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While the Path is Less Travelled, You Never Have to Walk Alone – By CAREchampion Lead Tan Pei Cheng

While the Path is Less Travelled, You Never Have to Walk Alone –
By CAREchampion Lead Tan Pei Cheng

CAREchampion Lead Tan Pei Cheng with CaringSG (first 3 photos), and her family (bottom right)

Many of us, as caregivers, have had our fair shares of emotional coaster rides.

As a working mother of 3 boys, my second son was diagnosed with moderate autism when he was 3 years old. Since then, I have been on a journey of discovery, learning, coping with feelings of disappointment, denial, anger, hope and many more. In the initial stages, I remembered vividly the loneliness and helplessness, often taking the easy way out of putting the blame on “fate”.  For a long time, I did not know how to process my emotions.

A simple act of joining a mother’s network group organised by my son’s pre-school opened my eyes. For the first time, I felt that I was not alone. There were other parents, struggling and learning just like me. I saw the challenges they faced and the fighting spirit in each of them, driven by the love for their children. I learned from them that only through acceptance, would I be able to give my son the support he needed. The sharing opened my heart, and the empathy and listening ears from them gave me courage to go on with the demands of daily life.

This is exactly why, when I met Dr Lim Hong Huay through my husband 2 years ago and knew about CaringSG, I offered to be a volunteer as I was inspired by CaringSG’s vision. Before volunteering at CaringSG, I had limited knowledge of the challenges and difficulties of caregivers, especially adult PWDs in Singapore.

I started as a CAREconnect lead with a rudimentary understanding that “I will do outreach and call caregivers for events.” Then, this role was to me was a simple connecting of people together and providing them the opportunity to form a network of support. I thought I was contributing to help, but little did I realise how it would benefit and enrich me too!

In the 2 years with CaringSG, I have always been supported by the lovely folks of CaringSG and feel very welcomed. It was fun to plan the events with the CAREkakis, CAREchampions and the Grassroots leaders. It was very rewarding to get to know caregivers through the activities.

At the beginning, when my calls or follow-ups to caregivers were met with silence, I was disappointed and even felt it hilarious when I was suspected as a scammer (LOL!). The silver lining came when caregivers acknowledged my messages and actually took the effort to show up. Slowly, some caregivers shared photos of their children spontaneously, and sent words of appreciation and greetings that I never expected. My moment of glory came when one of the photos I took for a CaringSG event was featured in The Straits Times! 😊

I benefitted personally with the strong network in CaringSG. Last year, my son started displaying aggressive behaviour as he entered teenagehood. I was disheartened with my inability to handle his meltdowns and outbursts. This, to an extent, affected me at work too. Fellow caregiver Edward Chan and Dr Lim gave me contacts to seek professional help for him, and since then, he has improved and so has my quality of life.

As caregivers of PWDs, we have a lot to offer and to share in our experiences, especially to younger parents who are going through this journey and do not know what to do or where to seek support. 

To my fellow caregivers, instead of passively waiting for things to get better, step forward to give and you will be rewarded with the least expected.

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves” ~James Matthew Barrie

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MindChamps Allied Care Group Pledges 20% of Net Profits to CaringSG: Empowering Communities through Philanthropy

MindChamps Allied Care Group Pledges 20% of Net Profits to CaringSG: Empowering Communities through Philanthropy

MindChamps Allied Care Group’s Chairman, Mr. David Chiem (left) and CaringSG’s Board Chair Dr Lim Hong Huay (right)

In a significant step towards supporting special needs caregivers and their families, MindChamps Allied Care Group has announced it will donate 20% of the company’s net profits to CaringSG.

On 6 July 2023, CaringSG’s Board Chair Dr Lim Hong Huay and MindChamps Allied Care Group’s Chairman, Mr. David Chiem, signed a pledge that would span the next five years and aims to fund various programmes and initiatives undertaken by CaringSG to connect, enable and empower special needs caregivers.

By donating a significant portion of their profits, MindChamps Allied Care Group seeks to amplify the impact of CaringSG’s initiatives across various areas in caregivers’ lives and contribute to the development and implementation of programmes that address pressing caregiver issues and foster sustainable change.

MindChamps Allied Care Group’s Chairman David Chiem said, “From the very beginning MindChamps’ Social Charter has been to: ‘challenge and lift education standards globally and to provide education to those who don’t have the means.’ So, we are honoured to contribute to this vitally important cause.”

CaringSG’s Board Chair Dr Lim Hong Huay commented, “CaringSG is deeply grateful to Mr David Chiem and MindChamps for the generosity to our work. Many caregivers and their loved ones will benefit from this collaboration in the years to come. We look forward to more areas of collaboration in the years ahead.”

Read more about CaringSG’s services for caregivers here.

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Be the Writer of the Lives We Choose to Live By – By Diana Lim

be the writer of the lives we choose to live by - By Diana Lim

Diana is working at CaringSG as a volunteer management and events support executive. She has 2 lively boys who are currently studying at Pathlight School.

“Only we ourselves, can be the writer of the lives we choose to live by. As a special needs caregiver, I choose to embrace it with an open mind and a willing heart.”

When my elder son was born, the entire family was practically on cloud nine as he was the golden grandson, the precious one. Any hint of suspicion that this precious boy might be facing any developmental delays or falling out of “range” was brushed aside. However, as the issues persisted, the instinct to quickly start speech therapy, occupational therapy and customized educational program took over. Imagine doing all this while holding a big tummy with number 2 in tow…

I would never have imagined that I would be blessed with not one, but two special needs children!

For many of us who often questioned why our child is so different from other special needs kids, take it from me when I say that autism is indeed a broad spectrum. With the same home and school environment, same parenting style, the two brothers were polar opposites when it came to their tolerance level to schedule changes, learning preferences, cognitive abilities, and many others.

I’ve since then learned to unlearn the so-called correct ways of handling autistic challenges. To put down my expectations as a mother so deeply invested in their well-being. To let them be themselves so they can gradually carve their unique identity as special individuals in spite of their neurological impediments.  To have a willing heart, and an open mind.

These are some pointers that I can share as a caregiver, someone who has been blessed with good spousal and family support, practical and emotional resource pool, as well as a great network of people who simply understands.

  • Always look for the simple things to be thankful for despite how the day or ‘night’ has turned out to be.
  • Learn from others to see if their strategies are applicable to our children/dependents at their current stage. At other times, be ready to let go of things which do not fit into their psyche.
  • Find several support groups that can serve various needs – it can be like-minded friends, parents support groups, playdate groups, hangout groups, etc. And just like friendships, they may come and go as our seasons of life change. It’s okay; be open to forming new ones.
  • It’s okay to not be okay. It’s absolutely normal to feel vulnerable. By being able to rough out bad times and reach out to lifeline help available to us, we are in turn building our own emotional resilience. Imagine what a good real-life experience it would be when we share how we coped and learned from our past experiences with our special needs loved ones!

As special needs caregivers, conquering the day is not always about this amazing feat or that significant improvement. It is more often than not, being able to achieve some form of peace in the never-ending daily noise and action.

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Member Promotions

CaringSG Members: Enjoy Discounted Rates at Kaleidoscope Therapy Center from 1 August 2023

CaringSG Members: Enjoy Discounted Rates at Kaleidoscope Therapy Center from 1 August 2023

At CaringSG, our mission is to support and uplift special needs caregivers, creating an inclusive community where every individual thrives. We understand that providing the best care for our dependents with special needs can be financially demanding and hope to alleviate some of the financial burden faced by caregivers.

Hence to support caregivers with the cost of therapy and early intervention programmes, CaringSG is delighted to announce our newest partnership with Kaleidoscope Therapy Center. CaringSG members who enrol their children in any of the following services from 1 August 2023 onwards can enjoy discounted prices.

CaringSG Member Rates at Kaleidoscope Therapy Center from 1 August 2023


Discounted Price for CaringSG Members (Excluding GST)

Regular Price (Excluding GST)

1.    Speech and Language Therapy

$152 – $192 per hour*

$190 – $240 per hour*

2.    Occupational Therapy

3.    Physiotherapy

4.    Early Intervention Programme

$1,800 – $3,150 per month^

$2,000 – $3,500 per month^

*Prices vary depending on the seniority of the therapist and the timing of therapy sessions (weekday and weekend sessions are priced differently)

^Kaleidoscope Therapy Center’s Early Intervention Programme, called the Ready Let’s Go! Programme is offered as a 2, 3, and 5 days-a-week programme.

Kaleidoscope Therapy Center is a GST registered company and prevailing GST will be applicable to the above-mentioned prices.

 To enjoy this discount:

  1. Make an appointment with Kaleidoscope Therapy Centre at
  2. To access your membership status on CaringSG, access and click on “Login”
  3. Present your CaringSG caregiver membership profile to the staff who will verify your membership status

About CaringSG Membership

CaringSG members can tap on Project 3i services – CAREconnect, CAREbuddy and CAREwell.

Members can enjoy member discounts at our partner merchants. Read more at

Sign up to become a CaringSG member at

About Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is a private therapy centre in Singapore which has served over 10,000 families over the past 23 years. Its therapists have over 350 years of combined clinical experience within the team, with expertise covering a wide variety of developmental needs. Learn more about its services at

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“We are not alone” – One family’s experience with the CAREwell Community Support Programme

“We are not alone” – One family’s experience with the CAREwell Community Support Programme

The Teys (from left): Rachel (7 years old), Mrs Tey, Mr Tey, and Ryan (13 years old)

This article was contributed by the Teys and the CaringSG CAREwell team.

The Teys

When our CaringSG CAREwell Keyworker, Lee Xiuhua, first met the Teys at their home, they were overwhelmed with their son’s, Ryan’s, behaviour and worried about his future.

“Ryan was climbing all over his mum, he tried to burn food with a lighter, he drank water from my water bottle and kept trying to snatch my pen, among other behaviours. I could see that Mrs Tey was at a loss as to how to manage his behaviour,” says Xiuhua.

Mrs Tey was a foreigner at that time. Not only did she feel isolated in Singapore, she also did not feel confident enough to navigate the healthcare system nor engage with Ryan’s teachers confidently. Ryan, 13, has autism, and was attending Grace Orchard School (GOS) but Mrs Tey was unsure as to how much she could lean on the school for professional support and how to gain access to it.

At that time, Mr and Mrs Tey were also in a dilemma as to what to do for the future. Should they live in Vietnam or Singapore? Ryan appeared to fare better in Vietnam but Mr Tey worked here in Singapore. The Teys also preferred their younger daughter, who is seven years old, to be educated here.

Mr and Mrs Tey’s relationship was also a little strained as Mr Tey as the sole breadwinner, was stressed about the high cost of hiring private psychological support for his son, and Mrs Tey felt that she was unable to manage Ryan who was growing bigger and stronger every day, especially when he became aggressive and hit back at her.

By Caregivers, For Caregivers

As a caregiver herself, Xiuhua was able to deeply connect with the Teys and understand their struggles. They felt that they were not alone in their journey of caregiving.

One particular concern shared was Ryan’s persistent negative texting to Mr Tey. Ryan expressed he is a bad student and always disappointed his teachers or parents. Xiuhua explored Ryan’s texting habit and checked with GOS’s psychologist to find out what the underlying reasons could be.

After some discussion, it was related to Ryan’s developing self-awareness that he had let down his teachers or parents when he was unable to meet their expectations. Ryan would ruminate on the negative aspects of his behaviours and wander around the neighbourhood roads alone which posed a safety concern. This was Ryan’s way of indirectly seeking his father’s approval, affirmation, and unconditional love.

With this in mind, Mr Tey was more aware of Ryan’s emotional needs and connected with him by replying to his texts with words of affirmation and love. This has helped reduce Ryan’s negative texting, habit of wandering the streets, and improved their father-son bond tremendously.

“(We) often find it comforting to share our journey with someone who understands how tough caregiving can get…the support getting from CAREwell help the parents especially cope with our emotions and experiences and show us that we are not alone.” – Mr Tey, father of 13-year-old Ryan

Professional Care and Guidance

After doing a thorough needs analysis, Xiuhua was able to better understand the Teys’ daily struggles, existing strengths, and dreams for the future. She then guided the couple to develop a few key functional goals which they could immediately work on together.

1. Expanding and deepening the Teys’ ecological system of support

A top priority was to get Ryan’s behaviour under control at home. To this end, Xiuhua worked quickly to put the appropriate services in place, expanding and deepening the Teys ecological support system.

For instance, she guided them on how they could obtain a subsidized psychiatrist’s appointment to assess Ryan for his impulsive and aggressive behaviour. She also connected the Teys to several parent support groups and shared online resources with them to improve their mental and emotional well-being.

2. Empowering Caregivers to optimise available community resources

A monumental shift, however, would take place at multiple levels when a joint home visit was made with Grace Orchard School whose team consisted of a Psychologist, Social Worker, and Ryan’s Form Teacher.

Firstly, with Xiuhua’s encouragement and support, Mrs Tey felt empowered to share candidly about Ryan’s behaviour at home which was greatly at odds with how he was behaving in school. This was a big step for Mrs Tey who previously felt self-conscious of her English language proficiency and lacked the confidence to engage closely with school professionals.

Secondly, the team from GOS listened carefully and shared behavioural management strategies with the Teys that were tailored to Ryan’s needs. Both Mr and Mrs Tey felt heard and well supported emotionally and professionally during this joint visit. Empowering the Teys and facilitating the joint home visit enabled the optimization of resources that were previously available but untapped on.

Thirdly, following the joint visit, the Teys felt confident enough to implement some of these strategies at home. For example, in the past, Mr Tey would pamper Ryan and give in to his demands, but this made things hard for Mrs Tey who could not then enforce boundaries with a growing teenager who could easily overpower her. Nowadays, Mr and Mrs Tey agree on and enforce boundaries as a team. “This way, Ryan knows that he can’t outplay his parents,” Xiuhua explains.

Today, the family is happier and feels equipped with the appropriate strategies and support in place. That has made a lot of difference to the family environment at home and Mrs Tey no longer fears for her safety nor is overwhelmed by Ryan’s care. In fact, she is so inspired by the service she has received that she shared that she would like to train to become an EIPIC special needs teacher in the future!

“Everyone gets knocked down sometimes; only people like you (Xiuhua) get us back up again and keep going. Absolutely excellent in all ways. The care was exemplary. My family really appreciated the support and assistance given to my son, your kind and caring always very helpful to parents who seem to go the extra mile for their children in need. Everything would be better if more people were like you. A big thank you to all the staff of CAREwell team. [sic]” – Mr Tey on the support his family received from our Keyworker, Xiuhua.

From left: Caregiver Mrs Tey Phan Thu and CaringSG CAREwell Keyworker Lee Xiuhua

Xiuhua’s reflection

It has been an honour and privilege to journey with the Tey family as their assigned keyworker. Getting to know both Mr and Mrs Tey and hear their story shared so openly, encouraged me to draw out the resilience I saw in them and give them the encouragement they needed to continue their caregiving journey.

Their humble self-reflections, concern and love for Ryan was evident at each touch point and interaction. The Teys committed to the 6 touch points as planned and agreed goals could be worked on in a timely and efficient manner. I enjoyed witnessing the beautiful bond they had with Ryan and am also inspired in return by how they have grown closer during the past 6 months.

Working with families often require trust and open communication which was evident while working with the Teys and for that, I am thankful they put their trust in me to journey with them in the CAREwell Community Support programme.

I was also encouraged by Ryan’s SPED school (GOS) for the open collaboration to hold the joint home visit. Having a conducive and caring special needs school environment did help Ryan develop well and address the parents’ concern promptly. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and professionalism of GOS team. Kudos to all professionals working tirelessly in the special education sector!

What is the CAREwell Community Support Programme?

The CAREwell Community Support (CWCS) Programme is a six-month programme consisting of at least six touch points. Each family is supported by a Keyworker who is typically a trained professional in social work, healthcare, special needs, or other related professions.

Keyworkers support families by providing transdisciplinary and multi-layered services which may include but are not limited to therapeutic and informational counselling, family support plan development and service coordination, navigation, and integration of cross sectoral services.

Applicants to CWCS are screened for suitability before being enrolled into the programme. For more information, please visit

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CaringSG Volunteer Appreciation Day 2023

CaringSG Volunteer Appreciation Day 2023

CaringSG held our first Volunteer Appreciation Day on 27 May 2023, Saturday, at the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre.

We welcomed 50 volunteers across various CaringSG Project 3i programmes to meet up and mingle with one another over lunch and games. 

After the Opening Address by Board Co-Chair Dr David Ang, volunteers enjoyed mini games which tested how well they knew each other, with lots of laughter and fun, and smiles all around.

Some volunteers and CaringSG staff who have not had the chance to meet in person, could finally meet face to face and bond over food and games. Others caught up with fellow volunteers they had not seen face to face for a long while and had a good long chat.

To show our gratitude for our volunteers’ contributions, we prepared appreciation videos showcasing their efforts and impact on caregivers and the community.

CaringSG Board Chair Dr Lim Hong Huay also gave a speech to thank volunteers, and she presented certificates and tokens of appreciation to our various groups of volunteers at CaringSG’s Volunteer Award & Appreciation Ceremony. 

We are immensely grateful to have the support of all our volunteers, and deeply cherish our time with you in our collective efforts to support special needs caregivers and their families.

Scroll down to see photos of our Volunteer Appreciation Day!

We welcome volunteers to sign up with us at


Opening Address by CaringSG Board Co-Chair Dr David Ang
Volunteer games underway with lots of laughter and smiles
Volunteer Appreciation Speech by CaringSG Board Co-Chair Dr Lim Hong Huay
CAREambassadors: volunteers at CaringSG events
CAREkakis: trained grassroot leaders
CAREchampions: caregiver volunteers at CAREconnect events
CAREwell: professional volunteers
CAREbuddy: trained caregivers who provide other caregivers with support and listening ear
icare! gala dinner volunteer

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The Heroic Spirit Of Caregivers – By Board Member Sylvia Lim

The Heroic Spirit of Caregivers – By Board Member Sylvia Lim

This message was contributed by Board Member Sylvia Lim

Dear CaringSG members,

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” – Maya Angelou

In my eyes, this quote encapsulates the heroic spirit that caregivers embody every day. What they do may go unnoticed but takes incredible strength, resilience, and compassion.

CaringSG is set up with the overarching objective to support, enable and empower caregivers of special needs in our community. At times when these caregivers feel like no one else understands what they are going through, they can draw strength from this community, knowing that they are not alone in this journey. They can lean in for support, share resources, exchange ideas and uplift one another.

In the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

By coming together, we at CaringSG hope to pave the way towards a more inclusive community for the special needs and their caregivers. To continually encourage and inspire caregivers because they are so pivotal to making the world a better place for those who need care and whom they care for.

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Celebrating Courage, Persistence And Love – By CAREwell Volunteer Dr Tang Hui Kheng

Celebrating Courage, Persistence and Love – By CAREwell Volunteer Dr Tang Hui Kheng

This message was contributed by CAREwell volunteer Dr Tang Hui Kheng. 


Dear CaringSG members, 

If we focus only on the black, we may miss out on the possibilities of other colors. 

Journey with fellow caregivers allow us to catch a glimpse of how different colors can be used to form a beautiful picture, often in unexpected ways. 

In the process, also finding out the colors we already have, mixing colors to create new ones. 

And together, all forming a collage of masterpiece celebrating courage, persistence and love.

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Every Parent Should be Able to Enjoy and Love Their Child – By CAREbuddy Dylan Lau

Every Parent Should be Able to Enjoy and Love Their Child – By CAREbuddy Dylan Lau

This article was contributed by CAREbuddy Dylan Lau, a 41-year-old engineer and proud father of a wonderful son attending Pathlight School. He is pictured above (right) with Frieda Chan (left), his CAREbuddy trainer, and Yvonne Tai, a fellow CAREbuddy.

The journey of being a caregiver to a child with special needs can be both rewarding and challenging. Over the years, I’ve learned the value of resilience, adaptability, and the importance of a strong support network.

I was first introduced to the CAREbuddy program by fellow caregiver Edward Chan, who posted about it in the CASPER PSG Facebook group. The idea of giving back to the special needs caregiver community appealed to me, especially since I had previously attended CaringSG webinars that offered valuable insights on supporting my child. Motivated by this, I decided to join the CAREbuddy training program, which took place from February to March 2022.

The training program was an enriching experience that helped me gain the confidence to approach fellow caregivers seeking support. Experienced trainers like Frieda and Anand equipped us with useful techniques and tools. I remember Anand telling us at the end of the training, “We just want to help. To give other caregivers hope that they can competently and confidently parent their child and lead them to enjoy and love their children.” This resonated with me, as I believe every parent should be able to enjoy and love their child.

Supporting different caregivers with their unique challenges has broadened my perspective. I learned that we are all on the same journey, albeit at different phases. Sometimes we may feel helpless, but we are never alone. It’s essential to check in with caregivers around us to ensure no one falls behind or gets lost.

As a caregiver and CAREbuddy volunteer, my mission is to support and encourage fellow caregivers in their journey of raising children with special needs. I truly believe in the power of community and the difference we can make when we come together to share our experiences, insights, and love for our children.

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Helping Families Navigate Life With CAREconnect Webinars​

Helping Families Navigate Life with CAREconnect Webinars

Contributed by Dr Ngiam Xin Ying, CaringSG Webinar Lead

Dear CaringSG members, 

Thank you for joining us on the journey of learning more about being effective caregivers to our special children, no matter their age. We at CAREconnect have had the pleasure of organizing the monthly webinars for the second year running. 

This year, we deep dive into selected topics – instead of a general overview to be covered in the short space of a single webinar, we will cover different aspects of a single subject across 2 consecutive months. We hope that this gives our participants greater insights and deeper knowledge. 

We have an amazing team behind you – Edward, our CAREconnect Lead; Lilian, CAREconnect Co-lead; Chris, our IT and Communications manager; Elysia, our CAREconnect Project Coordinator; and Jeffrey, our Senior Project Executive. We all hope that the content covered in the webinars will help you and your families navigate the different stages of life. 

Do continue to sign up and show up for our webinars – and if you miss the webinar for any reason, know that you can watch the replays when they are made available. 

Have a wonderful 2023! 

Xin Ying 

CaringSG Webinar Lead

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