Understand Neurodiversity

School of Psychology Hosts a Special Session With J8 Autism Athletics
The School of Psychology (SoP) at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) recently hosted a special meet-and-greet session with J8 Autism Athletics on June 10th, 2024. J8 Autism Athletics is a pioneering organisation specialising in providing sports programmes for neurodivergent children.

This impactful event was organised by Ms Dhevaania C Gendsen, Psychology Lecturer. The guest speaker was Mr Joel Anthony, the founder of J8 Autism Athletics, who facilitated this unique opportunity for APU students.

Mr Joel Anthony, the founder of J8 Autism Athletics, facilitated a special meet-and-greet session with APU psychology students.
The session provided a platform for APU psychology students to gain exposure to different disciplines within the field. They engaged in fun and interactive activities, learning first-hand about sports' positive impact on neurodivergent kids.

Mr Joel Anthony (2nd from the right) shared valuable insights with SoP lecturers (from left) - Dr Zhooriyati Sehu Mohamad, Mr Jaff Choong Gian Yong; and Ms Dhevaania C Gendsen (right).
Mr Joel shared valuable insights into their specialised approach, emphasising the importance of tailored sports programmes in promoting physical and mental well-being for children on the autism spectrum.
APU students had an enriching experience, participating in various activities and interacting with the children and staff from J8 Autism Athletics. The session not only broadened their understanding of neurodiversity but also highlighted the critical role of sports in fostering inclusion and development.

Additionally, SoP will announce new internship opportunities with J8 Autism Athletics. These internships will offer APU students hands-on experience working with neurodivergent children, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting.

Interns will have the chance to assist in designing and implementing sports programmes, conducting research on the benefits of physical activity for neurodivergent individuals, and contributing to the overall mission of promoting inclusion through sports.

The placement of internships will be invaluable for students aspiring to work in fields related to neurodiversity, sports psychology, or child development. They provide a unique opportunity to develop essential skills, gain professional experience, and make a meaningful impact in the lives of neurodivergent children.

APU extends its heartfelt thanks to Mr Joel and the J8 Autism Athletics team for their inspiring visit and for opening doors to these new opportunities. This event has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on APU students and reinforced the importance of diverse approaches in psychology.

In this group picture rounding up the meet-and-greet session, Mr Joel Anthony (centre), the founder of J8 Autism Athletics was flanked by Ms Dhevaania C Gendsen (front row, 2nd from the left), Dr Zhooriyati Sehu Mohamad (front row, second from the right), and students from the APU School of Psychology.
Judeana Emmanuelle Kc Sathasivam, a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology student, opined, “The session overall was very interesting and highly informative. Mr Joel, the speaker, was both thorough and passionate in his presentation, which made it easier for me to grasp the context of what he was talking about.”

Her coursemate, Ashwathy Sathish, concurred, “The meet-and-greet with Mr Joel from the J8 Academy was very informative, all the while being very interactive and interesting. Being a psychology student, this meet-and-greet provided a lot of insights about what we can expect from J8 Academy in terms of getting hands-on knowledge in the field of psychology. We thank APU and J8 Academy for organising this great opportunity to gain more information, which will be very helpful for our internships as well.”