploma in Digital Media) from Singapore Polytechnic, she worked in marketing communications for about a year. Following a yearlong stint in the multimedia industry, she became a full-time church worker for two years.
In 2010, she was inspired to make a career switch after coming across children with special educational needs during
the course of her church work, subsequently joining MOE as an (AED) (LBS).
As part of her training for her new role, she obtained a Diploma in Special Education from the National Institute of Education in 2011.
In August, she will begin her Advanced Diploma in Special Education programme, sponsored by MOE, to aid her professional development.
Ms Lim sometimes chaperones students with special educational needs on school trips and learning journeys. As a member of the school’s Caring Action in Response to Emergency team, she also helps support students with social and emotional needs.
She feels fulfilled when she sees her students happy and able to better adjust to school life.
She says: “That said, there are some challenging days when nothing seems to work out right.
On days like these, being an (AED) (LBS) requires courage.
“This quote resonates with me: ‘Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow’.
“If you have the heart and courage to serve, join us and bring out the best in every child.”