My son Dennis, aged 10 (ASD) attended TCI for 6 months. As he was considered to be non responsive to verbal instructions, Dennis was way behind in math and reading. This resulted in a very unwilling boy to do any math at all. During this 6 months at TCI, Dennis has changed 360 degrees and now he loves math! He practices at home without any prompts and is very proud of his achievements!
Next to that, his social skills have improved enormously. Social skills are embedded in the whole school environment, so it’s a continuous process of learning throughout the day. I do believe that the combination of one to one education with a fair amount of integration in a main stream school is a total win-win situation. However, this can only be achieved if you have a dedicated team of teachers, like those in TCI, who work with mainstream teachers, like The Harbour School, to make it happen. They have proved that it’s possible!
The teachers are totally dedicated to Dennis and this makes you feel welcome every day. In Dennis' previous school, he would sneak into the classroom and refuse to say hello to the teacher and/or peers. Now he is a happy camper who says hello to everyone and shows a lot more confidence! As a parent, you can only dream that all schools in the whole world would be set up like this, so you can give your child the utmost of any education suitable for his specific needs. Dennis has attended 4 types of schools in his short life and TCI proved to be at the very very top of any education available for kids with ASD! Regrettably we will leave TCI and return to our home country but I am convinced that more children will blossom by attending TCI in the future!
Dolores van Dongen
In a nutshell, what I think of TCI, is somewhat like that of a second home for my son. The instructors in this special school genuinely are concerned for my son's progress and development and I am awed by the level of patience they give my son to guide him step-by-step towards his goals for each day. Everyday, I feel reassured to entrust my son to these wonderful people who are almost like parents in the sense, that they really do care about my son and no matter what challenges my son would give them, they are all the more determined to help my son overcome his weaknesses and nurture his strengths.
My son was initially given a 2-year program with TCI but because of day-to-day coordinated efforts between his teachers and us, we were able to achieve so much in a year and now, he has been given his most deserving place in THS.
I am truly happy with TCI. My son is privileged to have been part of it. Congratulations to the staff of TCI under Dr. Greenberg. Our most heartfelt thanks goes to both Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng. You are a blessing to us parents who need much more than just a helping hand. TCI has heart and soul.
Anonymous parent of The Harbour School
Kaden has studied at TCI programme and The Harbour School since May 2010. As parents of an autistic kid,we feel that it is hard to teach Kaden to have a normal social life with other kids. Throwing his tantrums, lack of self-control, understanding, and speech bothers us a lot at home. TCI's ABA programme works very well on him. I can see a dramatic change in Kaden’s behaviour and he has become a talkative and more reasonable young man. The great team at TCI has helped Kaden understand and obey rules (take turns, sharing). With the successful integration opportunities that TCI provides, Kaden has become able to play and learn with other typical kids at Kindergarten class which affects him a lot. We appreciate the patience, care, and love of all the one to one teachers have given to Kaden. Kaden is very lucky to have them around during these critical moments. Without all of their help, I am sure Kaden would not have improved so much.
We were very fortunate to have discovered TCI shortly after our son was diagnosed with ASD at the age of two. Our son started ABA training and kindergarten education at the early age of two-and-half. Through a combination of one-on-one ABA training, speech therapy, and regular classroom education assisted by a TCI shadow teacher, our son made steady progress. With the help of TCI services, he had learned to speak, had been toilet trained, learned to read, write and do arithmetic, as well as how to socialize with other kids. After slightly over two years, our son had made enough progress to "graduate" from TCI and join regular classroom without dedicated assistance. In our search, TCI offered the best comprehensive program to help children with ASD. Through TCI's special relationship with The Harbour School, TCI offered not only specialized one-on-one training, but also a gradual transition into mainstream classroom. Above all else, our son loved going to school, and missed his teachers when school is out on holiday. We are very grateful to TCI, and TCI's dedicated staff.
Dr.Tao, Qinchen Victoria
Tom was diagnosed with ADHD and working abroad in the various countries in Asia has been a nightmare in regards to find an International School that was able to get him the attention that he needed to succeed. Being asked to leave a school at the age of 3 and continuous having to worry if he would be able to sustain in a school is obviously a blow to a parent. To make a long story short: when arrived in HK even before signing my contract I signed Tom up in TCI as it seemed to be a great system combining a regular school integration as well as working on a custom made program that works on Tom. Last week Tom ‘graduated’ from TCI and is now doing great in Harbor school. Thank you TCI team you truly made an unforgettable impact on us.
Nuch, Tom & Toine
Before TCI, our son was a late talker and lacked motivation to express himself in words or socialise. As such, he wasn't able to fully participate in or benefit from a normal classroom setting, though he was advanced in such academic areas as math, reading or spelling etc. As parents, we were very worried about him thus were looking for a place that can help him to improve his language and social skills while at the same time further develop his strength areas at an advanced/individualised pace. He joined THS with TCI support when he was almost 4 years old in 2016. With the help from TCI teachers and its individualised learning program, our son was fully integrated into THS after 6 months being officially enrolled, and completely shadowing out without any TCI support after another 6 months. His social skills improved significantly as he interacted with fellow THS students and teachers on a daily basis, and having no trouble participating in everyday activities or mingling with fellow students. On the other hand, he was able to further advance his strength in math, doing grade 2 level while still kindergarten.
Every kid is unique and has his or her own path to grow and develop, now we realise. Yet with TCI and its dedicated staff and individualised programs, our son were able to catch up quickly with other kids in his weakness area while unlock his potential in others. We are very grateful to TCI and all its great teachers.
Anonymous parent of The Harbour School
Our son who suffers from a severe speech and language delay, used to vent his frustrations through tantrums, defiance and a lack of self control, which made it difficult for a teacher to successfully handle him as part of a group. The teachers at TCI created an individualized support framework for him, and he had the services of a full-time TCI shadow, within the the THS classrooms during his Kindergarten and part of his Grade 1 years. He quickly developed an easy rapport with his teachers, and they were on hand to gently correct or model appropriate behavior for him in a range of his school settings. Through the use of ABA, they were able to monitor progress and identify the particular situations which caused more stress for him. Once TCI felt that he was ready to graduate, they implemented a fade out plan which gently decreased their involvement. My son is now fully integrated within THS, enjoys his school days and has even advanced a couple of years ahead in Maths. According to his teachers he is a useful and productive member of the classroom.
For us, one of the aspects which made the TCI experience so successful was how involved we were made to feel as a family. Aside from regular update meetings where a progress summary and plans would be shared, we also received daily emails from the TCI teacher who had been working with our son that day. That means we not only knew exactly what was going on, which helped us discuss the ups and downs of the day with him at the end of the day, but it also eased our own anxieties.
Anonymous parent of The Harbour School
My son was diagnosed with ASD. In his previous school, he had some difficulty to handle sudden changes in school life. He could be frustrated or upset when some unexpected change of the schedule. He had several conflicts with his classmates. After enrolling in the TCI program and having training by the professional team, he now can control his emotion quite well and socialize with his classmates. He enjoys school life at The Harbour School very much.
TCI program works very well for him. Also the program has provided us a better understanding of his daily behavior and ways to help him. I am less worried about his performance nowadays because of TCI teacher assistance on campus. Thanks to TCI teacher’s kindness, professionalism, and patience, my son is now behaving much better on campus and at home. We are very grateful to TCI and the wonderful staff.
Anonymous parent of The Harbour School
We cannot fully express how grateful we are to have found TCI for our son. Prior to TCI Anthony attended a mainstream school. Although they meant well, they were not equipped to address Anthony’s needs to the degree necessary for him to improve. Anthony lost confidence both academically and socially. We went on a mission to find a school that would help Anthony in moving forward, help him to learn in a healthy, nurturing environment.
Anthony has improved so much since attending TCI. TCI's ABA training works very well on him. He gradually integrated into THS regular classroom. Anthony has improved significantly with his behavior, academics and social skills. He is more motivated and confident in every way. In THS he communicates well and socializes with his peers. Eventually, Anthony has made enough progress to study in THS without assistance.
TCI and THS has made so many positive impacts on our family that there is no way we could ever thank them enough. We would highly recommend the TCI to any family who is looking for a professional team to help children with SEN.
Annie & Charles
It is important for all schools to address some basic needs of it’s students; these are the needs and learning styles of the individual student and the standards that we wish students/children to attain. THS & TCI strive to achieve balance and for the most part, this balance is achieved. Standards are the focus, yet the individual needs of the student are never forgotten.
During our time at THS & TCI, the staff and teaching faculty have been friendly, professional and incredibly supportive. The school has built an amazing learning community where students, teachers, and parents have mutual understanding and respect for each other.
Anonymous parent of The Harbour School
We were initially drawn to TCI by their level of care and attention to detail in creating a program catered especially for our son, Eesa.
The warm attention that was given to Eesa to reach these targets helped him immensely in his early years. TCI was able to offer Eesa a conducive learning environment while fostering and nurturing his confidence. This was something we were unable to see at any of the other institutions we were considering at the time. At TCI, learning differently was not cast aside or a second option rather a fully goal-oriented program that enriched Eesa and was able to give him the necessary foundation that has eventually enabled him to be fully integrated into a regular classroom. TCI has truly been an asset in Eesa's educational and social development and we are grateful to all the teachers that were dedicated to Eesa's development.
Mariam & Ifraz Haqque
Thomas Chow, 15 years @ The Harbour School, Hong Kong by Miranda Yen
It's LONG. Enter at own risk! (中文在英文底下，文長慎入!)
When The Harbour School asked parents of the graduating class to send in at least 5-6 pictures from their children's formative years so that a slide show could be made as part of the graduation ceremony, I picked one picture from each year Thomas has been at THS/TCI to commemorate this significant moment in his (and my) life.
High school graduation, a thought or concept so remote that I had never even considered all these years, is finally not a concept any more. If you had asked me before 2005, what I wanted the most for Thomas, my son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I would have told you the only thing I wanted was for A school, ANY school, that would take him and give him a proper education, based on who he was and what he could do, rather than either trying to fit him in a box made for "neuro-typical" kids or putting him in a bag filled of "miss-fits" and labeled "handicapped" or "special-needs".
I always knew Thomas had more than what met the eyes. I guess a genius' path is never without trials and set-backs. When his speech regressed to zero after he turned one, it became so difficult for him to express himself that he started to throw more and more tantrums, each one topped the previous in severity. When he was calm, I often looked at him and wondered what was going on in his mind and wished I had the key to unlock and decipher the mysteries hidden inside.
To make a long story short: in 2005, after trying different treatments and therapies for more than a year, we were lucky to have found The Children's Institute (TCI), from which The Harbour School (THS) was created. During the past 15 years, The Harbour School did what they promised: "Unlocking the Best". Thomas was treated as an important, unique, and capable individual. He was challenged intellectually, socially, and emotionally. You see, the Harbour School ISN'T just ANY school. The Harbour School is a community that permits personal expression within the framework of social responsibility. The Harbour School focuses on learning AND putting all the life-skills to work, such as communication skills, decision making, self regulation, and group interaction. Students at the Harbour School get to think, initiate, decide, execute, and figure things out for themselves. They get to use their skills and celebrate their achievements with pride. They even seek more opportunities to challenge themselves because it is exciting, not because they have to.
In the past 15 years, Thomas has faced many challenges. The biggest challenge should come from: In a school like the Harbour School, no one can "get by" by "rote learning". Because to put it bluntly: having autism is "born" with "limited/abnormal social communication and restricted repetitive patterns of behavior or interest, so you can imagine why "rote learning" might be easier to Thomas. In this school, Thomas knew that he must be willing to be pushed to the limit, and he had to force himself to leave his inherent pattern. That means: although he could never get rid of the symptoms that were born to him, he could not be limited by these symptoms (just like in life). I can hardly describe to you how much effort he put in and how much pain he went through: day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year......
The fight is far from over, but at least we can pause along the way and celebrate his achievement so far. After all, high school graduation is an important milestone in his life! So please put your hands together and give my son Thomas a HUGE round of applause! CONGRATULATIONS TO THOMAS ON HIS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION (and was elected "Prom King")!
當學校要求畢業班的父母從孩子的成長期中寄出至少5-6張照片，以便可以將幻燈片放映作為畢業典禮的一部分時，我從Thomas在THS / TCI的15年當中的每一年各選一張出來，以紀錄他（和我）一生中的這一重要時刻。
長話短說：在2005年，經過一年多的嘗試不同的治療和療法後，我們很幸運地找到了The Children’s Institue of Hong Kong（TCI），並由 TCI 創立了港灣學校（THS）。在過去的15年中，港灣學校履行了他們的承諾：“啟發最好的”。Thomas被視為重要，獨特和有能力的人。在這個學校中，他在智力，社交能力和情緒表達上都受到良好的挑戰。要知道: 港灣學校並不只是任何一所學校。港灣學校是一個允許學生在社會責任框架內表達個人意見的社區。港灣學校專注於學習並運用所有生活技能，例如溝通技巧，決策能力，自我調節能力和小組互動能力。港灣學校的學生可以為自己思考，發起，決定，執行，和搞清楚弄明白。他們被鼓勵運用自己的技能並為自己的成就感到自豪。他們甚至願意尋求更多機會挑戰自己，只因為這很令人興奮，而不是因為他們必須這樣做。
在過去的15年中，Thomas面臨的挑戰很多。最大的挑戰應該來自於: 在像港灣學校這樣的學校裡，任何人都不能靠“死記硬背”來“過關” 。因為說得白一點: 有自閉症就是有與生俱來的"有限的/異常的社會交流以及有限的重複性行為或興趣模式"，所以你可以想像"死記硬背"可能對Thomas來說還容易些。在這個學校裡，Thomas知道他必須願意被推到極限，必須逼自己離開他的固有模式。也就是說: 儘管他永遠無法擺脫與生俱來的那些症狀，他必須不受這些症狀的束縛(我們人生要成功又何嘗不是如此?) 我很難形容給你聽他求學過程中下了多少的功夫、經歷多少痛苦: 每天，每週，每月，每年......
這個過程永遠沒有停止的一天，但是現在，至少我們可以暫停下來，慶祝他的成就。因此，請你們一起給 Thomas 最大的掌聲鼓勵吧！Thomas, 恭喜你高中畢業（並當選為“畢業舞會之王”）！