Heep Hong Society
After years of negotiation with the Social Welfare Department, the Early Education and Training Centres employed full-time speech therapists for the first time.
Launched a self-financed service, the Supportive Learning Project (SLP), to provide timely intervention to special needs children. School based service was available to both special schools and ordinary primary schools.
A team of professional staff was invited to conduct a workshop on the usage of the Developmental Learning Package and Child Development Guide in Taipei and Tainan. Over 500 participants attended the workshops.
Dr Rosanna Wong, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong Housing Authority, officiated at the opening ceremony of Shui Pin Wai Special Child Care Centre.
Openings of Cheung Sha Wan and Tseung Kwan O Centres in April. The two centres were reprovisioned and split from the old Portland Street Centre. An open day of Cheung Sha Wan Centre and an official opening ceremony of the John Ellis Room, its multi-sensory room sponsored by The Sunnyside Club, were held in late November. Tseung Kwan O Centre was officially opened by Mrs Carrie Lam, JP, Director of Social Welfare, in December and renamed as Chan Chung Hon Centre.
An Assistant Director of Heep Hong was invited to be a keynote speaker at a Conference on the Early Intervention Programme for Children with Special Needs in Taipei, Taiwan in June.
The Director of Heep Hong was invited by Dr Derong Shi, the Director of Civil Affairs of Shanghai, in July, to lead a team of professional staff to visit Shanghai Children’s Welfare Institution and discuss the possibility of future cooperation.
The revision of Developmental Assessment Chart (DAC) of “Developmental Learning Package' began in September with the sponsorship of the Quality Education Fund.
With the sponsorship of The Hong Kong Golf Club, a half-time speech therapist was employed to provide group speech training service for the children in Jockey Club Early Education and Training Centre (EETC). This was the first time that a speech therapist was employed to provide EETC service.
The service capacity of the “Preparation Programme on Primary One School Adjustment for Special Needs Children” was increased and a comprehensive resource kit was introduced through the support of the Quality Education Fund.
The first Charity Walk and Christmas Carnival cum the Inauguration of Heep Hong Parents Association were held on December 23 at Hong Kong Sports Institute. Over 3,500 people participated in it.
Heep Hong Society signed an agreement with Shanghai Children’s Welfare Institution on providing consultation on the development of its rehabilitation services, as well as providing professional training for its staff. A full-time occupational therapist of Heep Hong was sent to the Institution for nine months to provide such services. This was the first time that the Chinese government committed to purchase professional welfare services from a non-government organization in Hong Kong to their social welfare institution.
With the generous donation of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Jockey Club Parents Resource Centre at Wanchai was reprovisioned to Oi Tung Estate (Shau Kei Wan). Mr William Yiu, Secretary of Jockey Club Charities Trust, and Ms Ophelia Chan, Assistant Director (Rehabilitation & Medical) of Social Welfare Department, officiated at the opening ceremony of the new centre.
Multi-sensory rooms were set up at nine Special Child Care Centres, as well as play therapy rooms were equipped in two Early Education and Training Centres and two Parents Resource Centres for children's training.
Tai Po Parents Resource Centre changed its name to Fanling Parents Resource Centre when it moved to Cheung Wah Estate (Fanling).
Heep Hong organized two open seminars on “TEACCH Structured Teaching: an effective training approach on learning and independency of autistic children” in December, and they were well received by over 650 participants. A press conference was held on December 12 to announce the result of a two years’ research on the subject.
Speech therapy service was introduced in all Early Education and Training Centres with the sponsorship of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
A series of programmes was organised to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Heep Hong including an international conference, a mass media promotion campaign, a joint graduation of all Special Child Centres, a 40th anniversary logo design competition and an outstanding carer award.
A new mixed-mode centre incorporating an Early Education and Training Centre, a Special Child Care Centre and a Parents Resource Centre was set up at Tung Chung.
A joint rehabilitation network was established with the Hong Kong Medical Association, aimed at helping medical practitioners identify and refer special needs children for treatment at an early stage.
Child Rehab Portal, the first website in Hong Kong providing a pool of rich and comprehensive information on rehabilitation of special needs children, was launched by Heep Hong.
The Service Management Information System was implemented to leverage on information technology to improve the operation and services of the Society.
The fourth mixed mode centre, located at Hoi Fu Court, Mongkok, was opened in July by Dr. York Chow, Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food. Featuring “Vibrant Garden” as its theme, the centre is equipped with a range of innovative facilities such as a Multi-media Training Room which is the first of it kinds in a pre-school setting in the territory, and a parent-child kitchen.
The Ma On Shan Centre was opened in early July to offer diversified support services for families with special needs children. The Centre promotes the concept of an inclusive community by working closing with different organizations in the district. With the financial support of the Lotteries Fund in fitting-out works and the purchase of training equipment, the Centre adopts a "train" as its design theme.
A research on the Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) of primary one school children was carried out with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and a press conference was held in January.
Heep Hong joined hands with The University of Hong Kong, the Education and Manpower Bureau, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Society of Boys' Centres in a pioneer project entitled “Read and Write: A Jockey Club Learning Support Network” to help children with dyslexia. Our professional team was responsible to carry out a 3-year study in developing an all-round district-based support network.
Heep Hong's Executive Committee was conferred with the “Director of the Year Awards 2006”(Statutory / Non-profit distributing Organisations Executive Directors) by The Hong Kong Institute of Directors in recognition of our good corporate governance.
With the sponsorship from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, two permanent bases for the Supportive Learning Project were established and renovated at Tai Po Road's Prince Centre and Tai Hang Tung Estate respectively.
With the generous support of donors and the Government's Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged, 10 Sensory Integrative (SI) Rooms were installed in 2006. By year end, there have been 13 SI Rooms set up in Heep Hong's centres.
A series of publications were released which included the 40th Anniversary commemorative book entitled In Pursuit of Excellence: Advances and Practices in Children's Rehabilitation Services, Developmental Learning Package - Curriculum Guide and Developmental Assessment Chart (Revised), Applying the TEACCH Approach for Autistic Children: Teachers'/Parents' Manual and Adversity Quotient (AQ) Training Package. Several seminars were organised to promote these publications with good results.
In collaboration with the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences of the University of Hong Kong, a peer conference was held in May to announce the results of the joint project of “Accelerate Reading Abilities of P.1 and P.2 Students” sponsored by the Quality Education Fund. It aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a theory-based treatment programme for children with developmental reading difficulties.
Two training workshops were organized for 100 practitioners in the Greater China Region on Autism and Sensory Integration in March and July respectively. Heep Hong's senior management and training staff were also invited to share their experience with their counterparts in Taiwan and the Mainland.
Funded by Melco International, a special project for over 100 children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was launched in July. Children were screened by psychologists and therapists for tailor-made training programmes. Their parents and teachers were also equipped with the skills and knowledge for coaching at home and schools.
A grading and pay structure review for Heep Hong staff was launched with the aim to maintain a stable work force and to ensure a high quality of performance. Staff members were consulted throughout the process and their views had been incorporated in the revised structure which is competitive in the labour market.
A parent satisfaction survey on our SCCC and EETC services was conducted in July. The response rate exceeded 80%. The initial findings indicated that most parents were highly satisfied with the service their children received. Rating on both the above-mentioned services was 8.5 on a 10 point scale. The respondents also complimented the staff for their passion, professionalism and dedication to children.
In association with the 3rd Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University and Guangzhou Disabled People's Federation (Guangzhou Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)), the First Guangzhou International Forum on ASD, was held in November. About 400 people participated and it was followed by a three-day training workshop conducted by staff of the Heep Hong Society for over 120 Mainland practitioners.
Two seminars on “Assisting Students with Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Integrating in Mainstream Education” were held in May & June 2008, which were attended by a total of 600 teachers and parents. To further enhance the concept of integration, the Society, upon the invitation of the Education Bureau, began to provide comprehensive educational psychological support service to 14 primary schools, which admitted students with special needs.
A number of books on the development and learning of children were published and well-received by parents and teachers. They included Assisting Autistic Children in Integrating in Mainstream Education, Milestones of Children's Development, Sensory Integrative Therapy and Training in Language Comprehension for Young Children.
In response to the growing population and escalating demands for services for children with special needs in Tseung Kwan O and East Kowloon, a new mixed-mode centre for pre-school children commenced operation in Yu Ming Court in June. It has a capacity for 94 children. In September, a Children's Learning & Research Centre was also set up in the Hong Kong Weaving Mills Association Education Centre where our professional team conducts research on children's learning needs and organizes relevant training programmes for children and their parents.
The Knowledge Management (KM) Portal was officially launched in May for the exchange of up-to-date rehabilitation information and training strategies among Heep Hong staff. Invited by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Heep Hong shared its successful experience in the development of KM among NGOs and received positive feedbacks.
Supported by MSIG Insurance, the Society launched the “United for the Future – The Autistic Youth Work Experience” programme to provide pre-employment training workshops for autistic young people aged 16 and above, with short term placement opportunities following the workshops. A press conference was held in November to announce the findings of a survey of the employment conditions of persons with autistic disorder and the details of the said programme.
The Society played host to a series of programmes, such as seminars, talks, workshops, courses, photo competition, and performance, in celebration of its 45th anniversary. The programmes met with enthusiastic responses from peer practitioners and parents with over 4,000 attendances recorded. In particular, the Children’s Talent Show & Arts Exhibition held in May got big rounds of applause from our officiating guest, Mr Stephen Fisher, Director of Social Welfare, and an audience of about 1,000 for the performances of more than 200 Heep Hong children and performing groups from both Hong Kong and the Mainland.
At a seminar held in April, the Society announced its research on preschool autistic children’s participation in social activities, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, and production of the Training Package for Social Adaptation of Autistic Children, which provides practical training strategies for caregivers to help autistic children adapt to the community.
The Society was authorized to publish the Chinese version of Psycho-educational Profile (Third Edition) with CD-ROM and Assessment Tools, and the package was firstly introduced at a seminar on the service development of autism in Chinese communities held in June.
Our Occupational Therapist Team conducted a research on the fine motor developmental assessment of local preschool children, and published the Hong Kong Preschool Children Fine Motor Developmental Assessment (HK-PFMDA) Examiner’s Manual, the first-ever standardized assessment based on the normative data from local children, for occupational therapists to carry out assessment on children aged up to six. Items were also extracted from the Manual to compile the Hong Kong Preschool Fine Motor Developmental Checklist for use by teachers and parents for free.
To promote integrated education, a series of seminars was held for parents and teachers in May and June. Participants were given complimentary copies of our latest series of books, namely Teaching & Learning of Autistic Children – Manual for Child-care Workers, The Guide to Enhance Autistic Children’s Communication Skills Step by Step (with CD-ROM), Peer Support for Autistic Children – Activity Manual, and Support for Parents of Autistic Children – Activity Manual for School (With CD-ROM). In addition, The Story Book: Making Friends with Autistic Peers was well received and a Simplified Chinese version was produced to enable children in the Mainland to better understand their autistic peers.
Other books about children development and training were published, including The Practical Guide to DIR®/FloortimeTM, The Introductory Guide to Relationship Developmental Intervention Program (RDI®), Training Strategies for Children with ADHD, and Oral-Motor Training Activity Book for Young Children, to help caregivers better grasp the skills in training their children.
Sponsored by the Quality Education Fund, the two-year “ADHD Holistic School-based Support Programme” was launched in September in four primary schools. Our educational psychologist, occupational therapist and physiotherapist conducted group training for needy children and workshops for teachers and parents.
Two innovative teaching kits, READ & WRITE: Supporting Dyslexic Students─Parent Education CD-Rom and The Language Learning Package for Pre-Primary Children, were developed in support of children with dyslexia and their parents. A series of workshops and seminars were held to introduce the publications to target users and responses from peer practitioners and teachers were encouraging.
The Society took the initiative to provide “Support Services for Ethnic Minority Families of Children with Special Needs” for a period of two years under the financial support of the Community Chest of Hong Kong. Raising Your Child: A Parents’ Guide to Early Childhood Development was published in English, Urdu and Nepali. The first-ever Nepali and Pakistani parent groups in town were set up. A Children Assessment Day and workshops were also hosted to help parents understand and identify the developmental needs of their children.