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Current Problem



Accounting for 6.9% of the total number of students in Hong Kong, have been diagnosed with special educational needs (SEN)


are currently waiting for early identification assessments and treatments

Each school has approximately

20 -30

suspected cases

and 10% of these students have severe conditions that require for early intervention

According to the report by SoCO in 2019, there are 1,027,100 children under the age of 18 in Hong Kong. It is estimated that at least 71,324 of these children have been diagnosed with special educational needs (SEN), accounting for 6.9% of all students in Hong Kong.

However, the current numbers are still underestimated because suspected cases of special educational needs (SEN) in children aged 6 or above can no longer receive free psychiatric assessment from public sectors. the waiting list for school educational psychologist assessments arranged by the Education Bureau is at least one year, which delays the diagnosis of schoolchildren and the time of service.


​The most affected are the grassroots SEN students. Most of them miss the golden period (6 to 8 years old) of receiving treatment and some even have to give up treatment because they cannot afford it financially.

Children aged 6 or above who are suspected cases cannot receive services from the Social Welfare Department anymore

Students suspected of having special educational needs will no longer receive assessment and follow-up services from Maternal and Child Health Centres, kindergartens, or child care centers after the age of 6;

According to the report by SoCO in 2019, more than 80% of the children interviewed only got educational psychology appointment 1-2 times per year, and each time was less than 30 minutes.

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1. Maternal and Child Health Centers

2. Kindergartens

3. Child Care Centers

Child Assessment Service (CAS)

of the Hospital Authority

The average waiting time is 1 - 2 years


No longer receive services from the Social Welfare Department

The suspected cases will be referred from School Social Workers, SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) and teachers to educational psychologists to conduct professional assessment and follow up services.

The average waiting time is 6 months or above

Long waiting time for the services after confirmation of the case

The average waiting time for public services is 13 to 20 months, and the longest waiting time can be up to 35 months.

(Condition diagnosed before or after age six)

Insufficient support services in school

On average, only one social worker and one SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) serve about 700 students. The waiting time for on-site educational psychology professional consultation service can be up to 6 months to 1 year.

Lack of comprehensive support for carers

Only 17 Parent Resource Libraries in Hong Kong to cater to at least 70,000 students with special educational needs and their parents

Mainstream SEN support programs remain academic-led direction

Mainstream education focuses on academic development but lack of cultivating students' all-round development, emotional management, and social skills

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