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 Schools Foundation’s approach to special needs, 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 examples 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, as well as those who are 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!”. 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, demonstrating effective methods of organising written work, ways to improve studying, 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 special 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 most effective. This provided a special 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
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 school.

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.

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 of the ‘Toe by Toe’ programme, gave an interesting and informative talk about the programme and taught participants how to apply effectively 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 ESF 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? How 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?

Please note all DDAT Centres closed in 2008 when the Dore organisation filed for bankruptcy.

March
The scheduled meeting did not take place as the speakers cancelled their visit to Hong Kong at the last moment.
Fortunately, Gloria Hill of Pathways stepped in 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 ~ Views of Parents
Two parents with dyslexic children gave a talk and led a discussion on 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 Pathways Foundation. The organisation 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 programmes 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 gave talk 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 the 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 Kong

June

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 increased the audience’s understanding.

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 about 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 presented on the choice of 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 gave an introduction to Dyslexia and led 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 and language 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 with dyslexia, 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 explaining how ESF schools will deal with special needs.