My name is Suvi and I am an occupational therapist and a music therapist with a Masters degree in counselling. My doctoral degree is from the University of Melbourne. The doctoral thesis (2016) investigated social engagement and social interaction. The results of the randomized controlled trial (RCT) showed that Samonas Sound Therapy was more effective than regular music in improving social engagement in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Originally from Finland, I have lived and worked in Singapore since 1996. I came here in search of adventure on a short contract but ended up loving Asia and setting up Kaleidoscope Therapy Centre with Kim Nicolson in 1999.
Learning about DIR/ Floortime has transformed the way I work with children. I remember watching master therapists Patti Oetter, Beth Osten and Sherri Cawn from the USA working with children with a variety of challenges in the early 2000s and being mesmerized by their skills. Their ability to ‘connect’ with the children in a warm, deeply respectful way and have fun while working on a set of developmental goals inspired me to undertake training in Floortime techniques. I am certified at an Advanced Level by ICDL and hold a Fellows Certificate in DIR-Floortime by Profectum Academy. My international team of Floortime supervisors in Australia and the USA review my work on a regular basis and help me do a good job with children I work with.
Mighty Oaks is a dream come true for me. I initially set up a classroom-based Floortime program, then called Young Learners in Kaleidoscope in 2010. Since then we have changed our name and moved out to larger premises at the end of 2012 in order to offer outdoor play and mainstream integration opportunities for our students.
Good facilities and outdoor access are important because children learn best through play. I grew up in Finland and learned first-hand the power of fun, hands-on activities and the importance of creative play. You may be aware that Finland has a well-known educational system. It makes me happy that the Singapore educational system is now changing and placing a greater emphasis on discovery and creativity.
I divide my time between Mighty Oaks and Kaleidoscope. In Mighty Oaks, I oversee the programs and work with all the students in class. After school, I see my private clients and use my skills in sensory integration, Floortime, and sound therapy to help parents help their children grow. Working with children is what I enjoy the most, but conducting research and workshops is fun too. I also travel extensively to present papers at scientific conferences around the world. Plans for 2017 conference presentations include India, Finland, and Japan.
I have a fantastic team of teachers and therapists at Phoenix Park! I cannot imagine a more dedicated group of people as each day they come to work inspired to make a difference in the children’s lives. Please come and visit us soon!