Thursday, 11 May 2017

Exceptional people: Retired Minds chief Keh Eng Song is a surrogate father to 2,400 beneficiaries

After 10 years of steering the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds), chief executive officer Keh Eng Song retires.

Under Mr Keh's leadership, Minds now operates four special schools, three employment centres, three residential homes and six day-activity centres.

Keh Eng Song is credited by helping those with mental disabilities become more independent.


Autistic people are sharper at processing information

A group of friends are sitting in the garden chatting - but only one of them hears the ice-cream van in the distance.

That person is autistic. He is also able to hear the buzzing of electricity in the walls and, sometimes, finds it overwhelming to be in a very noisy environment.

Our most recent work, published in Cognition, suggests why that might be the case. People on the autistic spectrum can take in more sounds at any given moment, compared with non-autistic people.

Over the past few years, there has been a growing awareness that sensory experiences are different in autism.

There are many reports of autistic people doing better than non-autistic people in visual and auditory tasks.

Read the full article @

Forum: Don't panic, plastic and styrofoam packaging are OK

Fears regarding adverse chemical reactions between hot water or soup and disposable polystyrene and plastic cups and bowls are misplaced (Enact law to ban plastic and styrofoam takeaway packaging, by Mr Joe Teo Kok Seah; May 5).

The Cancer Research UK website stated that even in experiments where plastic bottles are heated as high as 60 deg C for many hours, the levels of chemicals that moved into food and drink were far under levels that are considered unsafe.

In addition, it noted that there is no good evidence that bisphenol-A (BPA) can cause cancer in people. The European Food Safety Authority did a full scientific review of BPA and concluded there was no health risk.

Several years ago, the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety conducted a study to assess the safety and suitability of instant cup-noodle containers (in which the noodles are cooked in boiling water). These containers are mainly made of polyethylene-coated paper, expanded polystyrene/foam polystyrene and polypropylene plastic.

It concluded that under proper usage, these containers are unlikely to cause food safety problems.

In view of these, it would not be prudent for extreme reactions such as a ban on plastic and styrofoam takeaway food packages.

It is worth noting that many paper products used to package food are laminated with polyethylene or chemicals that contain fluoride, and are thus no different from plastic and styrofoam in their impact on health.

Of far greater concern is the effect of non-biodegradable food packaging on our environment.

Amy Loh Chee Seen


You may want to read Caterpillar eats plastic

14-year-old boy had STROKE but being sporty saved his life

Alex Doran and his mother

A 14-year-old boy who thought he had a headache was actually having a stoke.

Alex Doran from Salisbury in Wiltshire collapsed at home while getting dressed for school.

He felt a sharp pain his head, his eyes were rolling and he began vomiting.

Baffled hospital doctors first diagnosed him with a migraine but an MRI scan showed he had a narrow artery in his neck which caused a stroke.

They believe club swimmer Alex only survived because he was physically fit.