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Learning Buddies programme stories 2019-07-11


The second batch of Learning Buddies has been started! Our therapists designed different interesting activities for the buddies to enjoy interacting and playing with their peers. One day, our therapists prepared some bubble balloons and asked the buddies to stack up those balloons. The buddies picked up the balloons and piled them on top of each other gently. The therapists assisted the children to prevent the balloons from popping or falling. They successfully stacked six bubble balloons! The children then popped all the balloons at the end of the activity excitedly. All of them had fun and enjoyed the game very much.

“Bean Bag Game”

One day, the little buddies played a bean bag game. Two children formed a group. Each child took turn to put a bean bag on his/her head and to walk along the traffic cones. Our therapists challenged the children to clap their hands when they passed a traffic cone. The team which had passed more bean bags would win the game! Some buddies forgot to clap their hands, so they needed to start again from the beginning. Some stood straight to keep the bean bag balanced. It was difficult to give attention to walking, the bean bag and clapping hands at the same time. With peer encouragement, two teams evened the score. All the buddies played hard and had a lot of fun!

“Knowing about human body parts”

Our therapists taught the little buddies about different human body parts, including eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands and feet. They later played a very exciting reaction game together. Each child got a card first. When the therapists said one body part aloud, the child who got the related card had to point that body part or raise up his/her hands or feet immediately. At the beginning of the game, some children forgot the body parts on their cards and some did not point the body parts but raised up their cards after hearing the therapists’ instructions. After several rounds, they understood and mastered the rules perfectly. All of them reacted very quickly!

“Passing balls with toilet paper tube”

One day, the little buddies were playing a cooperative game. They stood in a line and the first one in the line needed to get a ball and to pass it to the next child by using a toilet paper tube and so on. The last one had to throw the ball into a basket. All children worked together to pass as many balls as they could. During the game, the buddies held the toilet paper tubes very carefully. They all did well in their positions and waited patiently. They also called other buddies’ names to remind them to turn around to receive the balls. Although the buddies dropped the balls sometimes, they still tried their best and helped each other. They were all devoted in this game!

“Learning Public Transportation”

The topic of the week was public transportation. Our therapists introduced Hong Kong’s public transport and the electronic payment system (Octopus) to the little buddies. In the lesson, every kid was given a “special” Octopus card to participate in a role-play about catching a bus. They used their Octopus cards to pay bus fares, and sat and waited nicely until they reached their destination. Through the game and some discussions, the buddies knew more about Hong Kong’s transportation and some basic social rules.

“Learning bathroom”

The buddies were learning bathroom equipment and its usage previously. Our therapists tested the buddies by asking them to name the items that were used in a bathroom. The buddies directly spoke out showers and hand soaps. After some group discussions, they listed out the things that they usually did in the bathroom, such as tooth brushing, washing, showering, and so on.

Later, a buddy further shared, “We can also take a bubble bath.” The other buddy then responded that his mother did not like bubble bath. In the training, our therapists always encouraged the buddies to answer questions and to share their views actively. We were pleased to see that they had improved so much and could chat with peers naturally!

“Graduation ceremony”

The Buddies from the first intake of “Learning Buddies” had finally graduated after a year of training!

Over the past year, the Buddies have established profound friendships. They always played and worked together, and were going to miss each other a lot. At the moment of farewell, they put on graduation gowns, gave each other gifts and took photos together. Their improvements in various areas were very encouraging. Our team was pleased to accompany and witness them – from being weak at communicating to good at adapting to the rhythm of a classroom and group activities as well as willing to share and chat with their little friends. We believed that they would continue to work hard and enjoy their school lives. We also look forward to meeting them again in our upcoming events.

Buddies, let’s fighting!

Note: Our clinical team would keep in touch with parents to follow up on the children in the coming year.

“Closing Ceremony”

Time flies like an arrow, half a year has passed. Three buddies from the second batch of the “Learning Buddies” programme graduated! After the communication between our therapists and the parents, the other three buddies will continue to stay at APF to get well prepared for school.

We held a closing ceremony for the buddies earlier. The three graduates put on graduation gowns, and all the buddies were very excited to receive certificates and gifts. At the beginning of the training, the buddies always forgot each other’s names, but now they can remember and call everyone’s names clearly, and enjoy playing together. Parting is inevitable, but we believe all of them are moving forward at their own pace.

Lam, Fai, Kit, Hei, San, Chun, Hang Yu, Pak, Jason, Ming and Tung were invited to present their perspective as an educational opportunity for addressing the awareness of ASD and the importance of early-intervention. Lam, Fai, Kit, Hei, San, Chun, Hang Yu, Pak, Jason, Ming and Tung are past beneficiaries at Autism Partnership Foundation (operating in Hong Kong).