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Professional Support Service for Children with Special Educational Needs

 

Caritas Hong Kong is essentially a movement of understanding and concern, of caring and service, of human development and solidarity. Its special attention is directed to the needs and aspirations of the underprivileged, the last, the least and the lost within the community. To fulfill the motto of Caritas “Love in the Service of Hope” and mission of “Spirit of Servant”, our Project named as “Professional Support Service for Children with Special Educational Needs” endeavors to provide assessment, training and developmental programme to preschool children with special needs so as to enhance their maximal development in the areas of language and communication, motor, cognitive, music, social-emotional and self-care.

 

With funding support from the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Limited, the special training and rehabilitation services were further extended to preschool children with different levels of disabilities from deprived families across the territory. Since the approval of the Fund in April 2008, 60 children and their families had been served.

 

Individual oral motor training conducted by the Speech Therapist for the child with speech delay

Case study
Sam was born in the Mainland China. He is an orphan and was adopted by the Cheung couple. Sam was not eligible to receive formal assessment service in Hong Kong due to his non-Hong Kong resident status. It also hindered his application for formal early intervention programmes in Hong Kong. His adopted parents brought him to a private pediatrician at 36 months of age for a preliminary assessment. The child was found to be suffering from global developmental delay. His cognitive ability, speech and language skills, and gross motor skills were assessed to be grossly lagging behind a normal child for 15 to 23 months. He could only be assessed formally until at 52 months of age when he obtained the permanent residency in Hong Kong. Sam was confirmed to be a child with global developmental delay and complicated with ophthalmoplegia and truncal ataxia. Though he was recommended to receive special training and care to facilitate his growth and development, the waiting time for a subvented place in the special child care centre near to his dwelling place at Shamshuipo will take 13 to 19 months.

 

Due to the serious shortfall in pre-school services for disabled preschoolers in particular districts, some parents of the disabled children may resort to private practices or self-financed services provided by some non-governmental organizations. However, the service fees charged on the parents may range from HK$500.00 to HK$800.00 for a 50-minute training session. Sam’s adopted parents from the low income group could not afford theses extra expenses, though they realized the significance of early intervention training for the child. With no other alternatives, they had to wait desperately for their turns for a government funded place. Yet, the matching time was so long that it defeated the philosophy of early intervention for the child at risk.

 

With the support of the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Limited, Sam was referred to the Project. He then received 8 individual sessions of speech therapy and 4 sessions of early intervention training. He progressed remarkably in his cognitive ability and expressive language ability. The adopted mother, Mrs. Cheung was also educated about the home-training skills such that she could continue the home stimulation programmes for Sam. Toys and teaching aids were also lent to the parents to facilitate home training. The active participation of the mother in the therapeutic treatment for the child had proven to have positive outcomes. She also realized that she was not alone to face the life long challenge in rearing a handicapped child. She regained her confidence with the support from the professional staff of the Project. In the upcoming month, physiotherapy will also be provided to Sam so as to address to his delay in the gross motor functioning and to enhance his atonics skills.

 

To conclude, this Project had rendered prompt intervention training to disabled children in need. It had also helped in relieving the emotional stress of the parents in begetting a child with special needs and to resolve their financial hardship in seeking for interim early education programmes. It was well received by the parents of disabled preschool children and the referring agents.

 

Children with delayed development received multi-stimulations through participating in music activities conducted by the Music Therapist

Professional Support Service for Children with Special Educational Needs

 

Caritas Hong Kong is essentially a movement of understanding and concern, of caring and service, of human development and solidarity. Its special attention is directed to the needs and aspirations of the underprivileged, the last, the least and the lost within the community. To fulfill the motto of Caritas “Love in the Service of Hope” and mission of “Spirit of Servant”, our Project named as “Professional Support Service for Children with Special Educational Needs” endeavors to provide assessment, training and developmental programme to preschool children with special needs so as to enhance their maximal development in the areas of language and communication, motor, cognitive, music, social-emotional and self-care.

 

With funding support from the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Limited, the special training and rehabilitation services were further extended to preschool children with different levels of disabilities from deprived families across the territory. Since the approval of the Fund in April 2008, 60 children and their families had been served.

 

Case study
Sam was born in the Mainland China. He is an orphan and was adopted by the Cheung couple. Sam was not eligible to receive formal assessment service in Hong Kong due to his non-Hong Kong resident status. It also hindered his application for formal early intervention programmes in Hong Kong. His adopted parents brought him to a private pediatrician at 36 months of age for a preliminary assessment. The child was found to be suffering from global developmental delay. His cognitive ability, speech and language skills, and gross motor skills were assessed to be grossly lagging behind a normal child for 15 to 23 months. He could only be assessed formally until at 52 months of age when he obtained the permanent residency in Hong Kong. Sam was confirmed to be a child with global developmental delay and complicated with ophthalmoplegia and truncal ataxia. Though he was recommended to receive special training and care to facilitate his growth and development, the waiting time for a subvented place in the special child care centre near to his dwelling place at Shamshuipo will take 13 to 19 months.

 

Due to the serious shortfall in pre-school services for disabled preschoolers in particular districts, some parents of the disabled children may resort to private practices or self-financed services provided by some non-governmental organizations. However, the service fees charged on the parents may range from HK$500.00 to HK$800.00 for a 50-minute training session. Sam’s adopted parents from the low income group could not afford theses extra expenses, though they realized the significance of early intervention training for the child. With no other alternatives, they had to wait desperately for their turns for a government funded place. Yet, the matching time was so long that it defeated the philosophy of early intervention for the child at risk.

 

With the support of the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Limited, Sam was referred to the Project. He then received 8 individual sessions of speech therapy and 4 sessions of early intervention training. He progressed remarkably in his cognitive ability and expressive language ability. The adopted mother, Mrs. Cheung was also educated about the home-training skills such that she could continue the home stimulation programmes for Sam. Toys and teaching aids were also lent to the parents to facilitate home training. The active participation of the mother in the therapeutic treatment for the child had proven to have positive outcomes. She also realized that she was not alone to face the life long challenge in rearing a handicapped child. She regained her confidence with the support from the professional staff of the Project. In the upcoming month, physiotherapy will also be provided to Sam so as to address to his delay in the gross motor functioning and to enhance his atonics skills.

 

To conclude, this Project had rendered prompt intervention training to disabled children in need. It had also helped in relieving the emotional stress of the parents in begetting a child with special needs and to resolve their financial hardship in seeking for interim early education programmes. It was well received by the parents of disabled preschool children and the referring agents.
 

Individual oral motor training conducted by the Speech Therapist for the child with speech delay

 

Children with delayed development received multi-stimulations through participating in music activities conducted by the Music Therapist