Mother’s Day is a time to honour the incredible women around us who seamlessly juggle work and motherhood, who make sacrifices and who perpetually put their families ahead of themselves.
This year, we are shining the spotlight on a mum who is doing everything not just for her two kids who suffer from rare disorders, but also for other children and their families who are struggling.
Samantha Tang was only 13 when she decided that she wanted to work with children with special needs after a volunteering stint at a family service centre opened her eyes to the challenges these individuals and their families faced. After working with various disabled communities in her youth, Tang realised that there was a great need in the community.
“The experience opened my eyes to the societal gaps and the challenges that different families were facing. It also showed me the resilience and sacrifices that parents and caregivers make and I just knew that there was so much more that could be done for them,” Tang shared candidly.
This was what initially drew her to the field of psychology. Tang completed her degree in Science at the University of Melbourne before going on to do a Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) at the University of Sydney and a Master’s degree in special education and teaching at the University of Sheffield.
Upon graduating, Tang started her career as a psychologist at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital before joining various private clinics that helped children with special needs.
Over her two decades in clinical practice, Tang amassed incredible knowledge about handling children with a wide range of developmental challenges and learnt how to assess and diagnose developmental problems as well as how to prepare reports to get children placed in special education schools.
This education is exactly what Tang credits when she was able, later in life, to notice that something was amiss with her eldest son.
“I have three children. My eldest is Samuel, who was born in 2009. Then there’s Caleb, who unfortunately passed away at 22 weeks in 2011 due to massive heart issues that the doctors could not resolve safely,” Tang shared. “I delivered him and sadly he passed away about five minutes later,” she said before admitting that the traumatic incident has given her nightmares since.
“Thankfully and to my immense joy, I got pregnant again shortly after we recovered from the loss of Caleb and I gave birth to my youngest son, Joshua, in 2012,” she continued.