Date
18 October 2017
The study makes use of a comprehensive diagnostic instrument for Hong Kong pre-school children which measures their cognitive, speech, visual intuition and gross motor abilities. Photos: Xinhua, Department of Health
The study makes use of a comprehensive diagnostic instrument for Hong Kong pre-school children which measures their cognitive, speech, visual intuition and gross motor abilities. Photos: Xinhua, Department of Health

Learning difficulties affect 16% of HK preschoolers

Around 16 percent of Hong Kong schoolchildren are lagging behind in overall development with obvious signs of learning difficulties, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

The finding was part of a joint study by the Department of Health and local universities, which was based on a survey of 911 children aged three to six. The sample group included 14 children from special needs child care centers.

The children were assessed using the first-ever locally developed Hong Kong Preschool Children Comprehensive Development Assessment Tool, a comprehensive diagnostic instrument for Hong Kong preschool children which measures their cognitive, speech, visual intuition and gross motor abilities.

The study found that 2.2 percent, or one in every 50 children, requires follow-up services.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has assessed over 14,000 children last year, of which 8,890 were referral cases.

Speech and language delay and disorder accounted for the most number of cases in the group, or 3,157 confirmed cases in 2013, up 29 percent from eight years ago.

There were 2,347 cases of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) confirmed last year, representing an 87 percent increase from 2006. In terms of increases, autism cases were the highest among all disorders, almost doubling in number during the same period, the report said.

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