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Learning Buddies

Learning Buddies

Pre-school education for children with Autism with social and communication difficulties poses a great challenge to parents. To tackle this issue, APF introduces a service programme, called "Learning Buddies" to support parents whose children are suffering from these problems.

The approach of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is applied to this programme and the settings simulate the environment of a kindergarten classroom, children can learn and adapt to the routine more easily under this environment. "Learning Buddies" is usually carried out in group. Therapists provide systematic trainings according to the needs of each child. This can help build up their own strengths in order to prepare themselves for school.

This programme is unique and the very first of its kind in Hong Kong. Currently, ABA therapy is only provided by private practices and is very expensive. APF will be helping low income families access these services when their children most need them. 


Each child has their own Individualised Educational Plan (IEP) which is based on his/her own psychological and developmental assessments. The areas covered by a normal IEP will include:

  • Learning to learn
  • Language and communication skills
  • Social-emotional skills
  • Observational learning and social learning skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Emotional regulation and stress management skills
  • Self-help skills
  • Cognitive and abstract reasoning skills
  • Play skills
  • Gross motor and fine motor skills

Arrangements on fee


    Each participant will go through an audition assessed by the supervisor of Behavioral Analysis, who will evaluate and select the children who match with the service scheme. Participants will have to complete at least 6 months of training. After confirming the related arrangements, parents should pay HK$3,000 cash as 6-month deposit. Children with a 45-hour attendance per month will be able to obtain the refund of the deposit.

    Service charge

  • APF will charge a minimum service fee of HK$1000 per service on a monthly household basis or up to a maximum of 12.5% on income-based payment according to the Quarterly General Household Survey (GHS) released by the Census and Statistics Department. All charges will not be returned. All applying families will have to resubmit the family income statement of the last 3 months.
  • The mechanism for calculating the service charge is using the total income of the applying families as the median income:

40% or below



5% of household’s monthly income


10% of household’s monthly income

81%-100% 12.5% of household’s monthly income

*Families with total family income exceeding the median income will be inapplicable.

*Families with financial needs can apply for fee waiver or relief. APF will retain the final decision.

Our target group

  • 3-5 years old
  • With social and / or communication difficulties
  • No cognitive delay (IQ>80)
  • Speech articulation at the level of 3 years old or above (children will be invited to attend an assessment at our Centre)
  • Priority would be given to those completed our “One-month 1 to 1 Intensive Applied Behaviour Analysis Treatment”

Treatment Location and Time

Time: Monday to Friday (each session approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes)
Morning session: 9:00-11:30
Afternoon session: 2:15-4:45
Venue: Parents Resources Centre
Number of participants: At most 8 participants each class

If you are interested in applying for this service scheme, please email service@apf.org.hk