Hong Kong: Months of wait for assessments for SPED

Oct 2, 2017, South China Morning Post: Hong Kong students with special needs not properly supported by government education system Many parents of children with special needs in the government education system face the same dilemma. The average waiting time for subvented preschool rehabilitation services in the 2014/15 school year was just over 19½ months, compared to 10½ months in 2009/10. After kindergarten, the wait increases. By the time the children are in primary school, they find themselves in one queue after another through various procedures, from identification and diagnosis to receiving training and educational support. … To address the special education needs of Hong Kong children, the Social Welfare Department launched a pilot scheme for on-site preschool habilitation services in 2015, which cut the 6,000-plus waiting list by almost a half. This July, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced new measures to be implemented in the current school year, such as introducing the role of a special educational needs coordinator in primary and secondary schools, and increasing the teacher-to-class ratio. Yet these efforts are a drop in the ocean, critics say…. …The homework battle with her son has been delegated to her husband, and rather than constantly trying to correct Ming’s behaviour, she gives him more freedom and space. But the most important factor is derived from a single change of mind – accepting her son for who he is.