Past Events


2017-2018

October
This month’s talk was entitled Emotionally Focused Learning by Rick Smith. Rick highlighted the importance 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 2 talks; one 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 also attended a presentation given by Dr. Richard Smith on: Parent Engagement: Engaging ALL Parents. In the afternoon, Dr. Peer ran a Practical Workshop for Teachers and Educators entitled: Dyslexia: Making it work! Tried and tested effective practice accessible to school and to home.

January
Digital Programmes to Support Learners with Dyslexia This talk by Rev Tim Hall from St David’s School, LLandudno, focused on the Nessy Programme: the complete dyslexia aware solution with a suite of multisensory products aimed at making learning to read, write and spell fun.

March

STOP Reading, how to understand more by reading less. Dr. Rick Smith introduced evidence-based strategies for deeper understanding of complex materials, even for non-readers.

May

Dyscalculia and other Maths Difficulties:  Emily Dygve discussed ways to overcome maths anxiety and strategies to help students learn maths and connect it with their everyday lives.

 


2016-2017

October
This month we showed “Beyond F.A.T. City”, the follow-up video to F.A.T. City 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 comprised 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; as well as the role of assistive technology in supporting students.

March
On March 9th,  Rick Smith, who specialises in teaching Executive Functioning skills to students with specific learning needs,  introduced some of the most useful interventions to promote the development of Executive Function skills. The workshop participants left with a range of tools and practices they could begin using straight away.

On March 23, Rev. Tim Hall shared information on the UK School St David’s College, Llandudno, Wales including its philosophy and approach to teaching pupils with dyslexia and other additional learning needs, enabling pupils to excel and access mainstream education.September
The AGM was held this month, followed by a social evening and viewing of the original  F.A.T. City video.


2015-2016

September
The Dyslexia Experience was presented by a team of three DAHK committee members. This involves a simulation of dyslexia and was created to give participants the opportunity to discover how those with dyslexia experience challenges with reading, writing and processing and to feel the frustrations children with dyslexia face daily in the classroom. This was 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 the opportunity to learn more about Dyscalculia as well as 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 knowledge of Neuroscience can be used to support students with specific learning difficulties.

January
This month we welcomed Andrew Luceno who presented a selection of software which can be used to support students with specific learning differences, 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 film The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia.

November
Working Towards More Integrated Brain Function with Kinesiology presented by Brett Scott, Principal Kinesiologist at Kinesiology Asia. This involved a live demonstration to demonstrate how Kinesiology works, the techniques involved, and how it can benefit those with Dyslexia. Brett and his team have 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. Research also shows the important role that teachers have in influencing their students’ mindsets. Dave Buckley, Vice Principal at Glenealy School explained the importance of employing a Growth Mindset in encouraging his students to embrace challenge and treat failure as opportunities 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 of 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, Educational Psychologist, introduced the neurological responsibilities of executive functioning and how they develop through childhood and adolescence. Matt Barker, Learning Development Teacher, discussed strategies and accommodations that can 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 the pre-schooler through to the 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 labelling 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 its 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 detrimental to the child.

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. 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.

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 that living abroad may have on family life.

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 both specialist and general schools and is helpful to parents in motivating their children.