One in every 160 children in Hong Kong suffers from autism. However, the Hong Kong Government has insufficient resources to assist children with autism. It is more difficult for children with autism to integrate into mainstream learning. Therefore, some parents hired a “Shadow Teacher” in the private sector to accompany children with autism into mainstream schools and provide additional assistance from the side to enable students to confidently and happily cope with mainstream school life. Most children with autism often have problems in learning, language expression, social skills, etc. Therefore, the shadow teacher will go to school with the children and help them adapt to the learning environment in the classroom. The ultimate goal is that children can learn independently and develop social skills.
Parents usually worry about whether their children will be dependent on the shadow teacher. At the end, their children cannot learn independently and become independent. But in fact, the shadow teacher is not really work like a “shadow“, and not always around the students. Instead, the shadow teacher will pretend to be a teaching assistant or other teacher in the school, to help the classroom teacher to deal with the teaching matters, and at the same time stay close to the children with autism and provide relevant assistance. At the same time, in order to prevent other students from discovering that a student has the help of a “shadow teacher”,and cause a label effect. The shadow teacher will also communicate with other students in the classroom.
The purpose of the shadow teacher is to enable children to integrate into school life and develop independence, because the shadow teacher is not likely to follow the child for a lifetime. In most cases, most of the “shadow teachers” will follow the child for 9 months to a year, from the first week of the accompanying the children 5 days a week to slowly reduce the number of days, when the students gradually adapt to the classroom life and get along with others. Shadow teachers will also gradually reduce interaction and support for student when the student develop better social skills. Therefore, Autismilee is committed to providing parents and children with the most comprehensive and tailor-made services to meet the different needs of each family, a mile to a smile.
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