Smilestones is a collaboration between Ms.Mythili Chengapa, In country - Operational Partner and Mrs.Radhika Poovayya, Overseas - Expertise Partner. Smilestones was born out of a sheer need for quality Autism related services in the country.
Having come across many students on the Autism Spectrum, and feeling the need for an effective therapy of International Standards that we could vouch for ourselves. Thus, Smilestones came into existence in March of 2019.
Founder & CEO
Ms. Mythili Chengapa, a mum of 2 young boys, personally involved in the process of parenting and the challenges that come with it. On the professional front as part of the Management Team at an International Kindergarten for 5 years, it constantly felt like there were very limited options to help these children, their parents and the teachers - who without a specialist's help, were struggling to make progress with the child's learning. This sparked a genuine interest to find solutions to make this journey easier for all those concerned.
The answer was to find the best resources and try to bring International Standard services to Cambodia. One that could be relied on to see results.
"Having lived in Cambodia for 9 years, I have grown to love the people, the culture the language and am immensely grateful for all that Cambodia has given me. To be able to provide this service here, as well as to be able to bring awareness and answer the many questions parents may have, in their own language has been a truly fulfilling experience. Helping families improve the quality of their lives through ABA led strategies, one step at a time has given Team Smilestones many reasons to persevere towards making ABA a preferred choice for families looking to help their child achieve their unique potential."
Expertise Director (SLP/BCBA)
Ms. Radhika Poovayya is a Speech Language Pathologist & Behaviour Analyst [SLP | BCBA] with a Masters in Behaviour Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology, USA. And is Certified by the US Board of Behaviour Analysts. In the year 2002 she Established ‘Samvaad - Centre for Speech Therapy & ABA services in Bangalore, India. By 2005, she founded Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing, an NGO for children and adults with speech and hearing disabilities. The institute also conducts graduate and postgraduate programs in speech and hearing science.
As the first professional across South East Asia, to be dually qualified both as an SLP & as a BCBA, she was the top pick for the job. Her unmissable passion and sheer determination to make the lives of these children better by not just approaching Autism via a pure Speech route, but to couple it with the Science of behaviour as well, is testament to her deep understanding and commitment to this field.
"After 18 years of working as an SLP, and realising its limitations in helping children with autism and behaviour problems , I was excited to learn ABA. Once I completed my education and training in ABA, I was eager to spread the knowledge and help families across borders. Hence, when Mythili contacted me with a proposal to start a centre in Phnom Penh, I jumped at the prospect of all the posibilities.
The past three years has been rewarding and we have brought learning and joy to many children under our care
we hope to continue to provide world class services for families in Cambodia."