Guide To Special Needs Resources (SEN) And Inclusive Schools In Hong Kong

International Schools And SEN Student Options In Hong Kong

Special Needs Education In Hong Kong

Are you concerned about the fees of special needs schools in Hong Kong, or looking for information about the best special needs schools in the city? Perhaps you’re interested in finding an international school with special needs programs or seeking support for SEN students in Hong Kong. You may also be looking for resources related to the special needs network in Hong Kong, including ADHD schools or a list of band 1 secondary schools that cater to students with special educational needs. Additionally, you might be searching for information about SEN primary schools.

Thankfully, the Hong Kong government has created a website (www.sen.org.hk) where resources and support are made available. While all conditions are different, it is considered that any child who needs extra aid in adapting to the learning environment is considered to have Special Educational Needs (SEN). Little Steps has created this guide where you as a parent can be better informed in finding the right international school or other institutions designed to help special needs children of different ages and abilities.

For those looking for in-depth information on early years SEN:

More key SEN resources by Little Steps Asia:


    International schools have selective admission policies for children with special needs, and only some schools provide supplemental services for students with mild special learning needs. Therefore SEN students are admitted when their individual needs can be met through the amount and particular type of support that each individual school provides. Over the past few years, additional International schools have started admitting students with special needs.

    These include the following schools:

    1. ESF (English Schools Foundation): ESF students with special educational needs have three broad options based upon identification using the ESF Levels of Adjustment (LOA) Framework. Students can be provided with Mainstream Placement with Additional Support, where the child is given additional support when needed. Learning Support where children are included in mainstream classes with additional support from specialist SEN teachers and educational assistants. Or the  Jockey Club Sarah Roe School, where students whose special educational needs require the most extensive teaching and learning adjustments are catered for.
    2. Hong Kong Academy (HKA): HKA has wishes to include both parents and children in conversations on how they can best meet that child's need. This approach to Learner Support and English Language Learning ensures that they can provide curriculum interventions and enhancements developed and delivered by educational specialists. Their Counselling and Well-being program recognizes the importance of educating the whole child.
    3. The International Christian School: Launched a bridging program, Bridges, in 2010 for elementary level students with mild to moderate learning difficulties at its Shek Mun campus. Each student is given a tailor-made learning program called an Individualized Education Plan, comprising mainstream classes, co-curricular programs, and extra-curricular activities. The children receive one-to-one and small-group tuition and spend about 50% of their time in mainstream classes.
    4. The Children’s Institute of Hong Kong: Provides one-on-one applied behavioral analysis programming for children with autism. Children are provided with their own individual programs of study and join The Harbour School for assemblies, celebrations, and other classroom activities that may be appropriate for them.
    5. Australian International School (AISHK): This is an inclusive school. Their Learning Enrichment team works across the school with classroom teachers to enrich the mainstream curriculum for all students. The LEC team also has access to a part-time private speech pathologist on-site.
    6. The Harbour School: They offer individual or small-group classes to learners who have been identified with specific learning disorders in academic areas. Their Learning Support program supports students who are struggling for any reason or who need a little extra support. This ranges from catching up in English as it may be a second or even third language to providing an optimized environment for a student with a specific learning impairment.
    7. HKILA: This school prides itself on delivering individualized quality education and having small class sizes and high teacher-to-student ratios. They follow the UK National Curriculum and use the "stage not age" approach to teaching. Through their TailorED@HKILA programs, they can offer specialist education provisions for students needed a little extra support.

    If your child has special needs, many centers and organizations offer a wide range of programs that can help your child. From ADHD, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, and more, there are some wonderful places where your child can learn and have fun.

    Here are some of Little Steps' favorites:

    1. SPOT: Has 3 centers, and they provide various services for kids with special needs, from speech therapy to dyslexia. They offer both private lessons and group lessons, as well as invaluable advice and support.
    2. Elevate Global Education Group: Conveniently located in Admiralty and run by SEN professionals with advanced qualifications, specialized training, and extensive experience working at schools in Hong Kong, they provide personalized holistic support to a wide range of neurodivergent students- ASD, ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, etc, to help students reach their highest potential. Their team cultivates habits, skills, and mindsets to develop students socially, emotionally, and academically.
    3. The Watchdog Early Learning Centre: Founded in 1983 by a team of parents headed by Kim Sharman. The Center serves over 450 pre-school children who have a wide spectrum of challenges, including speech delay, autistic spectrum disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as a variety of other physical and mental needs. Provides intensive and well-rounded early intervention and therapy programs for SEN children from newborn to age six and for both Cantonese and non-Cantonese speakers.
    4. The Autism Partnership Foundation: is a registered charity in Hong Kong. They are committed to making a difference in the life of individuals with autism. They organize fundraising initiatives to raise funds to generate public awareness and knowledge about autism. The charity also advocates ABA treatment and intervention through community programs of education and research and provides support and help for children with ASD and their families in Asia.
    5. Child Development Centre: This well-established center has been around since the 80s and offers support to children with a wide spectrum of individual needs and abilities. From baby clinics to pre-school groups, kids are assessed and guided through therapeutic interventions and specific programs.
    6. The Nesbitt Centre: They have been empowering individuals with disabilities to live independently, to care and advocate for themselves with the least amount of support since 1993! This center caters to a wide variety of needs, including physical and intellectual disabilities. Learners are trained to develop a range of skills that start from sensory-based to social and communication skills.
    7. Maya Health:  For those seeking nutrition-based support and homeopathic therapy for various special needs - these lovely folks can help!

    Looking for after-school classes and activities? ChildPsy and SPOT offer a variety of different courses for SEN students. Otherwise, you can also choose from gymnastics, dance, football and more.

  • WANT MORE? More Special Needs Education Centers And Sources Of Information:

    • Special Needs Network Hong Kongwww.snnhk.org - organizes workshops professional talks, and social events for parents and caregivers of children with special needs.
    • The Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospitalwww.ha.org.hk/DKCH - offers specialist services in physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, and more for children across Hong Kong. They also have an excellent global reputation in the management of spinal deformities for children and adults.
    • Heep Hong Societyhttps://www.heephong.org/eng - a leading children education and rehabilitation organization committed to helping children and youth of diverse needs. They provide professional assessment, guidance, training, and family support, thereby contributing to an inclusive society.
    • The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Societyhttps://www.hk-dsa.org.hk/?lang=en
    • The Hong Kong Society for the Deafhttps://www.deaf.org.hk/en/
    • The Hong Kong Society for the Blindhttps://www.hksb.org.hk/en/
    • The Children's Institute Of Hong Kong, https://www.tcihk.org/
    • Shall We Talk, https://www.shallwetalk.hk/en/
    • The Autism Partnership, http://www.autismpartnership.com.hk/en/
    • Autism Partnership Foundation Charitable Organization, https://www.apf.org.hk/en/

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