Current issues

71,324

students being 6.9% of total

has diagnosed with SEN

12,000

children on the queue waiting for the

free early assessment and treatment

20 - 30

suspected cases per school and 10% of them are considered as severe cases that requires urgent support  

In 2019, Society for Community shared a report revealing there were 1,027,100 students in Hong Kong under the age of 18 and approximately 71,324 students, being 6.9% of the total has been diagnosed with SEN, the figure may still be underestimated as there are many SEN students haven’t been identified. It is also with great concerns that students who are over 6 years old and haven’t been diagnosed for having SEN are not eligible to receive the free psychiatric assessments and therapies from the governmental services unless  they are screened and referred by the educational psychologists who will only visit school once or twice yearly. Alternatively, these children and families either have to pay high medical fee which is somewhere they can never afford or leaving the children untreated.

No free service from Social Welfare Department when the child has reached the age of 6

SEN children can seek for free assessment and diagnosis from Maternal & Child Health Centres, Child Care Centres and Kindergartens and these free services provided by the social welfare department ends when the child has reached the age of 6. 

0 - 6 years old

1. Maternal & Child Health Centres
2. Kindergartens
3. Child Care Centres

Hospital Authority’s child assessments service 

Average waiting time 1-2 years

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No free service provided by

social welfare department 

Rely on school social workers, SENCOs and teachers to refer them to Educational Psychologists for assessment  

6 years old or above 

Average waiting time:  9 months  or above

Long waiting period for receiving assessment after being diagnosed

Average waiting time for governmental service is 13 to 20 months and the longest is 35 months after being diagnosed

 (No matter they are under/ over the age of 6) 
 

Shortage in supportive services in schools

Only 1 social worker and 1 SENCO are assigned to each school,  serving the average pool of 700 students 

Educational Psychologist's assessment and consultation to primary school students are provided as required and the waiting time at least take 6 months to 1 year. 

Limited Support for children with SEN and their parents

Only 17 parent resource centres in Hong Kong serving at least 70,000 students have been diagnosed with SEN

Governmental SEN supporting scheme is still academic-oriented 

Lack of resources in the area of emotional management and social interaction which are vital for student’s development