About Us

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About Us

Welcome To The Learning Connection

The Learning Connection (TLC) is a wonderful place for a child to learn. Highly qualified teachers and a network of support specialists offer each student a warm supportive environment. The aim is to nurture each student toward specific individual and group goals. Often times in a “traditional” classroom setting, children with specific learning needs may not get the attention they require. At TLC your child will have our FULL attention.

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Meet the Principal

After 10 years of teaching special education in several locations both in the US and Africa, I had the opportunity to teach special education in an international school here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 3 years. During my third year there, I began exploring other options for employment in Kuala Lumpur, as I knew I would be living there long term.

At the same time I was bombarded with questions and with frustration from both “expat” parents and local parents about quality educational options for kids with moderate to severe learning disabilities. I spoke to many parents who were frustrated about the lack of services in a city the size of Kuala Lumpur, for kids with special learning needs. I came to realize that local families really had limited options for their kids, and usually end up home schooling and doing the best they can. Even the international schools do not have adequate programs for many kids.

It was this realization that I could offer a unique and invaluable service, that began our journey. This vision, 13 years later, is still in process, as we are constantly re-evaluating and improving our programs to meet the needs in an ever changing community.

Part of my vision with The Learning Connection was to offer a more holistic approach, bringing in a team of experts under one roof to work together for the benefit of each student… a kind of “one stop” center which provides a team of experts to work with each student. At The Learning Connection all the “experts” work together and we all have the same goals and work from the same philosophy which greatly enhances each child’s learning. This greatly reduces family stress, and gives parents and students hope and a chance to develop at their own rate and feel successful.

The Learning Connection currently has 12 classes- each serving kids at different developmental levels. Our speech therapists and occupational therapists are an integral part of our team. Each class has one teacher assistant. Class sizes are kept small, with the maximum of 6 per class.

The Learning Connection has seen rapid growth since its inception. We are happy to be providing a much needed service for many children and families in Kuala Lumpur.

This process could not have been possible without the shared passion of many individuals along the way, and we are now proud to have 13 years of experience and success in offering families alternative educational programs for their children and young adults.

Saro Lou Brenneman

MA Special Education,
University of Iowa, USA

Our Team

Head Teachers

Alicia Tan Yu Ling


I graduated with a degree in Psychology from Help University College, and it was through my first job as an ABA therapist that I fell in love with working with children with special needs. My experiences are drawn from the days when I worked as a centre-based therapist, home-based therapist and shadow aide. I was working in a mainstream school when I realized that I would like to gain more knowledge about the various types of special needs and teaching methods for students with special needs. Hence, I pursued my masters in special education at University of Nottingham, and completed it in 2015. 

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I believe that every child has different learning needs. Lesson plans that cater to their needs will not only unlock their ability to learn but also increase their confidence level. By equipping every student with the skills, and abilities, he or she can strive in society.
Working in TLC has been an adventure everyday, and there isn’t a dull moment! Progresses are celebrated, and obstacles are faced head on with perseverance. I enjoy the different experiences, and memories that are being made everyday in school.

Chow Jo-Ann


My interest in the field of special needs education grew when I did work experience in TLC during my university days. Upon completion of my Bachelor of Psychology, I pursued a teaching career with a Master in Teaching (Primary) from University of Melbourne and a Master in Special Education from University of Southern Queensland.Every day with my students is exciting and different, and I count myself lucky to be able to do what I love. Although I am the teacher, they are really the ones who are constantly teaching me.

Chua Huiwen, Clarice


I graduated from the university of Victoria BC in 2004, with a degree in psychology (honours and distinction). I then returned to Hong Kong and began my path in special education, specialising in early childhood. I moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2012 and joined the TLC family. I was in Kindergarten class until 2017.
In 2017 I was given the opportunity to work with teenagers and young adults in the TLC Vocational Setting. It was a huge change from early childhood and I did not regret my decision. My knowledge of special education and teaching widened!!

Damayanthi Nadaraj


For the past 9 years , I have been volunteering my services for underprivileged students and have worked with many children with learning disabilities. I have always had a keen desire to work and teach children as it is very rewarding. You might think I’m crazy, but once you get into it, you will never want to do anything else. And to this end, I would like to thank The Learning Connection for giving me this precious opportunity. I currently head the home schooling class of Grade 1 and 2.

Han Mee Yenn


I am a degree holder in Science, major in Biotechnology. It was an amazing experience to study the use of living organisms (or its products) to benefit humans or surroundings. Example, fermentation technology to make bread, wine, yogurt and even skin care products. Also, the exploration into genetic study to investigate an abnormal numbers in Chromosome 21 causing in Down Syndrome individuals.

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I have been working as a mathematics head teacher for the past six years in Kumon center. During my teaching life, I had encountered some students with learning differences. I admire their learning hearts and thus I was motivated to complete Diploma in Learning Disorders Management and Child Psychology from College of Allied Educators. As soon I finished the practicum, I volunteered to help in TLC on Wednesdays and Fridays. Working with special children is somehow much more challenging to my previous teaching life, however, I sense it is a calling for me to help these precious and unique children to live in a community. I am thankful that Sara and TLC team gave me an opportunity to work and learn together.

Ivy Natasha Philip


I have been in the field of special needs education for 9 years now. I chanced into the special needs community when working on a Human Services assignment in the first year of my Bachelors in Psychology. I fell in love with this community and have not looked back since. I have undertaken a Bachelors in Psychology (Hon), a iPGCE in Teaching and Learning from the University of Sheffield and a MSc in Developmental and Educational Psychology from University College London.

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Working with children and adults with special needs has been such a blessing in my life. They have been such great teachers in my life and I could not be more grateful to call this my job. I look forward to many years of growing and learning with them.

Jack Jr Perillo Jegan


Well, first off, I really love and adore working with children and I first heard of TLC from my mom’s friend because her son was studying there and I was his playmate since I was 15 years of age. I recently graduated from (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. During my time there, my assignments on certain subjects such as Child Development, Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence and Abnormal Psychology required me to go out of my university to visit other centers and schools where special education was being taught and from my experience of being in those centers and schools,

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I was truly inspired to pursue Special Education because I realized that there were not many male teachers who would pursue this career and there is also a limited amount of people who would actually go into this field because it requires a lot of patience, compassion, and dedication. Thus, I decided to email Sara Brenneman to give me an opportunity to complete my internship in TLC. During my three months in TLC as an intern, I can honestly say that every day is a new experience with the children and the people in TLC really welcome you with open arms as if I were part of a family. That is why I decided to come back to TLC after completing my degree because of the love I received. Therefore, I will do my very best to be a role model to the children as if I were their big brother by showing them love, respect, and patience constantly because every day is a learning experience with them. Lastly, I would like to thank Sara Brenneman for this amazing opportunity to be part of the TLC family.

Kam Su-Lin


Teaching isn’t a job to me. It’s my calling, my passion. I confirmed my passion for teaching while volunteering during my undergraduate years.
I graduated from University of Malaya with a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Biomedical Technology. Upon graduation, I worked as lecturer in a School of Communications.
I committed myself to the special education field since 2006, and obtained my Diploma in Special Education from the National Institute of Education (Nanyang Technological University).

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In Singapore, I taught in a school for adolescents with mild intellectual disability. Since then I have been a special educator both in Singapore and Malaysia.
I have an innate love and passion for teaching, discovering and nurturing the hidden potential of students under my care. I uphold the belief that every child matters and has the right to learn in the way that best suits his/ her learning style. I am passionate about creating meaningful and authentic learning experiences for my students. This is to equip them with skills to be happy, independent, healthy and ultimately be contributing members of the society.
It is my mission to teach my students lifelong lessons about themselves and life. It is also my desire that they will remember, and continue the lessons learnt long after they leave me and my classroom.

Nicole Roberts


I joined the TLC team in March 2018, after more than five years of experience working with children with special needs in the United States. Since receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies, with a Child Development Education concentration, I have worked in an inclusive classroom and also one-to-one with children of varying disabilities. My passion is to foster the development of each individual child by catering to their unique needs, and by celebrating every accomplishment, not matter how big or small. I look forward to doing this for many more years at TLC!

Nur Alliaa Binti Abdullah


Teaching has always been my passion after completing my Montessori course and Learning Disorder Management and Child Psychology from Linguistic Council Kuala Lumpur. Before being at the Center. I was a shadow aide in an inclusion program at International School Kuala Lumpur. Making a difference in these children has brought me meaningful experiences and great honor to continue to serve them with greater passion and love. It has also been a great pleasure working with a great team at the Center since July 2011

Tong Sze May


I graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in UK with a Bachelor’s (Hons) Degree in Psychology. I worked with children with special needs and shadow aide since 3 years ago. I believe every child has the potential to be excel if they go through a correct path. Last, I would like to thank Sara Brenneman for giving me this opportunity to join TLC.

Teacher Assistants

Amarpreet


I’m Special Educational Needs teacher as well as a Certified Play Therapist, Play Therapy UK. (PTUK/PTI)
I completed my Master’s in English Literature from Panjab University in India. Then I went on to learn about Special Educational Needs and completed Diploma in Learning Disorders Management, Child Psychology and Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology from the College of Allied Educators, Singapore.
It inspired me to learn about Play Therapy, PTUK.

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Play therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy that uses play to assess, prevent, or treat psychosocial challenges. Children often act out their feelings with toys. I’ve been providing Play therapy services and emotional support to students at TLC and volunteeredat Dyslexia centers since 2014.My work is supervised by PTUK supervisor and I join her for Parent’s Support group too.

During my 8 years of experience working with the children who learn differently, I realized they’re my best teachers. I enjoy my work with these children as every day is a new challenge and a new experience. I feel motivated when I can bring a smile to these children . I believe ‘Learning is a lifelong process.’ Previously, I have worked at Early Literacy Centers on part time basis. I am very grateful to Sara Brenneman who gave me an opportunity to be part of this great team at TLC.

Chan Sow Cheng


I graduated from Segi University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Education (Hons, dual degree) and became an intern in late 2017. While waiting to complete my degree, I was given an opportunity to work as a Teacher Assistant in May of 2018. My time at the Center has been a learning curve as my fellow colleagues have been so helpful in mentoring me, that as of 2021, I have been given the opportunity to lead the catering and PE classes. My role in catering was filled with meticulous planning of weekly lunch menu. This was indeed challenging as the food had to be delicious and yet simple enough for our differently- abled students to work on. My biggest achievement is seeing the students learn independently and it is my hope that one day they will be able to prepare lunch for themselves and their loved ones.

Joveena Ng Jen Sze


I have been working with children for the last 10 years and in early 2020, I applied as an Intern at the Center. This opportunity has broadened my outlook thus helping me to be more creative and patient with students whom I am working with.

Subsequently, I graduated with a Dual Award from SEGi University and University of Central Lancashire with a Bachelor in Education (Hons) majoring in Special Needs Education. Being part of the TLC team definitely makes me strive to be a better educator and it is fulfilling to watch when the students able to achieve targeted goals and having fun in learning.

In summary, I hold strong to the quote of “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn”.

Kamineeswary A/P K.Mahalingam


Teaching was not an option to me during my schooling days. However, the one subject called Learning Disabilities that I took during my degree, changed my perspective on teaching especially towards children with special needs. It was then I realized that every child should be given equal opportunities to be educated. Hence, I chose this pathway in order to be part of these kids education journey. I graduated from Sunway University with a Bsc (Hons) in Psychology. I joined the TLC family in January 2017 as an intern and I fell in love with it immediately with the environment of the school. 

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During my 3 months of internship, I gained knowledge on different aspects of teaching children with special needs and I am yet to learning much more on teaching special needs. I am grateful to be part of the TLC family as a full time teacher. In the future, I would love to further educate myself in this field.

Kenneth Anak Naong


I started off at The Learning Connection as a substitute teacher and eventually I was fortunate to be given an opportunity to work as a Teacher Assistant. My previous background differed much from my current experience. However, the initial challenges has taught me to love and grow with these beautiful students. My work at The Learning Connection has made me realize that my ultimate goal is to make a difference for the students and I am determine to continue my services with the Center.

Munifah Amalia Binti Mokhsin


I graduated with a bachelor degree in psychology from Raffles University. Working with kids has always been my passion and thanks to this opportunity I found this job challenging but yet enjoyable and fulfilling .

Najwa Binti Muhammad Sukri


I graduated from Raffles University Iskandar with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (Hons). Ever since my foundation year, I was blessed to get a hands-on exposure in various branches of psychology, including developmental psychology. It was from those experiences that I realized how much I adore working with children. I believe that every child has a chance for a bright future and it is on us.

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― carers and educators ― to guide them in maximizing their potential and broadening their limits.
Upon finishing my internship, I am truly grateful to have been given an opportunity by Sara to join the TLC family. I am looking forward to learning the most knowledge from my fellow colleagues and gaining the best experience working with these adorable children.

Sarojini A/P Balakrishnan


The teaching field is my first field after completing school and I strongly like it. I have 9 years of experience in teaching Kindergarten to 15 year old children as well as children with special needs.
I am a self assured yet humble person. I am of a caring and understanding nature, possessing an abundance of patience and regard empathy immensely important in everyday school and home life.

Siti Nurzaidah Binti Goldie


I never thought I would be pursuing special education as my career as I had initially wanted to be a counsellor. The first time I met a child with special needs was during my internship at a center in Sabah. Despite the fact that they find it difficult to process and control their emotions during melt downs, they would still find a way to show us their love which I find, inspiring. Working with them have taught me patience, perseverance and positive thinking. I then decided after completing my degree from the International Medical University (IMU), to go into special needs education.

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I had taught in special need centers, one-to-one using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as well as being a shadow aide. I heard of a school which uses classroom teaching arrangement in which I had never done before. It was a school called The Learning Connection (TLC). I then joined TLC in the year 2016. The work environment as well as the experience the children gets is as if we are a big family. Children not only are being taught academics and life skills, but also morals such as treating their friends nicely and respecting teachers. It is the greatest feeling in life when I get to see them accomplish even the simplest task by themselves. My goal is to be able to push them grow into a self-sufficient and caring individual.

Sueveena Shalni a/p Villantheran


A dedicated and passionate special educator. I graduated with a Dual Award from SEGi University and University of Central Lancashire with a Bachelor in Education (Hons) majoring in Special Needs Education. I am passionate about the younger generation and my greatest aspiration is to provide the best possible support and education to students that will unleash their true potentials. Making the world special one step at a time!

Wendell Yeo Guo Wai


 As a young adult studying in a complicated field, and of all the branches of psychology, I’ve always been fond of learning about Child Psychology. Child Psychology focuses on the mind and behavior of children and it involves their mental, emotional, and social development. I often ask myself if I work well with children. I took on the challenge to test myself and I did my internship in a special needs school, also, volunteering to teach in a center for underprivileged children. Lo and behold, I loved it and it had been a passion that carried me through.

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I graduated from Upper Iowa University, with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Psychology and Management (Hons). Right after I graduated in 2018, I kickstarted my journey in special education, specializing in Language & Communications.In 2021, I joined the TLC family! Being a teacher is a fulfilling experience, watching our students learn and grow is amazing. There is no greater reward than witnessing a student’s “lightbulb” moment!

Therapists

Nurul Mustaqim Binti Hassan
Occupational therapist


I graduated from Universiti Teknologi Mara, (UITM) with Bachelor (hons) in Occupational Therapy and Diploma in Occupational Therapy. After a year working as a clinical instructor at private university, i pursued my study in Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Brunel University of London, UK. I have experience working with children with special needs in various settings but working in special need school based setting is the one that i enjoyed the most. 

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In my practice, i emphasize on client values and implementation of best occupational therapy evidence based practice. I believe that incorporating these elements into occupational therapy practice would result in more positive outcomes and quality of life.

Sharon Viola Shanthini
Speech therapist


I am an Indian, born and raised in Brunei Darussalam. I completed my Bachelor in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology in 2009 and Master of Science in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology in 2011 at Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai in India..
I am a Lifetime Member of Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA), Overseas Member of Speech Language and Hearing Association, Singapore (SHAS), Associate Member of Malaysian Association of Speech Language and Hearing (MASH) and 

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a Hanen Certified Speech Language Pathologist for It Takes Two to Talk (ITTT) and More Than Words (MTW).
I have been working in Brunei Darussalam as a Full time Paediatric Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) in Ace Creative Special Needs Centre and SLP Consultant in La Vida since January 2012 till December 2013. I believe each child is unique and they have different needs. So, I usually encourage parents, caretakers and even the child’s personal learning assistant if any, to work the activities simultaneously with me, to reach the targeted goals and also to meet the child’s needs. I am really thankful to “God” to give me an opportunity to work as a team at The Learning Connection.

Thinesh Samuel A/LJohn Samuel
Behaviour Therapist


I obtained a BSc (Hons) Double Major in Psychology & HR Management and was awarded the Dean List from University of Upper Iowa in the United States. I gathered a lot of valuable experienced in taking care of children with Dyslexia, Global Developmental Delay, and Autism from a wide range of the spectrum – mild to severe autism. I worked with kids from ages 4 years old up to 25 years old young adults. I have been in this industry with over 7 years of experience gaining knowledge and training. I also furthered my studies and training under supervision by highly qualified ABA Consultants from Hong Kong and Singapore throughout my early years in practice. During my years providing ABA therapy, I earned many acknowledgements from parents and teachers alike. I apply flexible and natural approach of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) which is child centred and is catered for each kid differently.

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Apart from that, I have attended training and program courses in Singapore and Malaysia that cover topics related to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques, Anxiety and Behaviour management. I am currently undergoing training in the field of Child development.

Yew Wei Ching
Speech therapist


The resilience people with disabilities (PWD) to face difficulties and be proud of their accomplishments no matter how small has made an effect on my decision to be a speech-language pathologist. Graduating from University of Science, Malaysia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science (Speech Pathology), I started my career in a small home school centre where I helped children with learning disabilities and difficulties to thrive in their education. Shortly after that, I was called to government service where I was given the opportunity to treat patients of all ages and disorders for more than 6 years.

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My passion towards school-age individuals grew when I met parents who were distraught that their children/ teenagers were not getting the communication support they needed in school or in the hospital and were left to their own devices on how to help their children/ teenagers. That led me to leave the government service to TLC, where I can be of help within the school setting to give students the communication support they need. I believe that ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’ and therefore work closely with parents and teachers to give a wholistic approach to helping the students on their communication journey