Supporting every child, family and ability…
At Sassy Mama, we recognise that parenting can be challenging on the best of days and on the same hand, the children we’re lucky to raise are beautiful, diverse and unique. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for families who are looking to offer extra support for their child with their physical, emotional and learning development. We hope that this is a resource you can turn to if you’re looking for learning support for your child’s specific needs, Special Education Needs (SEN) friendly schools and extra-curricular activities that cater to every ability and learner.
The core of Acorn Care’s philosophy is that every child has the right to equal education, accessing support where necessary. Acorn Care either connects families to opportunities and provisions in HK or offers their services to meet the individual needs of your child. Acorn Care combines educational and therapeutic approaches for assessment, evaluation, individualised intervention, and advocacy on behalf of children and families. What’s more, Acorn Care also offers sessions on school interview prep for children and accommodations for external examinations.
Autism Partnership Foundation
The Autism Partnership Foundation offers programmes that adopts the applied behaviour analysis (ABA) approach to enable the best possible outcome. Through the specialised services, children have the opportunity to receive free ABA treatment support, and parents are equipped with a better understanding in addressing and handling challenges faced by their child. The services include qualified ABA therapists and professionals who work with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Bebegarten Learning Support
At Bebegarten, your child has access to customised programmes to help overcome any learning barriers. Children with specific needs like language delay, speech sound difficulties, social communication difficulties or autism spectrum disorder are monitered through the Learning Support Service, Bebeplus. The programmes include Social Plus, Speech Plus, Speech and Language Therapy services and Late Talker Classes.
Unit 301-305, Level 3, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 3487 2255, [email protected], www.bebegarten.com
Cedars Centre of Development and Resources for Students
If your teen is applying to or attending Hong Kong University, you can rest assure knowing that every student of all abilities is supported. The Cedars Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) is a one-stop service unit for students with physical and sensory abilities needs, learning and developmental abilities, mental illnesses, chronic medical illnesses, and multiple different abilities. CEDARS provide a comprehensive support service to help university students adjust to the new environment and learning from various aids and equipment, funding resources, employment preparation, special examination arrangements, a peer buddy support and study skills coaching to name a few.
Child Development Centre (CDC)
The Child Development Centre (CDC) has spent over 40 years offering specialised education, therapy, and assessment for children with individual needs. Through a variety of learning tools, curricula and methodologies, CDC’s goal is to address an individual’s needs through individual education plans (IEP), evidence-based practices, a multidisciplinary team and child-centred teaching. At-home visits, individualised therapies, group programmes and support for parents are also an option.
Focus on Children’s Understanding in School (FOCUS) has the belief that every mind learns differently. What started as a parent support group in 1990, is now the first Hong Kong based non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the educational experience for children with specific learning difficulties and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. For parents looking for support, education and resources for yourself and your child, FOCUS is a great place to start.
Heep Hong Society
Heep Hong Society has been helping families for over 50 years through providing professional training and education to children of all ages with different abilities. This also includes rehabilitation services to support students with special educational needs in kindergartens. Heep Hong also runs the Academy for Professional Education and Development to offer training courses for teachers and parents to better support their students.
Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association
The main services of the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association are to provide integrated family support and vocational rehabilitation services. It assists clients develop their personal growth in every aspect of life whilst educating the public about social inclusion. There are five different service units around Hong Kong. Although the majority of the services are provided in Cantonese, there is an English Speaking Group to support families and children with Down Syndrome.
Jadis Blurton Family Development Centre
The Jadis Blurton Family Development Centre is a multi-disciplinary team of psychologists and education experts who offer assessments, counselling and innovative developmental interventions. Services include speech and language therapy, behavioural health and therapy, dyslexia, reading and writing, autism assessments, pyscho-educational assessments, classes and workshops, custody evaluations, and school resources.
At the core of the Nesbitt Centre is the plan for young adults, who are differently abled, to have the same opportunities to develop and use their talents and skills in society. The services include educational excursions, residence where students live in a safe and supervised environment and are given training to help them take responsibility for their own lives, and a training course called the Preparation for Life Programme Plan.
The team behind Psynamo consists of professional and experienced psychologists, counselors and coaches who offer a variety of services ranging from play therapy, parenting courses (think: 21st century parenting with 3rd culture kids), speech and language therapy, clinical psychology and psychotherapy to name a few. The team offers a multidisciplinary approach in therapeutic, consultancy and advisory work.
RED DOOR is a psychological and counselling services practice in Hong Kong set up by counsellor, educator and special needs parent, Angela Watkins. RED DOOR offers regular counselling services to children, teens and adults. Given Angela’s extensive personal and professional background with special needs, the team has expanded its offering to fill some of the specific gaps that seemed to exist in the HK market, specialised social skills training, sibling group therapy/ support, and counselling for parents.
SENsational Consultancy enables equal work opportunities for people with disabilities. It offers trainings, conferences, simulation experiences, and social events to promote awareness and inclusion within corporate companies. The team runs student workshops, mentorships, visits to charitable institutions and trainings to help people with “diff-abilities” transition into the workplace.
At SPOT (Speech, Physio, and Occupational Therapy), the team of therapists and psychologists believe in providing holistic, transparent and evidence-based therapy with a focus on a collaborative team approach. This means that the support for each child is personalised based on their needs. SPOT offers speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, child and family counselling, dyslexia and specific learning needs as well as DIRFloortime™.
SPOT Central: 19/F, 50 Stanley Street, Central, 2544 5835, SPOT South Island: 1021-1025 One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2807 2992, www.spot.com.hk
Watchdog Early Education Centre
Watchdog Early Education Centre services children with special educational needs under the age of six by providing early intervention, therapy and education programmes out of two centres, one in Central and the other in Jordan. Watchdog offers support in speech and language, physical, intellectual and social development to prepare the children for mainstream school. Watchdog also offers support services for parents and caregivers, ensuring that the children can receive consistent care at home.
Special Educational Needs Schools
Anfield School is an international school that offers the British curriculum. Students who have been identified with special educational needs are supported through a differentiated English National Curriculum. Students who are on the high functioning autism spectrum (i.e. Asperger’s Syndrome), visual impairment, hearing impairment, medical disorders (i.e. epilepsy) and those with varying physical abilities are supported with plans for full inclusion or a dedicated class for moderate special educational needs.
No.1, Lung Pak Street, Tai Wai, Shatin, New Territories, 2692 8823, www.anfield.com.hk
Aoi Pui School
As the only school that fully caters to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the Aoi Pui School is a private primary school that supports students through autism-specific schooling. To accommodate for the special educational needs, each class consists of eight students or less – with a high teacher/student ratio of 1:2. All staff are trained therapists, equipped to teach therapeutic areas like speech, emotional regulation, social skills and academic subjects in English and Cantonese.
Bridge Academy Education Centre is a government approved educational institute in Hong Kong. It provides comprehensive early intervention and academic programmes for children with learning difficulties aged 2 and above. Bridge Academy offers individualised programmes in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. The children supported have a wide spectrum of challenges including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Global Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as well as a variety of learning difficulties.
Jockey Club Sarah Roe School
The Sarah Roe School is part of the English Schools Foundation (ESF) a network of international, English-medium schools. All students who attend have additional learning needs, including students who are on the Autism Spectrum and complex needs. The school offers a curriculum that is engaging and balanced to ensure everyone is included and challenged. There is a strong focus on literacy and numeracy as well as opportunities to learn independence and a vocational education program. The staff consists of a team of teachers, therapists and support staff who partner with parents to ensure the success of each child.
2B Tin Kwong Road, Homantin, Kowloon, 2761 9893, www.jcsrs.edu.hk
Springboard at Korean International School
Located at the Korean International School, Springboard supports primary and middle school students with an individualised educational in an international and inclusive environment. The program provides regular opportunities for mainstream, social and extra-curricular integration for all Springboard students. There is also an enrichment program which helps students refine their social skills outside of a school setting and practice life skills while also receiving therapeutic interventions.
The Harbour School
For students who are advanced, gifted, requiring special educational assistance and mainstream, The Harbour School is the place you’re looking for. The philosophy of the school is based upon building a strong foundation of core skills to acquire global cultural literacy in science, history, technology and the arts. You can expect customised learning plans for your child’s abilities and skills and a high ratio of teacher to students (1 teacher to 7 students).
Harbour Village: 2/F, 23 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, 2816 5222, [email protected], www.ths.edu.hk Ap Lei Chau Campus: The Garden, 138 Lee Chi Road, 3708 9060, The Grove: 332 Ap Lei Chau, Bridge Road, 3905 0180
City Kids Integrated Playgroup
Playgroup classes beginning at 10 months offer a great way for your little one to learn and practice social skills. For children with a variety of needs, this playgroup is one that is inclusive and welcome parents and caregivers to take part in the fun. Run by a team of teachers and support teachers, your little ones are in good hands.
If your kid loves playing football, then the Hong Kong Football Club Crusaders is the perfect place. Coaching sessions take place on Monday nights at the HKFC pitch and players aged 7 to 40 years old of all abilities are welcome. The training helps players with their motor skills and fitness, as well as encourages team work, enhances their self-esteem and social skills. Contact HKFC Head Coach Nigel R. Merritt for more information.
3 Sports Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, 2830 9500, hkfcjuniorsoccer.com/crusaders.php
Parkland Music Institute
For your kids who love music, Parkland Music Institute offers musical therapy to help cultivate a love for music but also for increased attention. The musical therapist, Ms. Oiyee Chan is trained to support a variety of special educational needs of students with music therapy. Ms. Chan will create an individualised plan for each student by her initial assessment to ensure all needs are met in a fun environment. Group classes and one-on-one classes are available based on age.
Riding for the Disabled Association
The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) was created to teach children and adults with different abilities how to ride a horse. Riding can be a beneficial form of therapy, as it builds self-confidence, improves concentration and is an enjoyable sport for kids to learn.
Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School: 75 Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road, Pok Fu Lam, 2875 7711, [email protected], www.rda.org.hk Tuen Mun Public Riding School: Lot 45, Lung Mun Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, 2454 9961, [email protected], www.rda.org.hk
Twinkle Dance believes that every child has an opportunity to learn how to dance no matter what needs they may have. In response to that belief, Twinkle Dance offers weekly complimentary classes on Wednesday afternoons for children aged 3 – 5 years old and 6 – 10 years old. These free classes are great for building confidence and special awareness, building strength in muscles as well as lifting up a child’s self-esteem.
Causeway Bay: 9/F, Capital Commercial Building, 26 Leighton Road, 6608 6689, Central-Rose Petal: 801 Lansing House, 41-47 Queen’s Road Central, 6608 6689, Central-Sugar Plum: 403 Lansing House, 41-47 Queen’s Road Central, 6608 6689, Wong Chuk Hang: Shop 311, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, 6608 1928, www.twinkledance.com/programs/special-needs
The Yama Foundation is inclusive of children with special educational needs, chronic illnesses and varied abilities while introducing them to yoga, art and meditation. Adaptive and inclusive programs are available for all ages. These classes are great for mamas and papas to attend with the children as well. Yama Foundation also hosts yoga events for all ages and abilities.
The very heart of Yoga with Hersha Chellaram is to provide yoga classes and meditation for all. Accessibility is the core belief of the program as Hersha Yoga advocates for persons of all abilities and needs in Hong Kong. Tailor-made yoga programs are made for individuals and organisations so that every has an opportunity to learn. She also offers private yoga classes for children and adults who require a safe and gentle therapeutic class using the Sonia Sumar Method.