About Us

Passionate team dedicated to helping people live purposeful, dignified lives.

Our goal is to give our students a great future

Our Story

Max was working at an international special needs school and became aware of the lack of employment opportunities for adults here in Bangkok. Max and Uang had been working together to provide work experience opportunities for people with special needs at Uang’s coffee shop and cafe (Theera), as well as at various market stalls.

Seeing the positive outcomes of this fuelled us to do better and create an accredited service with more options for the trainees and in an environment which can begin to evoke change in society by demonstrating what these amazing people are capable of achieving. We met Yim shortly after we opened who quickly became an invaluable member of the team, and has played a huge hand in creating the training centre we have today.

The three of us are incredibly committed to this project, with Uang’s young son and Max’s younger brother both on the autism spectrum, it truly gives us that personal connection. Every member of our team is passionate about what we are working towards at Steps with Theera; we are very much a family here.

Our extended family is growing as more people connect with us and we have other businesses willing to offer employment opportunities to our trainees once they have completed our programme. For us, that is the ultimate aim; providing fulfilling employment which enables people with special needs to be independent and contribute to their community.

Our Team

Max Simpson

Founder – PG CERT Special Educational Needs Coordination, MA Special Educational Needs & Inclusion

About Max

I have been working with young people with special needs for the past 10 years and it continues to be my passion.

Originally from the UK, I have worked in a variety of settings including learning support departments and with young people in care. I then went on to focus on transition to employment before moving to Bangkok and becoming deputy head of a special needs school.

After working there for 4 years, I saw the gap between education and employment and the need for transition services for people with special needs. I am one of the founders of Steps with Theera.

What I love about Steps: It is more than a training centre or coffee shop, it is a safe community space for all which promotes individuality. The community we work with have so many skills to offer and I love seeing them get the opportunity to do that in our real work environments.

Uang Hotrakitya

Founder & Pastry Chef – BA and MA in International Relations, Diploma in Patisserie and Thai Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School

About Uang

I have always loved baking and I definitely have a sweet tooth myself!

After studying at Le Cordon Bleu as a Patisserie Chef I decided to start selling my cakes via Facebook. Soon after, I found out my son who has autism, had a gluten allergy. I quickly realised it is really difficult to buy allergen free foods, especially desserts, so I decided to specialise in gluten free and dairy free baking.

Since then I have opened 3 branches of Theera, a gluten free and vegan bakery (www.theerahealthybakeroom.com) and now I am very dedicated to our new project, Steps with Theera.

Providing employment opportunities for young adults with special needs is a topic close to my heart and something that is lacking in Bangkok. I am excited to see the many positive outcomes for our students and help them step towards a more independent and fulfilling future.

Sasipha Minchainant

BSc Psychology MSc Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Psychological Practice

About Sasipha

I found my interest in developmental psychology when three of my middle school classmates were children with special needs.

With a supportive environment from an inclusive school, I saw the different ways my friends interacted to the world and their ability to go beyond expectations. I pursued my passion in young people’s psychological growth through my higher education and career.

What I love about Steps: I believe in the vision of being an inclusive community, starting within a small coffee shop. With hands-on experience in a real-life working environment and collaborative support from staff, I can actually see the positive changes happening among all Steps trainees, which is the most rewarding part of my job.

Pear Chainares

M.Sc. Mental Health

About Pear

Working with individuals with special needs has continuously been my passion since I was inspired by an amazing boy with learning differences 6 years ago in a piano class.

Having received M.Sc. in Mental Health and certification in applied behavior analysis, I have provided behavioral therapy and special education to children and young people at a special learning center and in a school environment.

Now at Steps with Theera, I continue to work with my favourite people, facilitating and coaching them in all the functional skills they need for living, and for making their dream jobs come true.

What I love about Steps: Not just friends, not just trainees and job coaches, here at Steps we are ‘family’ who are always ready to accept, understand and support each other.

Kik

Junior Job Coach – Bachelor of Social Work Program

About Kik

I am passionate about working with young people so I had decided to work as a volunteer teacher after I graduated from university. In addition, I worked at a small school in a Hill Tribe village. After working there for 4 months, I wanted to further my experience by working with young adults with special needs and decided to join at Steps.

What I love about Steps:
Steps is more than my workplace, it is a place that I call “home” and the people here are a pleasure to work with and make it enjoyable to come to work.

Nat Eiamsataporn

Job Coach – MA in Special and Inclusive Education

About Nat

My passion for special educational needs originated when I volunteered at a non-profit organization for children with special needs. From that time onwards, I have been working in special educational needs school and hospitals in Bangkok.

In addition, together with a team of special educational needs teachers, I have recently established a social enterprise call “Unpuzzle” promoting awareness and education equality for children with special needs. It is a career that I truly love.

What I love about working at Steps: It is a place where all trainees can shine and show society how awesome they are!

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