The Special Needs Conference, held at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus in Semenyih on August 5th, conducted a special mindfulness workshop which was oversubscribed and attracted more than the allotted 90 spaces for participants.
“It’s great to see all of us come together to bring mindfulness to special needs education and provide a more holistic approach to teaching and learning for these children,”
said RYTHM Foundation Chairperson Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran.
The special needs conference was a joint effort between RYTHM Foundation and the University of Nottingham. The workshops were focused on emotional literacy and sensory integration, therapeutic special yoga and mindful communication in everyday interactions.
The emotional literacy and sensory integration workshop looked at a child’s sensory profile, sensory needs and habitual (sometimes self- stimulatory) behaviours which arise due to sensory processing difficulties.
The therapeutic special yoga workshop focused on the art and science of yoga which can be tailored to benefit children with special needs.
The third concurrent workshop, mindful communication in everyday interactions, exposed the participants to communication strategies that promote joint attention which can simultaneously cultivate mindfulness in children with special needs.
“RYTHM Foundation is proud to be part of this event in our continuing effort to give these special kids not just an academic education, but social and economic independence, lifetime skills and acceptance,” added Datin Sri Umayal.
The conference targets key stakeholders in the field of special needs, education and medicine.
The three keynote speakers at the conference were Julie Cox, who is a consultant for holistic special education, Alefiya Nomanbhoy, from the School of Education, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and lawyer and author of ‘Nurturing the Leaders of Tomorrow’ Law Cheok Maan.
“We take in students, we don’t choose them, and our aim is to make the best out of them,” said Professor Ganakumaran Subramaniam during his opening speech at the conference. He is the Head of the School of Education.
University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, which sits on a 120-acre site, offers a world-class British education which is ranked among the top 100 universities worldwide. The university is also a member of the Asia-Pacific University – Community Engagement Network (APUCEN) since 2015.