Past Meetings

The DAHK has been running monthly meetings and workshops for sixteen years.

The monthly meetings have been as follows:

2017-2018

October
This month’s talk was Emotionally Focused Learning by Rick Smith. Rick highlighted the role of emotion in learning; explained the role of feelings in initiating action and motivation; outlined the differences between problem-focused and emotion-focused solutions and explored practical steps that teachers and parents could take to help students deal with the emotions of learning more effectively.

November
Understanding and Supporting Minds that Learn Differently. In the morning of this full-day seminar, Dr Lindsay Peer (CBE), from the UK, presented a talk for parents entitled Winning with Dyslexia: Understanding your child and the impact of dyslexia upon their emotions, living and learning and one for educators entitled Overcoming Underachievement: The link between processing, academic and emotional difficulties in dyslexia. Parents were also treated to a talk by Dr. Richard Smith: Parent Engagement: Engaging ALL Parents. In the afternoon, Dr. Peer ran a practical workshop for teachers and educators: Dyslexia: Making it work! Tried and tested effective practice accessible to school and to home.

2016 – 2017

September
The AGM was held this month, followed by a social evening and viewing of the original  F.A.T. City video.

October
This month we showed “Beyond F.A.T. City”, the follow-up video in which Rick Lavoie reviewed the history and philosophy of the project, the major trends and issues in the field of learning disabilities and the challenges ahead for parents and educators.

November
This month we held two meetings. The first of these, Experience Dyslexia was a series of simulations designed to give participants a taste of the difficulties and frustrations faced by learners with dyslexia in the classroom. The second was a follow-up workshop Overcoming Dyslexia in which experienced practitioners shared ideas for helping learners develop reading, writing, spelling and listening skills and how assistive technology can help.

March

On March 9th,  Rick Smith, who specializes in teaching executive functioning skills to students who have specific learning needs,  introduced some of the most useful interventions to promote executive functioning skills development. The workshop participants left with a range of tools and practices that they could begin using right away.

On March 23, Rev, Tim Hall shared information on St David’s College, Llandudno, Wales and its philosophy and approach to teaching pupils with dyslexia and other additional learning needs, enabling pupils to excel and access mainstream education.

2015- 2016

September

The Dyslexia Experience was presented by a team of three DAHK committee members. This is a simulation of dyslexia and was created to give participants the opportunity to discover what those with dyslexia often undergo with reading, writing and processing and to feel the frustrations children with dyslexia face daily in the classroom. An eye-opening and thought-provoking evening.

October

This was an interactive workshop on Dyscalculia, a learning issue that makes it hard to make sense of numbers and maths concepts. The workshop was presented by Sarah O’Connor and Emily Dygve, both teachers from the Learning Enhancement Team at Renaissance College Hong Kong who have a wealth of experience in this field. Participants had an opportunity to learn more about Dyscalculia and how to support learners affected by this challenge.

November

Principal Clinical Neuropsycholgist at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Ireland, Dr Simone Carton, explained current thinking about the brain and how this Neuroscience knowledge can be used to support students with specific learning difficulties.

January

This month we welcomed Andrew Luceno who presented some software which can be used to support students with specific learning exceptionalities, in particular, individuals with dyslexia. Specifically, cross-platform screen reader and dictation software was covered, as well as the use of the iPad as a potential all-in-one note taking, reading and writing tool.

March

This month we were pleased to welcome back Neil MacKay who gave a presentation based on his new book “Total Teaching”. Many students have learning needs but very few have formal labels and this can be a challenge for teachers. Neil showed how to identify and adjust for students who will benefit from being taught as if they are slightly dyslexic, slightly autistic or have a touch of ADHD.

May
This month we had a great opportunity to hear a talk on the topic Teaching Students with Learning Difficulties in the Classroom. Teachers, education assistants and parents were introduced to a ‘Learning Toolkit’ that they can use to support students across the curriculum.

 

2014-2015

September
A social evening to mark the beginning of the new school year was followed by a second chance to see The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia.

November

Working Towards More Integrated Brain Function with Kinesiology presented by Brett Scott, Principal Kinesiologist at Kinesiology Asia, through a live demonstration to show how Kinesiology works, the techniques involved and how it can benefit those with Dyslexia. Brett and his team have since helped thousands of clients overcome their physical, psychological and learning issues in order to achieve a better quality of life.

February

Research on the Growth Mindset shows that students who believe they can grow their basic abilities have greater motivation and higher achievement than do students who believe their abilities are fixed. It also shows that teachers can influence students’ mindsets. Dave Buckley, Vice Principal at Glenealy School explained the importance of employing a Growth Mindset, encouraging students to embrace challenges and treat failures as an opportunity for learning.
March
The writing process can be a daunting task for children with Dyslexia. Putting thoughts in order as well as thinking about spelling, story content, punctuation, grammar and handwriting is a concern for class teachers, their students and parents. We welcomed back a good friend to the association, Neil Mackay, to talk on Writing for Reluctant Writers: Dyslexia friendly ways to get ideas down on paper.
2013-2014

September
A question and answer session followed the screening of the HBO documentary The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia. The video illustrates that while Dyslexia is an obstacle, it also carries some unique advantages.

January
Executive Function: what it is, what it does and how to support it. John Shanahan introduced the neurological responsibilities of executive functioning and how they develop through childhood and adolescence. Matt Barker discussed strategies and accommodation that will support the development of executive functioning.

February
In her talk entitled The Importance of Motivation and Self-esteem, Dr Melissa Ortega explained the importance of self-esteem in children with attention and learning difficulties and discussed how parents can utilize strategies to perform and feel their best.

March
Exploring the World through our Senses. Occupational Therapist, Aynsley Carter, explained how sensory integration is vital to the acquisition of literacy skills and how children’s development can be facilitated through sensory integration techniques.

May
Readiness and the End Product of Handwriting. Occupational therapist, Virginia Spielmann, explained the development of the skills necessary for writing from pre-school through to mature high school student.

June
Assessment, Diagnoses and Labelling: what’s all the fuss? In this address, Gloria S Wright, PhD, explained the differences between diagnoses and labeling and gave fresh insight into how to handle the ‘diagnoses vs labelling’ dilemma.

 

2013

January
Gail Wright, Head of Individual Needs, West Island School, explained the differences between “brain-compatible” and “brain-antagonistic” teaching practices in a talk entitled Be a Brain Changer! Integrating the Science and Art of Education.

March
60+ strategies to support learners with SpLD. Matt Barker, Learning Development Team teacher at Discovery Bay College, presented a wide range of practical strategies for the remediation of the SpLD dyslexia and possible associated difficulties.

April
What children eat can have a profound effect on their ability to read, write, concentrate and remember things. In this month’s talk, The Role of Diet and Nutrition in Boosting Brain Health, Dr. Alex Richardson from Oxford University, explained the importance of diet and why many common foods and drinks can be so damaging.

May
Vision, Visual Perception and Learning – Tehnaz Ragi’s talk helped parents and education professionals understand how vision and visual perception relate to and affect learning.

June
Learning to Remember for Tests and Exams – based on recent research into working memory and its implications for learning, Neil Mackay’s interactive talk explained how students can extract a list of facts from a text and then commit the list to memory.

2012

January
Nutrition and Systemic Therapy for Learning Challenges 
by Chan Cudennec, founder of  SOL Wellness and Anoushka Beh, systemic psychologist and family therapist at SOL Wellness.

February
Introducing the Orton-Gillingham Centre for Different Learners. Kimberley Loong (Managing Director), Eric Poon and Jamie Michiko explained the principles and practice of the Orton-Gillingham approach.

March
Literacy specialist Dr Sharon Green  Everything you wanted to know about Response To Intervention
(but were afraid to ask!)

May
Professor Bradley McPherson (Professor in Audiology at the University of Hong Kong)  Hearing and Auditory Processing in School-age Children

June
Justine Roche of the Hawn Foundation gave a talk on Mindfulness, explaining how mindfulness can reduce stress, sharpen focus, increase resiliency and enhance positive emotions.

October
Dyslexia: A Discussion and Sally Gardner’s Story. As part of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, illustrator and award-winning author, Sally Gardener took part in discussion session, co-hosted by the Dyslexia Association (Hong Kong).

December
Stories from the Journey: An evening for parents, children and teens Current and former Hong Kong students told their stories, recounting memories of their early school days and how they managed the problems they encountered.

2011

February
Assistive Technology: providing support for the dyslexic learner Gail Wright, head of Individual Needs at West Island School, shared a selection of useful software available on the market and discussed the implications for its use at home and school

March
Neil Mackay (freelance consultant and trainer) Dyslexia and Reading Comprehension: In Search of the Magic Bullet

April
Modern models and management of learning and organisation problems in children and adolescents: evidence into practice by Dr. Paul Hutchins, Senior Staff Physiscian to the Child Development Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Sydney. Dr. Hutchins discussed modern understanding of how developmental disorders overlap in their problems.

May
Renowned international dyslexia consultant, Neil MacKay Do Try This at Home: Effective Homework Support

June
In a talk entitled  Don’t ‘dys’ Dyslexia, John Shanahan, developmental psychologist, discussed the social and emotional implications of having a learning difficulty such as dyslexia.

2010

March
Dyslexia: An Introduction and much more… A panel of professionals and parents explored the history of dyslexia, how we can identify a child with dyslexia, discussed recent advances in neurological research  and explained the positive and negative aspects of dyslexia.

May
Professor Linda Siegal, Chair in Special Education, University of British Columbia. The Early Identification and  Intervention for Dyslexia.

September
Dyslexia Association Committee Dyslexia: Answers for Young People

October
Chung Sze Chan (Registered Osteopath) and Dr. Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas (Homeopathic Physician) The Other Side of Special Needs: Managing Stress

2009

January
We were pleased to welcome Dr. Hannah Yee-Hoi Tsang who gave a talk on the use of drugs in dealing with learning difficulties, offering a balanced and thoughtful view on how medication can help in dealing with a variety of learning difficulties. This was an excellent opportunity for parents, teachers and professionals to become more aware of a crucial aspect of dealing with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD and a wide variety of challenges in the field of learning difficulties.

February
In a talk entitled The Art and Science of Testing, Developmental Psychologist John Shanahan explained why psycho-educational tests are called for, what they measure and what information they can provide. He also explained what the scores mean and how they can be used in planning appropriate intervention for the child. The talk was followed by a question and answer session and provided an opportunity for parents and teachers to learn what to expect from psych-educational reports and how to interpret them.

May
Carol Saunders, Learning Director of Access at KGV School gave a presentation on the English Schools Foundation’s key policies, procedures and practices relating to Special Education.  The  talk outlined current ESF provision for students with special needs ranging from Special School placement for students with complex needs, Learning Support Centre provision and mainstream support for students with attention deficit and specific learning challenges.

June
Tehnaz Ragi’s talk about Visual Perception and Learning Difficulties explained how Irlen Syndrome – a Visual Perceptual Sensitivity – has millions suffering headaches, migraines, cumulative stress, motion sickness, as well as unexpected specific learning difficulties, especially with reading and writing, general academic problems, motor function, spatial awareness, balance and behaviours that mimic Attention and Learning Difficulties.

October
Occupational Therapist, Leith Kaus, discussed the foundation skills required for effective motor planning and how difficulties with motor planning can effect participation in functional activities. She explained what motor planning is and its direct relationship with learning both in and out of the classroom and expanded on the difficulties a child faces within a social and physical school and home environment.

November
Douglas Cotter, from the Gow School in New York State,  made a return visit to Hong Kong and talked about the school’s Orton-based phonics programme which he taught for 7 years.

Melanie Miller spoke about the teaching programme and educational model at the Greenwood School in Vermont.

2008

January
Heather Pope and Andrea Muller of the ESF provided an introduction to The International Baccalaureate in Primary and its impact on those with learning difficulties, looking at the IB curriculum, its benefits, differences and challenges and exploring such issues as the parents’ roles. This popular discussion evening was constructive and informative for those attending.

February
Educational Psychologist Michael Wood gave a talk entitled “Learning How to Read – An evening on Synthetic Phonics”. The talk outlined what Synthetic Phonics is (and there is nothing artificial about it!), how it is taught within the classroom and by parents at home. Some time was spent looking at how synthetic phonics differs from the more traditional phonics that many of us are familiar with.

April
Gudrun Kittel-Thong introduced the issues families face when deciding to leave their country of origin in her talk “Third Culture Kids – and Families: The challenges that so many face.” The talk aimed to make the audience aware of the challenges and benefits living abroad may have on family life.

September
Occupational therapist, Sharon Haarsma, gave us some “Handy Hints for Handwriting Hassles”.
This presentation summarised the outcomes and key findings of a systematic review of the literature to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic handwriting interventions conducted by Sharon as part of post-graduate studies, and highlighted the key issues in handwriting development, and remediation.While discussing the studies and many interventions considered, Sharon also provided information on key factors to include when addressing handwriting challenges with children.

November
Mr. Douglas Cotter, visiting from the Gow School in New York, discussed the school’s  method of effectively remediating written expression issues through the use of assistive technology.  Applied to those with learning difficulties assistive technology has opened up a whole new area of study that is making a significant impact at specialist and general schools and is helpful to parents in encouraging their children.

December
Special needs educator, Brenda Peters led an interactive discussion on the the theme of the inclusion of individual needs children in the mainstream classroom. The focus of the evening was on how schools can become a community resource for families and how parents can become part of the dialogue and the solution.

2007

March
Dr Joanna Kidd from the University of Hong Kong gave a talk entitled “Why does my child have problems reading?” on the subject of phonological processing. In the presentastion, Dr. Kidd, discussed research into a new theory – The Phonological Representations Hypothesis. She examined the practical importance of this research and explained how it may help teachers and parents facilitate early identification of reading problems with children in their care.

2006

January
This month we were pleased to welcome John Barker to bring us up to date with the English School Foundation’s approach to special needs, on assessments and examination procedures. With a number of changes at the ESF over the last couple of years, it was interesting for both parents and teachers, and not just ESF ones, to hear how special needs and learning difficulties would feature in the years ahead. The evening was informative and John was pleased to answer questions from the floor.

February
In this very interesting and informative talk, Dr. Leung Man Tak, Assistant Professor in the Education Faculty (Speech and Hearing Sciences Division) at Hong Kong University, examined what is known about dyslexia in Chinese, offered some practical suggestions and included many exampes from Chinese to explore the nature of dyslexia as it presents in the Chinese language.

March
Bryan Beaton from the Polytechnic University led a discussion evening looking at a variety of tools and techniques that help everyone of all ages, including those with learning difficulties, to cope with the need to organise and remember all the information that we have to absorb, and to be creative.This was an entertaining, informative and very instructive evening of great interest to parents, teachers and professionals.

May
Supported by members of the Association, Marilyn Day led a talk entitled “Dyslexia: An introduction and much, much more” at Discovery Bay Kindergarten. The talk included sections on awareness, explanations of dyslexia, signs and symptoms, what it is like to be dyslexic and ways to help in the classroom and at home.

September
A second chance to hear the May talk, this time at the USRC in Kowloon.

October
Donna Murphy, an Occupational Therapist gave a talk entitled “Putting the ‘sync’ back in out-of-sync children. She explained the work of an Occupational Therapist in identifying functional problems in children and remediating, modifying tasks or compensating to improve the problematic areas. This very practical session addressed frequent problems encountered in children with learning difficulties, motor coordination problems, social difficulties and those just not coping or out-of-sync in some domain of their life.

November
Wendy Kou gave a talk entitled “Art Therapy: an alternative therapeutic approach to unlock a hidden inner world”. This practical session addressed the many ways that art therapy can help people with learning differences and explained how Art Therapists aim to help their clients find an outlet for often complex and confusing emotions and foster self-awareness and confidence in children.

2005

January
Machelle Flowers-Smith, Guidance Counsellor – Canadian International School of H.K, gave an inspiring and informative talk entitled “You Can Do It!” Education. YCDI focuses on teaching students the five foundations (Confidence, Persistence, Organisation, Getting Along and Emotional Resilience) that are the keys for developing academic potential.

February
Dr. Lynette Levy, a clinical psychologist working in private practice in Hong Kong, gave a talk entitled “Helping Your Child Manage Anger Effectively”, providing information and guidance for parents on how to address issues related to their child’s temper tantrums and outbursts, with hands-on tips for what to do when the situation becomes difficult to manage.

April
Dr. Helen Irlen, educational psychologist and researcher, talked about Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (Irlen Syndrome), its effects on reading and writing and how different coloured lenses have been found to help improve reading ability.

May
Marilyn Day offered her insight on the all-important parent-teacher relationship and a teacher’s perspective on collaborative support for children with learning difficulties in school.

June
Neil MacKay, dyslexia and special needs consultant from the UK, advised parents on how to provide support with homework and coursework, demonstarting effective methods of organising written work, ways to improve study reading and strategies to improve spelling.

September (10th Anniversary Meeting)
Clinical psycholgist Dr Jadis Blurton gave a well-received presentation entitled “Finding Control Without Losing Your Mind” on family conflict and special needs children.

October
Amy Choi and Conrad Ho gave a talk entitled “Introduction to Brain Gym”. They demonstrated some basic Brain Gym movements for switching on the brain and body for learning that parents could do with their children at home. They also talked about using Brain Gym for integrating the eyes, ears, vestibular system and brain-body coordination, referring to case studies of their own and inviting questions from the audience.

November
Ian Robertson, Managing Director of Out of the Box Thinking Ltd. and a certified Edward de Bono trainer, gave a talk entitled “Intoduction to Thinking Skills”. Drawing on many years of research and developing practical applications that have been used in education, Ian spoke about thinking, taking elements of the Six Thinking Hats and Cognitive Research Trust systems that have proved successful in schools. This was an interactive evening of especial benefit to those interested in and affected by learning difficulties.

2004

January
Dr. Iain MacRobert and Mrs. Ginni MacRobert led a fascinating and useful discussion evening on the use of drugs in combatting learning difficulties and on the use and record of alternative approaches, including nutritional supplements.

February
In an entertaining and informative evening, Dr. Lorraine Hammond gave a talk entitled “Myths of Dyslexia.” She also
spoke about interventions and covered what is more effective. This gave especial insight into the characteristics of those with specific learning difficulties.

March
Laurie Hale, Barbara Owen and Constance Haisma-Kwok, three members of the Dyslexia Association Committee,
led a workshop which aimed to provide parents with strategies and activities to use at home with their children.

May
Craig Boyce of the Chinese International School led a discussion on the International Baccalaureate and how it impacts those affected by Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties. It was interesting to hear how those who may have learning difficulties cope with the broader syllabus of the International Baccalaureate and what parents and teachers together can do to help students.

May
Lynette Levy led a discussion on the roles of family and friends in helping a child with learning difficulties. She offered words of wisdom on how to deal with schools, taking assessments and making the most of them, and what
people might expect from the complex relationship of child, family and schools.

September
Ms. Livia Wong gave an enlightening talk on the widely used and well respected”Davis Dyslexia Correction Program” which assists dyslexic adults and children in discovering their gifts and overcoming their learning difficulties in a 5-day program.

October
“On the same side…you, me and my child”, a talk by Gloria Hill. This clear practical, talk covered several best practice, research based techniques to inspire positive change between parents, professionals and schools striving to work collaboratively to enhance learning for children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

November
Frank Cowling, son of the author, gave an intersting and informative talk about the Toe by Toe programme and taught participants how to effectively apply the teaching approaches covered in the books Toe by Toe, Stareway to Spelling and Stride Ahead.

2003

January
Following our recent discussions on defining Dyslexia and helping students at the primary school level, this evening’s talk looked at the next stage – how classroom teachers, parents and special needs teachers can work together to benefit secondary school children with Specific Learning Difficulties.
Robert Beck, Hong Kong International School’s Educational Psychologist and Yinka Badmus, Head of Special Needs at the English Schools Foundation’s West Island School, discussed how their schools support students with special needs at the Secondary School level.

February
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia & Attention Treatment Centre
–One Parent’s Experience
Jean Hudson, whose daughter has participated in the DDAT programme, shared her experiences and addressed such important questions as: Is DDAT a cure for dyslexia? What children can benefit from the treatment? How much does it cost? What exercises are involved? Will a DDAT centre open in Hong Kong? How does DDAT differ from other treatments and exercises for dyslexia?

March
The scheduled meeting did not take place as the speakers decided not to come to
Hong Kong due to the outbreak of war and a number of other reasons.
Fortunately, Gloria Hill of Pathways stepped in at the last minute to lead a discussion evening. Having recently visited schools and universities in the US, she was able to offer advice to parents considering educating their children there. Thanks to Gloria for stepping in at a late stage for what proved to be an interesting and useful evening.

September
When a child struggles in school, it leads to countless questions. Many arise because the presenting symptoms of different learning difficulties can look very similar. Clinical psychologists Dr. Jadis Blurton and Dr. Lynette Levy of Therapy Associates discussed various learning problems and what parents and educators can do to help children.

October
Chicago-based educational psychologist Bill Connor and Imy Wax, author of College Guide for Students with LD and/or ADD (Princeton Review), talked about the educational opportunities for students with specific learning difficulties (SLD) in the US.
Bill Connor compared Hong Kong’s special needs instruction with what is currently happening in the States. Imy Wax discussed such vital topics as researching schools, admission requirements and graduation policies. This important discussion covered areas applicable to students of all ages – from reception to university.

December
Nancy Cushen White, associate clinical professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of California-San Francisco, gave an overview of learning difficulties from Testing, through Accommodation, Compensation and Remediation, drawing on personal and professional examples and on her long experience as a special needs teacher and program consultant in special education curriculum with San Francisco Unified School District.

2002

May
Representatives from the Kumon organisation gave a talk about their maths programme.

June
Dyslexia & Specific Learning Difficulties ~ Parents’ Views
Two parents with dyslexic children gave a talk and led a discussion about what it is like to be a parent of a child with specific learning difficulties.

On June 17th Ruth Rimmer, managing director of Dolphin U.K. Education gave an informative evening, outlining what parents should be looking for in choosing a school for the dyslexic student, suggesting appropriate questions to ask and clarifying admissions  procedures and timings.  A selection of School prospectuses was available for viewing.

September
A discussion on assessment by Educational Psychologist Dr. Caleb Knight:
Dr. Caleb Knight is one of Hong Kong’s best known Educational Psychologists and has worked with the English Schools Foundation and in private practice at the Child and Family Centre. He described how to recognise dyslexia and when to seek assessment. He outlined the assessment procedure and explained the terminology involved to help parents understand what to expect from an assessment.

October
Following September’s discussion on defining Dyslexia, the talk on October 23rd centred on the next stage: how classroom teachers, parents and special needs teachers can work together to benefit children with Specific Learning Difficulties.John Brewster, Principal of Peak School, and Robert Davidson, Head of Special Needs at the German Swiss International School, discussed how schools handle an educational psychologist’s report at the Primary School level.The discussion was followed by a question-and-answer period and the 2002 Annual General Meeting of the Dyslexia Association (HK).

November
Gloria Hill, Executive Director of Pathways, brought the Association up to date on the excellent progress of the foundation. The organization provides help to a growing number of children with specific learning difficulties (SLD).
Pathways’ key objective is to provide a variety of interventions and educational programs for Hong Kong children of average to above-average intelligence who have significant specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia.
Mrs. Hill, a prime mover in establishing the foundation, discussed Pathways’ methodology and which children can benefit from its tutorial system.

2001

January
Anna Teller of the Matilda Child Development Centre gave a talk on the work of the Centre.

February
A discussion evening on the Hornsby Distance Learning Course, led by Dee Neville Jones

March
Brenda Peters with an evening on Brain Gym

September
An Integrated Approach to Learning Difficulties
By Geraldine Knight

October
“More than Words” Premiere of video by Ben Landers financed by thr HK Dyslexia Association. Thought-provoking acccount of what can happen to a schoolboy affected by dyslexia.

2000

January
Geraldine Wilson of the Samaritans talked on the recognition of despair.

February
Lee Suk Han of the Hong Kong Education Department talked on the developments in the Education Department and Hong Kong School system.

May
Dr. Catherine Lam of the Child Assessment Centres on Bringing together the various services in Hong KongJune Dr. Alice Cheng Lai spoke about the work of the Manulife Centre for Children with Specific Learning Difficulties, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University September Chris Smith of The English Schools Foundation talked about computers and specific learning difficulties.

October:
Martin Turner of the British Dyslexia Institute gave a talk and fielded many questions on Assessment.

1999

January
a special evening on Adults and Dyslexia, which helped a number understand a little more.

February
Dr Anne Spooner spoke about the use of drugs in Learning Difficulties with some cautionary tales and warnings.

March
Dr Linda Applegarth

April
Nicole Wong talked on Drama and Movement Therapy and its impact on those with Special Needs.

May
Dr. Philip Lyon of the Hong Kong Institute of Education spoke on inclusion and trends in training teachers in Special Needs.

June
Dr. Bill Connor , Educational Psychologist at the Hong Kong International School spoke of his first year at the school and how they are coping with the increasing interest in special needs.

September
Marty Frens visited Hong Kong and introduced the NILD therapy and how it can help people suffering with dyslexia.

October
Stuart Jones talked on choosing special schools in England

December
A video evening and discussion based on recent Channel 4 videos.

1998

January
Dr. Catherine Lam spoke on identifying problems in the area of learning difficulties, drawing on her experience of working in Hong Kong.

February
Peter Cameron of South Island School described the running of a special needs department, looking carefully at the areas of inclusion and exclusion, parental and other teacher involvement.

March
Yvonne Becker spoke on self-esteem.

April
Sheena Hunter spoke on dyslexia and approaches for both teachers and parents.

May
A three way presentation by Geraldine Wilson of the Samaritans, Myra Kirwan of the Kely Support Group and Keith Choules of the Outward Bound School highlighting some of the problems and solutions for school age students.

June
Dr. Phil Lyon of the Hong Kong Institute of Education spoke on studying, planning, organisation and scheduling

September
Peter Cameron of South Island School spoke on how Special Educational Needs was being tackled at this ESF school and how the ESF’s Code of Practice was being carried out.

October
Caroline Yeoman gave a talk on Mind Mapping and how it applies to those with learning difficulties

December
Liz Glenville and Trish Alexander gave a talk on Dyspraxia

1997

January
A talk by Kim Knight, an audiologist on Hearing.

February
Strategies on handling those difficult times in the Family by Julie Atkinson

March
Starting to teach a dyslexic pupil by Janine Clayton

April
An introduction to NILD Orientation, a programme devised by the National Institute for Learning Difficulties by Mike Lane

May
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD), led by Dr. Philip Lyon of the Hong Kong Institute of Education with Kathy Nichols of F.O.C.U.S.

June
Inclusion or exclusion for those with specific learning difficulties; policy, practicality and possibilities; a discussion led by Nick Crawford of the Hong Kong Institute of Education

September
Socially speaking by Alison Schroeder, using language to help social situations, primarily for younger children.

October
Dr. Harold Levinson on the relationship between inner ear functions and dyslexia

November
Dr. Gavin Reid on an introduction to Dyslexia and a discussion on parent and teacher communication.

December
Lucia San one of only three behavioural optometrists in Hong Kong spoke on eyesight problems and their relevance to learning difficulties.

1996

January
A talk on dyslexia by Dee Neville-Jones.

February
A discussion group led by four parents showing how they had helped their dyslexic children.

March
A talk by Dr. Sam Winter from the University of Hong Kong on using resources for dyslexic children.

April
A talk by speech and language therapist Henriette Olesen on when to seek the help of a speech therapist.

May
A talk by Jennifer Crossland on “Mind Mapping” an innovative and effective method of improving study methods and organisational skills.

June
A talk by Suzanne Scott-Chapman on Cranial Sacral therapy.

September
A talk by Richard Gee on reading strategies.

October
A talk by Occupational Therapist Diana Lancaster on Dyslexia and the link with motor skills.

November
A talk by Michael Stanley on self-esteem away from the classroom situation.

December
A talk by Gillian Cannon on teaching mathematics, of particular value to those with learning difficulties.

1995

October
A talk by an adult dyslexic and an introductory video

November

A talk on self esteem by Michael Stanley

December
A talk by David Coles on the Code of Practice being introduced into the English Schools Foundation schools that explains how schools in that system will deal with special needs.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Courses/Workshops/Seminars

The Association brought a five day Dyslexia Awareness course to Hong Kong in April 1996, run and developed by Hazel McKay of the Hornsby Institute, a British based organisation that specialises in dyslexia and which was instrumental in getting the Association established. This course was widely appreciated by a very healthy attendance of both teachers and parents. It was an essential and, we believe, effective programme to increase dyslexia awareness in Hong Kong.

In November 1996 the Association brought Dr. Loretta Giorcelli, Head of Special Needs of the University of New South Wales to give a five day seminar entitled “Learning Difficulties, a broader perspective”

The five day course was remarkable with Dr. Giorcelli drawing on a wealth of experience in counselling, consulting and research into special needs, and communicating skilfully with her very appreciative audience. We hope that through this seminar the awareness of dyslexia will have grown; we hope too that many of the solutions and approaches adopted by schools, teachers and parents in Australia, North America and elsewhere might become appreciated and employed here in Hong Kong and elsewhere through the world. Dr. Giorcelli also met with the Secretary of Education, Helen Wong.

In September 1997, the Association hosted a one day seminar/workshop by Dr. Paul Hutchins Head Children’s Assessment Centre, Senior Paediatric Consultant Children’s Hospital Educational Research Institute, the New Children’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
His topic of Modern Management of Dyslexia, ADHD and associated disorders was well appreciated by an enthusiastic audience.

In November 1997, Dr. Gavin Reid, Course Leader at the Moray House Institute of Education Heriot-Watt University’s Centre for Specific Learning Difficulties in Edinburgh, Scotland gave a five day course on Dyslexia: Practical Approaches To Assessment, Teaching And Learning. This was an interactive course with very real and practical applications for teachers and parents. Dr. Reid also met with the Education Department and visited South Island School.

In March 1998 Dr. Loretta Giorcelli returned for a two day workshop for the Association and Special Needs programmes for one of the International Schools here in Hong Kong. Her two day workshop provided useful and inspirational material for an audience of teachers, parents and professionals.

In November 1998 Dr. Angela Fawcett of the University of Sheffield gave two days of talks on Testing for Dyslexia; her Tests are major sellers in the area of special needs.

And also in November 1998 Dr Loretta Giorcelli returned to Hong Kong including the Association in a busy programme with a talk on practical help for teachers and parents, accompanied by teacher Karen Cook.

In November 1999 Dr. Mike Thomson and Bill Watkins of the East Court School in Broadstairs Kent gave a four day seminar on Dyslexia, drawing on their extensive experience in establishing and running a school with a tremendous reputation.

And in March 2000 Anne Henderson gave two excellent days of Mathematics and Learning Difficulties, a widely appreciated talk that prove of tremendous value to those attending. Another speaker we will try and get back one day, and if you ever get a chance to hear her, don’t hesitate to go.

In October 2000 Martin Turner of the British Dyslexia Institute visited Hong Kong to do a programme of assessments.

In November 2000 Gillian Westcombe gave a day’s workshop on Assessment, designed for Parents Teachers and Professionals whose lives are affected by those with Learning Difficulties. Gillian is Director of the Broxbourne Dyslexia Unit in Hertfordshire

In November 2001 Mike Juggins gave a day’s workshop on succeeding as a dyslexic in a word-based environment. He also visited several ESF schools and ran workshops on making animated films to groups of dyslexic pupils which were very well received.

In November 2003 Dr. Steve Chinn and Julie Kay, Joint Principals, Mark College, A Secondary School for Dyslexic Boys in Highbridge, Somerset, and world class experts in teaching maths for those affected by specific learning difficulties gave a four day interactive seminar for teachers, professionals and parents.

In April 2006, in conjunction with Brain Body Centre, the Dyslexia Association presented a three-hour workshop entitled ADHD – A Dynamic Holistic Direction. The talk was presented by Rita Edwards, Sensory Integration Therapist,Occupational Therapist, Educational Kinesiologist &International Faculty of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation for South Africa.

In October 2006 Dr. Jadis Blurton led a panel discussion and workshop entitled “What works in learning difficulties”. This was an opportunity for all those involved in helping children with learning difficulties to share and bring their own positive experience.

In February 2007 Dr. Lorraine Hammond of Edith Cowan University in Western Australia gave a three day program on aspects of reading, writing and spelling. Dr. Lorraine Hammond is an excellent speaker who has a considerable reputation in this area. She is widely regarded as a ‘practical’ academic who can translate research findings into classroom application, so the sessions were particularly helpful to parents, teachers and other professionals.

In May 2007 Neil MacKay, a UK based freelance consultant and trainer who is well known for his work in encouraging dyslexia friendly schools, ran a three day seminar and workshop entitled “Practical Solutions for those with Learning Difficulties.” An excellent speaker, Mr. MacKay gave interactive and highly informative talks on creating the dyslexia friendly classroom in the dyslexia friendly school, learning how to learn, building ladders to learning, writing skills for reluctant writers and working with your child at home.

In October 2009, Neil MacKay made a return visit to the association and held a one-day workshop for teachers, professionals and parents on “Supporting the Dyslexic Child in the Classroom”.

In November 2010, Dyslexia (and other specific learning difficulties): dealing with the challenges in an inclusive context. A Certificate Course for Teachers Accredited by the Institute of Child Education and Psychology (Europe)presented by Dr. Gavin Reid was hosted.

In October 2011, Dr. Steve Chinn  presented a three-day course The Trouble with Maths, hosted, in collaboration with the DAHK, by the English Schools Foundation.