Mr. Dai Ruming, Deputy Minister of Social Work of the Liaison Office of Macao, accompanied by the staff of the Liaison Office of Hong Kong, led more than 30 workers from Macao’s social welfare institutions to visit Hong Kong and visited Heep Hong Society Integrated Service Complex on March 9.
More than 30 people visited the spa pool, special child care center, The Supportive Learning Creative Fun World and the STAR Cafe successively. They expressed their appreciation for the design concept of the new building, one-stop service concept, professional training strategies and teaching materials. Hope to strengthen the contact and cooperation with the Heep Hong Society in the future.
In response to the annual "Autism Concern Day" (April 2) and the "World Autism Awareness Day" in Hong Kong (the first week of April), Heep Hong Society held 10 consecutive days from the end of March. This is a small exhibition of “Autism in Love”. For the first time, we partnered with the popular comic character "Din-dong" to present the typical characteristics of autistic people to the public through humorous comics, so that the difficulties they will encounter when falling in love will make everyone Recognize the uniqueness of autism.
Survey: Nearly 70% Autistic Young People Long for Romance while Communication Difficulties become their biggest obstacle
Heep Hong Society won the Gold Award for the first time in the website stream of Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme. Jointly organised by The Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (“HKIRC”), The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (“OGCIO”), and the Equal Opportunities Commission (“EOC”), the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme recognises organisations that strive to strengthen their digital channels of the Internet and Mobile app services accessible to all, especially people with disabilities and other difficulties.
Through the web-based accessibility technology, we can further optimize the browsing experience of our website and make it easier for people in need to search for relevant information. We will continue to support the barrier-free culture and work together to create a harmonious society for children, youth and families in need.
The 26th Great Chefs of Hong Kong, Heep Hong Society's annual philanthropic initiative that raises funds for children with special needs, was successfully held last Monday (6 May 2019) at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. More than 1,000 guests enjoyed an international selection of culinary delights and wine from almost 50 of the city's top hotels, restaurants, and beverage suppliers whilst supporting the charity's initiative.
With over 100 dishes available from nearly 50 of Hong Kong's favourite dining destinations, guests experienced another year of excellent gastronomy thanks to the Great Chefs of Hong Kong. The Great Chefs of Hong Kong remains a prominent event on the calendars of local foodies. In addition to savouring the signature dishes by the city's great chefs, patrons participated in a lucky draw and a raffle as well as generously supported the charity sale of greeting cards that were hand painted by Heep Hong Society's children and young people. All proceeds go directly to the Society's Parents Resource Centres, which provides important resources and support to over 4,000 children, young people and their families.
The website of Heep Hong Society is happily awarded the "Gold Award", the highest award in the "Non-Commercial-Corporate Category" by the "Best .hk Website Awards 2019" organized by Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited.
A total of nearly 350 organizations participated in this competition. The judging items include the overall design and operation of the website, interactive input, the effective use of social media and accessible web pages. Our website is dedicated to providing different service information for children, teenagers and their families with special needs.
The 56th issue of Heep Hong Express will meet you with a refreshed image! In this first issue, we explore what it means to“Let Children Shine”. Two parents of Heep Hong Society share how they helped their children reach their full potential. "SEN Kit" gives you four strategies on how to help children adapt to primary school life quickly. In "Conversations", illustrator Ahko discusses how he uses picture books to bond with his son.
Heep Hong Express will be published twice a year starting from this issue and we will bring you a diverse selection of feature articles. As part of our eco-friendly efforts, Heep Hong Express is also available online, you are welcome to subscribe to our Heep Hong Express magazine as well as Heep Hong Focus monthly newsletter by subscribing to our latest news. Welcome to subscribe to our latest news for free.
Heep Hong Society's 2017-2018 Annual Report won the Bronze Award in the "Non-Profit Organization-Social Service Organization" category at the 33rd International ARC Awards. The International ARC Annual Report Awards is the largest annual report competition in the world and is known as the "Oscar" award in the annual report competition. The judging committee is composed of companies and organizations from all over the world. The judging scope includes: design ideas, the chairman's words, text expressions, and the use of photos.
Winning the International ARC Annual Report Award is not only the first time the Society has won an award in the annual report competition, it also proves that the annual report of the Society reaches international standards. The Communication Department team will continue to inject innovative ideas, produce better annual reports, and show the outside world the efforts and achievements of the past year.
To help those children and teenagers with ADHD in the community, we have specially implemented the "ADHD School Children and Youth Support Programme". A cross-professional team trains the executive ability of children and teenagers with ADHD. To promote ADHD knowledge for school teachers, train parenting skills for parents, and reduce parental pressure.
At the same time, it also raises public awareness of ADHD to reduce misunderstandings and prejudices. The plan recently participated in the "Hong Kong Top Ten Quality Social Service Program Election 2019" organized by the "Lion Club International Hong Kong and Macao 303". After two rounds of interviews, it finally stood out and won the Hong Kong Top Ten Quality Social Service Award, affirming its society contribution.
The new school opened by the Association in Kwai Fong, Heep Hong Society Healthy Kids Nursery School, officially opened!
The new school provides half-day and full-time high-quality early childhood education for three to six-year-old children. Montessori teaching is adopted to enable children to develop in a balanced manner in terms of morals, intelligence, physical fitness, group and beauty.
Our new school provides Nursery , lower KG and upper KG. The number of students in each class is no more than 30, and the teacher-student ratio is 1:11, giving students more opportunities to interact with teachers and improving teaching efficiency. In addition, in order to do integrated education, the new school is expected to accept 5-10% of students with special needs. The new school enrolls throughout the year, please call 3705 2251 for details.
The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi Kwong, and the Deputy Director, Tsui Ying Wai, visited the Lei Yue Mun Centre. They visited the special child care centre and early education and training centre service operation, and also interacted with the school children. They also learned about the training of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Finally, they exchanged views with many parents and co-workers on the development of special services.
At the exchange meeting, some parents reported that the waiting time for preschool evaluation was too long, and it was recommended to refer to the form of medical vouchers to allow children with special needs to receive early assessment services. In addition, many parents also hope that the government can increase professional training and add Special Educational Needs (SEN) After school support services for elementary school students and SPA autistic support center. It is hoped that the Government will respond and implement the relevant measures as soon as possible after listening to and collecting opinions from various parties.
Our Physiotherapist Team joined forces with the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University to conduct research and found that Endermotherapy helps children with cerebral palsy and muscular developmental delay stretch their limbs to a larger degree with more prominent lasting effects and less pain compared with traditional methods.
The Society initiated the “Support Programme for Children with Autism” in the New Territories East to provide speech therapy for children, workshops and consultation services for parents. The programme was further rolled out to the New Territories West, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon regions to offer instant help to over 500 families of children with autism in Hong Kong.
The Physiotherapist Team joined hands with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to launch a subsidised support programme in five mainstream primary schools in September to provide early identification, training and education for students with motor coordination difficulties.
The Star Programme was launched in 12 primary and secondary schools in the New Territories East under the auspices of the Education Bureau and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The three-year programme, encompassing group training, after-class activities and individual education plans for students with autism, and consultation and training services, is considered to be the most comprehensive project in support of autistic students in mainstream schools.
The occupational therapist team, invited by the Macau Occupational Therapists Association, gave a workshop on the Hong Kong Preschool Fine Motor Developmental Assessment (HK-PFMDA) in Macau in January 2010 to help local practitioners enhance their understanding and application of the assessment tools.
Ms Kimberly Barthel, a highly acclaimed expert in neurodevelopment and sensory processing intervention from Canada, delivered two advanced courses on autism and sensory processing for over 100 therapists of the Society in April 2010.
The Society collaborated with the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) in developing two academic programmes ─ “Higher Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Special Educational Needs)” and ‘Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education (Special Educational Needs)’ in September. Both programmes were recognised by the Social Welfare Department as equivalent to the one-year in-service course in special child care work. Graduates of the degree programmes will be considered as meeting the Education Bureau’s academic entry qualification for kindergarten principals. The Special Education Scholarship Fund, sponsored by ‘Joseph Lau Luen-hung Charitable Trust’, was set up to offer scholarship awards and practicum opportunities for in-service child workers as well as study awards for parent members of the Society.
The Society furthered the accomplished READ & WRITE project with another 3-year sponsorship by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Commencing in September 2011 to extend support to more pre-school children vulnerable to dyslexia.
The Society was funded by the Community Chest of Hong Kong to prepare pre-school students with specific learning difficulties for primary school life from September.
After seven years of clinical experience, the DIR/Floortime research and development team published Enjoying Floortime: Social Interaction Training Package and conducted a workshop for nearly 400 special education teachers, therapists, social workers, psychologists and parents.
In March, the Society set up the Children Training Fund to marshal public donations with the goal of sustaining its social-communication, social adaptation and professional training services to deprived children with autism or other special needs.
Wan Tsui Centre in Chai Wan acquired a new wing of over 4,000 square feet in May and increased its training capacity by 24 children to 84. The centre served another 100 children on the waiting list through the Supportive Learning Project.
The Guide to Enhancing Children’s Self-care Abilities and The Finger Fun Activity Guide─134 Fine Motor Exercises for Children, were first of the parenting book series published in partnership with Sing Tao Publishing Ltd. The Society also developed the game CD-ROM The Wonderful Learning Tour, The Booklet on Easy Stretching and The Fun with Vocabulary Learning Series.
The Society delegated a multi-disciplinary team to the U.K. in November to learn about the application of the SCERTS Model. On the basis of TEACCH, the Society piloted the SCERTS Model at four centres and obtained remarkable results.
The Society joined forces with ESF, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, The University of Hong Kong and The Child Development Centre to organise the 2012 Autism Summit in March. Autism Speaks and the experts of the World Health Organization were invited to discuss ideas on “Investing in our Future: The Economic Costs of Autism”. The Society presented the findings of the first survey on the stress level of the parents of children with autism in Hong Kong conducted in collaboration with The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The survey aroused public awareness.
The Society provided individual training to 300 children who received assistance from the “Training Subsidy for Children who are on the Waiting List of Subvented Pre-school Rehabilitation Services” programme of The Community Care Fund at 24 service units in March.
The Honourable Mrs Carrie Lam, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration, led the Commission on Poverty to visit the Mary Wong Centre in August. Mrs Lam and the Commission met with the Chairperson and more than 20 members of the Heep Hong Parents’ Association to discuss the wishes and demands of the parents of children with special needs.
The Society’s family support project “Promoting Positive Life Attitudes among Families with Special Needs Children” was honoured with the Silver Award in 2012 Asian Award for Advancing Family Well-Being in recognition of its innovative approach to support families with special needs children against life challenges. As part of our broader efforts to build thriving families, beginning in August, the Society implemented the one-year programme entitled “Positive Family, Happy Life” in 24 centres with sponsorship from Eu Yang Sang Charitable Foundation.
The Society opened 3 new service units. With sponsorship from the Manulife Charitable Foundation, the Society opened the Manulife Children’s Resources Cenntre in Lam Tin in May. The centre offers multiple services as part of the Supportive Learning Project. With the support from the Soroptimist International of Hong Kong, the Society refurbished a shop site in the Pak Tin Estate into a training unit for wait-listed children. In collaboration with the UMP Healthcare Group, the Society established the Jordan Child Health & Development Centre for the expansion of the Supportive Learning Project, providing psychological and speech therapy services for children with special needs. Together, the three new service units support 1,000 special needs children and their families a year.
The speech therapists of the Society launched the first iPad application ─LetSTalk. It was designed to help children with autism express their needs and integrate into the community, and awarded the “Best Digital Inclusion (Product / Application) Certificate of Merit” in Hong Kong ICT Awards 2013 held by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
Under the sponsorship of Eu Yan Sang Charitable Foundation, the “Support Programme for Prospective Primary One Students with Autism” was launched to help children and their parents better adapt to primary schools.
The Society published six Activity Guides for Pre-school Education to help teachers gain full understanding of the leaning basics and enhance the development of children, with or without developmental delay, in six core aspects through 3,300 daily activities. Three seminars were held to introduce the publications, attracting over 800 teachers and parents.
The Occupational Therapy Team also launched the first pre-writing training iPad application–The Pre-writing Fun Journey.
In response to the mounting demand for services, the Society moved from its office at Tai Hang Tung Estate for over 20 years to G Tower at Naug Tau Kok. The expansion of Supportive Learning Project’s Tai Hang Tung Centre was completed with a sensory integration room, a Pre-school Training Unit and more individual assessment/treatment rooms for various professionals to serve more children in the queue.
The Society held the “50th Anniversary Seminar on Autism: Recent Advances in Knowledge and Intervention” in April. Internationally distinguished speakers were invited to share the latest research development and training strategies of autism with 600 participants. The Society also unveiled the first Hong Kong norms for evaluating the behaviours and development of autistic children and their normal counterparts, which add to the validity of the Revised Edition of the Chinese Psycho-educational Profile (Third Edition), making it more reliable than the U.S. edition in local application. On the same occasion, The Training Package for Autistic Children (New Edition)was launched by the Society to enhance the abilities of children with autism through a holistic approach.
The Society published Hope Stories, the first local parent self-help booklet based on the hope theory with 13 real family stories, to help thousands of families overcome life challenges.
Based on the data collected from 997 children aged 3-8 in 2011-12, the Occupational Therapy Team established the norms of sensory processing and self-regulation performance of children in Hong Kong, and published The Sensory Processing and Self-regulation Checklist (SPSRC) and User Manual to facilitate occupational therapists to carry out assessment and formulate intervention for children in need.
The “Centre-based Support Scheme for Pre-school Children at-risk of Dyslexia” of the “READ & WRITE: A Jockey Club Learning Support Network” won Golden Award in the “2013 Best Practice Awards in Social Welfare” presented by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service in recognition of its outstanding contribution towards building an inclusive community.
The Society published Workplace Stories of Autistic Youths, a collection of workplace stories shared by autistic youths, to deepen public understating of their characteristics, strengths and needs.
In April, the Society announced the findings of the “Survey on the Training Expenditure on Children with Autism” and urged the government to adopt corresponding measures to relieve the psychological and financial pressure of the parents of autistic children.
Computer-aided intervention software developed by the Society won local and global awards. The I-Move-to-Learn game DVD developed by the physiotherapists of the Society beat 461 entries from 160 countries in the “World Summit Award 2013” to win “The WSA Global Champion 2013” in the “e-Health & Environment” category. It was honoured for its innovative ways to help children with motor developmental problems. It was the first time this prestigious award went to a project from the Greater China Region. It also won the “Best Digital Inclusion (Product/ Application) Bronze Award” in Hong Kong ICT Awards 2013 presented by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
In collaboration with RTHK Radio 1, the Society launched the “Family Affairs: Supportive Learning” series with 4 episodes to deliver positive parenting messages.
A new advertising campaign was rolled out to promote understanding and acceptance of children with autism. The famous actor, Mr Chan Kam Hung, and his family gave their full support and made appearances in the advertisement, drawing overwhelming responses from the wider community. Roving exhibitions were held at a number of shopping malls to further deepen public understanding of autism.
The Society held the Golden Jubilee Charity Dinner at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, in May to celebrate its 50th Anniversary and raise funds for the Children Training Fund to support the children with special needs coming from low-income families on the government waiting list for preschool training.
The Society collaborated with the Open University of Hong Kong again to develop the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Early Childhood Education: Leadership and Special Educational Needs) for training early childhood educators. The five core courses, all designed by our experienced educational psychologists and therapists, are namely “Early Assessment and Intervention”, “Supporting Young Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders”, “Teaching Pre-school Children at Risk of Dyslexia”, “Language Delay and Training”, and “Characteristics, Assessment and Management of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Tendencies in Early Childhood.”
For more systemic sharing of professional knowledge and training strategies with practitioners and parents, Heep Hong Society consolidated its resources to establish the Academy for Professional Education and Development (APED). The inauguration ceremony was held on 15 November with Miss Annie Tam, Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare, as the officiating guest. On the same occasion, APED held the Seminar on “Early Intervention and Integrated Support Identification and Support for Kindergarten Students with Special Educational Needs”. Dr Maggie Koong, World President of the World Organization for Early Childhood Education, shared her views on the international trends in support services for special needs children at kindergarten, while the professional team of the Society elaborated on practical methods to identify and support those children.
Our cross-disciplinary teams developed an impressive range of resources, including Sports Training for Lower Primary Students with Autism, Infinity Star Academy: A Storybook on Integrated Education, Parent Manual on Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Guide to Enhancing Children's Self-Care Skills (English/Urdu/Nepali versions). These resources serve to provide parents and teachers with effective and interesting training methods; and promote peer understanding and acceptance.
A new Early Education and Training Centre was established in Yau Lai Estate in Yau Tong in November offering 96 places.
42 and 15 more places were added in Wan Tsui Centre and Cheung Ching Centre in September respectively. Wan Tsui Centre now offers special child care services too.
Pak Tin Centre was relocated to Shui Tin House in Pak Tin Estate and Catherine Lo Centre in Sandy Bay was moved to a temporary site in Wah Fu Estate in March. The opening ceremony was held in December with Ms Carol Yip Man-kuen, JP, Director of Social Welfare, as the officiating guest.
Director of the Society led a delegation consisting of 12 local practitioners to Singapore. The team visited various government departments and special education institutions and exchanged views on integrated education and support models for pre-school special needs children with the local government representatives, professionals and academics. In April, representatives of the Ministry of Social and Family Development of Singapore visited centres of the Society to further discuss the rehabilitation services in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Society jointly organised the 50th Anniversary Conference on “Enhancing Inner Strength: New Service Direction in Helping Children with Childhood Developmental Disorders and their Families” with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in March. The event and its eight concurrent workshops attracted an audience of over 1,000 people, with which world-acclaimed academics and professionals shared their latest findings. On the five days following the Conference, fundamental and advanced courses were held in which Ms Emily Rubin, a co-founder of the SCERTS Model, further illustrated the assessment and training methodology of the model. Another speaker Dr Larissa G Duncan also delivered a two-day workshop on mindfulness and parenting for more than 50 seasoned psychologists and social workers
Professional teams initiated to develop interactive software as complementary training tools. The ADHD Hero app helps children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder improve executive functions including inhibition of behavioural responses and the ability to plan and organise. The Problem Solving Kit app and the Happy Community app train the problem-solving and adaptation skills of children with developmental disorders. The Pre-writing Fun Journey app won the “Best Digital Inclusion (Product/Application) Certificate of Merit” in Hong Kong ICT Awards 2014 for helping children of different abilities prepare for the development of handwriting skills.
Heep Hong Parents’ Association played an active role in voicing out parents” concerns. It liaised with multiple parent associations, academic institutions, members of the Legislative Council and related authorities to improve the support services and career prospects of autistic youth. In May, members of the Association and their children were invited to visit Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Secretary for Administration, at her official residence. They shared their child-rearing challenges and views on existing services and policies.
Heep Hong Society provided school-based support at 18 kindergartens and found that after receiving one year of support services from the Society’s “READ & WRITE: A Jockey Club Learning Support Network”, the 300-plus participating children at risk of dyslexia showed substantial improvement. 30% of them were no longer identified as at risk of dyslexia, and their ability caught up with their normal peers.
The Society shared its experience and insights in the enhanced edition of The Language Learning Package for Pre-primary Children, which was distributed free of charge to all kindergartens. The complementary Guide to Language Development of Pre-primary Children for Parents was published and made available for parents of children at risk of dyslexia. More than 10 seminars were held for kindergarten principals, teachers and parents with enthusiastic responses.
In the 2013/14 Family-Friendly Employers Award Scheme organised by the Family Council, the Society outcompeted nearly 2,000 contestants and became one of the winners of the Distinguished Family-Friendly Employer Award.
Elephant Parade donated 1,700 small elephant statues to the Society for children painting, and auctioned off the elephant statue painted by movie star Mr and Mrs Donnie Yen with net proceeds to the Society. The elephant statues painted were displayed in Citiplaza, Phase 1 as a call for public understanding and acceptance of children with developmental disorders.
The “Holistic Employment Support Scheme for High-functioning Adolescents and Young Adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders” was launched to help autistic youth lead an independent life. Running into its sixth year, the “Pre-job Training for Autistic Youths” project held juggling and magic classes to equip autistic youth with job skills for self-employment. Both Island and Kowloon Shangri-La also organised “Career Talk for Autistic Youths” to acquaint participants with the hospitality industry.
A seminar on autism was co-organised with Fuhong Society of Macau and Macau Autism Association and met with enthusiastic responses with famous artists Mr and Mrs Chan Kam Hung joining in with more than 400 parents, residents, government officials and fellow practitioners.
A two-year project “Early Intervention and Integrated Support for Kindergarten Students with SEN” was launched to provide holistic-school-based support including curriculum design and teaching training for 10 kindergartens and individual training for participating children at its centres, amounting to a stepped-up effort to shorten the children’s waiting time.
Heep Hong Society initiated the “Timely Intervention for Underprivileged Families with SEN Children” project to provide 100 pre-school children from the sandwich class, who cannot benefit from the Training Subsidy for Pre-school Children with Disabilities of the government (with reference to 75% of the Median Monthly Domestic Household Income), with affordable intervention until they are admitted to subvented services. This service relieved pressure on the sandwich class.
Having reviewed the future development plans and consulted stakeholders, the Society has formulated new vision, mission and core values to manifest the aspiration and commitment of the Society to respond to the times and demand for services, and hopes that through concerted efforts, we could create a brighter future for children and youth with diverse needs and their families with all our HEART.
The “Support Programme for Children with Specific Learning Difficulties” achieved spectacular results and once again secured sponsorship from the Community Chest of Hong Kong. During 2014-2016, the programme will offer specific group training and therapies to 260 children who are studying in mainstream primary school but have specific learning difficulties, as well as seminars for parents and teachers.
Under the sponsorship of the Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged, the Society implemented the support programme for ADHD children and youth. The final activity of the Programme—“Inter-school Brain Potential Challenge” showed the great improvements of the students.
The Society has provided over 300 places for the “Training Subsidy Programme” to provide training for the Subvented pre-school rehabilitation services.
The launching ceremony of the redevelopment of Catherine Lo Centre was held on 29 March. Officiating at the ceremony were Mr Matthew Cheung, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Bureau and Mr Douglas So, Executive Director of Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Heep Hong Society established the Jockey Club STAR Resource Centre in Oi Man Estate, Homantin in September and held the opening ceremony on 12 December. Officiated by Chief Secretary for Administration Mrs Carrie Lam and Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr Anthony Chow, the new Centre represents a new service model to support individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Hong Kong.
Heep Hong Society collaborated with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Hong Kong to develop the “Happy Parenting” programme—the first evidence-based, local parenting course tailor-made for parents of children with special needs. Heep Hong Society announced the findings of the effectiveness study of the programme on 7 November. According to the findings, this programme significantly alleviated the participants’ parenting stress and their children’s behavioural problems, further improved parenting skills and fostered better parent-child relationship.
Heep Hong Society formed four teams of professionals to join the “Pilot Scheme on On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Services” initiated by the Social Welfare Department. Heep Hong Society was invited to present the effective service model of its “Early Intervention and Integrated Support for Kindergarten Students with Special Educational Needs” project sponsored by the Lee Hysan Foundation at the launch of the Pilot Scheme on 14 November. The Society assembled four teams to participate in the Pilot Scheme.
Heep Hong Society announced the findings of the effectiveness study of the “Early Intervention and Integrated Support for Kindergarten Students with Special Educational Needs” project on 24 October. The study concluded that the dual model, combining school-based support and centre training was effective and have shed light on the future service model for supporting children with SEN.
Chief Secretary for Administration Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor visited New Jade Elementi Kindergarten and Wan Tsui Centre in April to observe the “Early Intervention and Integrated Support for Kindergarten Students with Special Needs” project. She also attended the “Pre-school Special Needs” forum following the visit.
The Special Needs Groups Task Force of the Commission on Poverty, Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare Miss Annie Tam Kam-lan, Director of Social Welfare Ms Carol Yip Man-kuen, Secretary for Education Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, Permanent Secretary for Education Mrs Marion Lai Chan Chi-kuen and Under Secretary for Education Mr Kevin Yeung Yun-hung visited our centres in April and May. They exchanged ideas on preschool education with kindergarten principals, parents and our front-line staff.
Heep Hong Society collaborated with The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) on the provision of top-up face to face mode of academic programme - Bachelor of Education with Honours in Early Childhood Education: Leadership and Special Educational Needs, beginning in September. The programme equips students with professional knowledge and skills in teaching children with special needs through theoretical learning and practical training. The whole programme was written and taught by our experienced psychologists and therapists.
Sponsored by the Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged, Heep Hong Society launched the three-year “After School Tutoring Support for Students with SEN in Mainstream Schools” Programme to provide academic support as well as communication and emotional management training for 240 SEN children of Primary 1 and 2. The after-school support groups offered parents support service to relieve their stress.
The nine-year project “READ & WRITE: A Jockey Club Learning Support Network” was successfully concluded. Since the programme launch in 2006, Heep Hong Society’s team of professionals collaborated with 50 kindergartens and district organisations to help 2,300 children at risk of dyslexia. An effectiveness study showed that, after receiving one year of school-based support services, children achieved significant improvement in their listening, speaking, reading and writing competences.
Under the sponsorship of the Jockey Club Charities Trust and in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Science of the University of Hong Kong and Education Bureau, Heep Hong Society participated in the 3-year project of the “JC A-Connect: Jockey Club Autism Support Network” to support children with ASD at mainstream schools and offered family and community support to assist family members in raising their children.
Under the sponsorship of the Community Chest, Heep Hong Society launched the “Executive Function Training Programme for Children with ADHD” to enhance social communications and self-management skills of children.
Samsung organised the Solve For Tomorrow competition to invite University students to develop apps for children with special educational needs (SEN). Heep Hong Society was one of the strategic partners, participated in the judging process, and co-organised several activities, including a talk by our educational psychologist and a centre visit. The participating students were able to gain a deeper understanding of SEN children’s difficulties and their daily training routines. Moreover, Samsung donated tablets amounting to HK$300,000 provide SEN children with better training facilities.
“Big Feet Playground－Sensory Awareness and Physical Activities for Children 0-3 Years” was published in July. The book was written by pediatric physiotherapists of Heep Hong Society, comprising over 120 home training activities to help infants and toddlers develop their awareness and perception of their seven body senses and motor coordination competences.
Heep Hong Society has adopted the SCERTS Model, an integrated teaching approach for ASD, in all Special Child Care Centres under the sponsorship of Ai You (Hong Kong) Foundation. Children have improved significantly in social communication and emotional regulation through the transactional support of the cross-disciplinary professional teams and parents. Heep Hong Society has organised the “SCERTS Seminar – Essence of Improving Social Communications and Emotional Regulation” on 13 June to introduce the model to the professionals and parents. The “SCERTS Model Implementation Manual” and the mobile apps were also launched to help children regulate their emotions.
Heep Hong Society for the first time participated in “Guangzhou’s International Kid’s Education & Health Expo 2015” and “Guangzhou Children’s Health Forum” in early June to introduce its services, professional courses and teaching materials. The event further strengthened the cooperation between Heep Hong Society and its counterparts in China.
Heep Hong Society’s long-term partner, Mr Frederick Leung, won the Bronze Award in the “International Design Award 2015” Interior Design (Institutional) Category for the relocated Pak Tin Early Education and Training Centre. The Centre was designed with a welcoming city setting surrounded by modern and yet funny transport vehicles. This special design not only provided children with a vibrant learning environment but also instilled the concept of road safety to assist children adapt to community living.
Heep Hong Society and the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Psychology jointly conducted a survey on “Social Activities for Pre-school Autistic Children” among 387 concerned parents at 14 centres. A press conference was held in late March to announce the results. 65% of the respondents worried about taking care of their children, thus reducing children’s chance to adapt to the community.
Partnered with RTHK Radio 1 for a 10-episode series on developmental disorders, in which the professional team explained the causes and characteristics, as well as parents’ sharing on raising up their children with SEN. The programmes were broadcast during March to May.
Yau Lai Centre was officially named Shanghai Fraternity Association Yau Lai Centre on 3 December. It symbolised the partnership between Shanghai Fraternity Association and Heep Hong Society in supporting children and youth with special needs and their families.
The Academy for Professional Education and Development (APED) invited Honorary Lecturer of the University of Manchester cum consultant speech and language therapist Dr Catherine Aldred to present the PACT (Pre-school Autism Communication Therapy) Model and its research findings for the first time in Hong Kong in November. Over 250 professionals attended the seminar.
The “Happy Parenting” programme was honoured with the Gold Award in the 2016 Wofoo Asian Award for Advancing Family Well-Being organised by the Consortium of Institutes on Family in the Asian Region (CIFA).
Heep Hong Society was awarded the Excellence in Collaboration Award and Excellence in Participation Award by the Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged (PFD) directed by the Social Welfare Department for its achievements of having solicited the sponsorship of numerous business partners and run a multitude of service projects.
Director Ms Nancy Tsang was conferred Honorary University Fellowship by The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the professional field of rehabilitation services. For over 30 years, Ms Tsang has devoted herself unstintingly to her profession and established an illustrious career in the sector. Under her leadership, Heep Hong Society has evolved from a small-sized NGO into one of Hong Kong’s leading service providers in the field.
In May, Heep Hong Society opened the Supportive Learning Project Yuen Long Centre in response to the demand for children training in the New Territories.
In September, Heep Hong Society signed a collaboration agreement with OUHK to continue to provide early childhood education programmes and enrichment courses.
Director Ms Nancy Tsang elaborated Heep Hong Society’s pioneering service model for supporting kindergarten students with special needs at the World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP) World Conference in Seoul.
Director Ms Nancy Tsang was invited to attend the 80th anniversary celebration and academic conference of Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital. She shared insights into the early identification of and intervention for children with special needs with medical practitioners.
Heep Hong Society was in active collaboration with tertiary education institutes to conduct research. Five abstracts were submitted to and accepted by the Hong Kong ASD Conference 2016: Supporting Learning and Development organised by the JC A-Connect: Jockey Club Autism Support Network. Three of our educational psychologists spoke at the seminars about on-campus group training and introduced the Happy Parenting programme to fellow professionals in the sector.
The effectiveness study of the “Happy Parenting” programme was published in Issue 56 of the authoritative international journal Research in Developmental Disabilities in June. This was a testament to the professionalism of our programme.
A new advertisement campaign with the theme “Job Opportunities for Autistic Youth” to promote Heep Hong Society’s Star Project, which provides training and employment opportunities for autistic youth, was launched. The advertisement appeared on MTR lines and the Star Ferry pier.
One of the pioneers in implementing the SCERTS Model and Deputy Head teacher of Columbia Grange School, Ms Rosey Walker visited three of our centres in May. She praised Heep Hong Society for the effectiveness in improving the children’s social communication and emotional regulation competences through the SCERTS Model.
The 30-month “Pilot Project on Strengthening Support for Persons with Autism and their Parents/Carers” was launched in April with funding from the Social Welfare Department.
Heep Hong Society and Rotary Club of Tolo Harbour, with the support of 14 mainland organisations, launched an unprecedented community project—the Star Classroom— to provide world-class and evidence-based training for special educators and parents in Guangdong Province. The kick-off ceremony was held on 2nd April at the Guangzhou Library.
Commissioned by the Education Bureau, Heep Hong Society offered the “Professional Development Programme for Kindergarten Teachers on Catering for Learner Diversity” from March to May 2016 and December 2016 to March 2017.
Ms Winnie Fok Wai-fun, wife of Chief Executive of Macao and honorary advisor of Ze Ai Association, visited Wan Chai centre on 18 March with the members of Ze Ai Association to observe the training and operations at the centre.
The physiotherapist team designed the Touch and Swipe” app for parents, teachers and rehabilitation therapists in training children’s physical abilities.
Project PRETERM was launched under the sponsorship of Mead Johnson Nutrition Community Care Scheme. Designed by our team of physiotherapists, Project PRETERM established the first and most comprehensive platform to support premature babies in Hong Kong.
In December, Heep Hong Society reached a cooperation agreement with Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Central China Normal University and Beijing Huanyu Wanwei Technology Co., Ltd. in establishing the first centre of technology and research in pre-school children development.
Our occupational therapist team published the Hong Kong Preschool Fine Motor Screening Test (HK-PFMST) in October, providing an effective set of tools to assess the fine motor development of pre-school children.
The Sandy Bay Early Education and
Training Centre in the Heep Hong Society Integrated Service Complex commenced service in October. Offering 180 places, it is the largest Early Education and Training Centre in Hong Kong.
The speech therapist team revised and published Step by Step: A Guide to Enhancing Autistic Children’s Communication Skills.
The Great Chefs of Hong Kong celebrated its 25th Anniversary.
Our cross-disciplinary team developed the "Read and Write Trooper" app which builds children's language foundation.
Heep Hong Society conducted the validation study of the Chinese edition of Psychoeducational Profile, Third Edition (CPEP-3) and established the norm for autistic children in China in collaboration with the Child Developmental Behaviour Center at The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The results were announced on 27 March.
We published "The Anxiety Symptoms of Autistic Students" survey and revealed that one-third of autistic students required professional intervention.
The speech therapist team published Child Talk: A Language Development Toolkit for Parents which provides guidance for parents on how to improve the language and communication competences of children from birth to six years old.
The Heep Hong Society Integrated Service Complex (ISC) Grand Opening Ceremony was held on 17 March with the Hon Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Dr Eric Li Ka-cheung, Steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club as the officiating guests. Nearly 300 guests from the Hong Kong SAR government and social welfare, medical, educational and business sectors attended. the event, which also celebrated the 55th Anniversary of the Society.
The Heep Hong Society Integrated Service Complex (ISC) officially opened in March. As the first of its kind in Hong Kong providing one-stop education and training services, it houses a special child care centre and an early education and training centre of the largest capacity in Hong Kong, a parents resource centre as well as a diverse range of on-site school support services, youth vocational training and Supportive Learning Project programmes. The ISC provides a comprehensive range of support services to cater to the diverse needs of children, youth and their families. Learn more: www.heephong.org/eng/whatsnews/detail/heep-hong-society-integrated-service-complex-grand-opening-ceremony
More than 400 philanthropists and dignitaries attended Heep Hong Society's 55th Anniversary Charity Dinner on 17th April at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, an annual fundraising occasion for the benefit of the Society's Children and Youth Training Fund.
Heep Hong Society Published Survey on ASD Youth Career Support
"Think Bright" High Order Cognitive Training Project Seminar - Sharing expertise with peer practitioners
New Book Release — De-coding Sensory Behavior: Understanding Sensory Processing Difficulties and Related Support Strategies for children
The Heep Hong Society held a seminar of "Life-long Challenges; Life-long support" at the Jockey Club Auditorium, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University on December 1 and invited three internationally renowned autism experts to come to Hong Kong. Share the development and latest information to support special education needs with parents, teachers and industry professionals. The seminar attracted nearly 1,000 participants and received enthusiastic response. Among them, participants from across the Taiwan Straits, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand came to learn and communicate.
The Society organised the largest exchange tour ever, visiting six partner organisations in Guangzhou and Dongguan to get a deeper understanding of the local services, such as the implementation of integrated education and special child care services.
Heep Hong Society and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), taking one step further in strengthening the existing collaboration between Heep Hong Society and PolyU. The MoU set up a framework for the provision of more bedside teaching and clinical placements for PolyU’s occupational therapy and physiotherapy students, as well as the establishment of a bedside teaching centre.