Transform the prospect of autistic children in Hong Kong.
Children with autism or on the autism spectrum have difficulty in social communication and show inclination to routines. Intervention at an early age is suggested to be the most effective to equip children with autism on life skills and coping mechanisms.
In Hong Kong, limited government-subsidised services on special education combines with a long waiting time. As a result, autistic children from low income families who cannot afford private treatments and therapies are failing to receive necessary training before going to ordinary schools.
In mid-2017, a Hong Kong charity – Operation Blessing set up a pilot programme to help 10 low income families in Hong Kong with autistic children at aged 2-6. The charity teams up with a number of professional providers to carry out initial assessments, cognitive trainings, and speech and language therapies.
Through a series of workshops and excursions, parents are equipped with necessary skills to provide the right guidance in everyday life. Notably, a team of dedicated volunteers provide ongoing emotional support to each autistic family. During home visits and peers support groups, families are encouraged to discuss their predicament, and consultations are tailored to suit individual family’s needs.
Noble Foundation cofounded this early intervention support programme and sponsored 4 low income families in 2019 to gain the tools and skills they need to thrive.