Whether you are a parent, grandparent or other relative, you can depend on the Adler Family Centre. In our roles as psychologist, mental health therapist and child therapist, we are specialists in providing solutions for children, teenagers and young adults with psychological and behavioural issues, offering the highest quality psychological services in Hong Kong. Our professionalism and philosophical approach go even further in that we treat your child or teen as if he or she is our own child. In other words, we take a personal interest in your child’s needs and well-being.
We offer a wide range of psychological therapy to children, teenagers, parents and their families to address childhood behavioural issues and provide family psychological support.
THERAPY & COUNSELLING
Individual psychotherapy and counseling for children and teenagers
We treat the full range of child behaviour problems. We have considerable expertise in using a wide range of therapeutic strategies to treat problems such as attention disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, oppositional behavior, defiant behaviour, Autism, shyness and other social problems at home and at school, difficulties with friendships and work-related issues.
Parents, grandparents and other adults who care for children experience both the joy and satisfaction in helping them become more responsible, independent and caring. However, those who care for children with social-emotional difficulties often become frustrated despite hard work and dedication. Common child behaviour problems that caregivers face include children with ADHD or attention deficit disorder and anxiety disorder. Our parent counselling teaches the special skills required to help these children succeed in life. Once these skills are learned, practiced and mastered, children’s behavior can improve, and they develop better relationships with those who care for them.
Family therapy is a highly effective form of treatment to address child behaviour problems. Family therapy addresses a wide-range of difficulties faced by children and teens including problems such as anxiety disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder, sometimes even more effectively than individual therapy.
Group therapy can be a very successful approach to address a wide range of social-emotional difficulties, regardless of the age of the child. There are several ways that group therapy can be helpful. Participating in groups, led by our well-trained and qualified psychologist, can help by: 1) Learning the skills needed change behavior and then practicing those skills with other group members, and 2) receiving suggestions from the psychologist and other group members.
The Adler Family Centre specialises in conducting a wide range of assessment services, including psychological assessment of behavioral and educational problems, for children, teenagers and adults. These areas include psychological problems, mental health problems, problems with child behaviour, educational problems and Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These assessments can be used to determine an ADHD or learning disability diagnosis, school readiness and accommodations for standardized exams such as the GCSE, IB Diploma Programme and IB Career-related Programme exams, SAT and ACT.
Our comprehensive psychoeducational assessment evaluates multiple areas involved in a child’s ability to complete tests and academic assignments to the best, as well as academic achievement. Based on the results of the assessment, we determine your child’s area(s) of difficulty and provide recommendations for classroom modifications and accommodations as well as additional services (e.g., learning support), if necessary. Our recommendations be implemented in the classroom, when completing assignments or when participating in standardized testing. For example, if assessment findings indicate that a child has attention, concentration, information processing difficulties or delayed academic achievement, recommendations for individualized accommodations are provided that may include additional time on exams and other tests, completing work in a separate room and/or being given a notetaker or verbal instructions. The following are the steps for the typical psychoeducational assessment:
Step 1: Initial Meeting with Parents
Initially, we meet with the child’s parents or parent in person. The main goal for this meeting is to learn about the child by discussing his/her developmental history, current abilities and experiences at school and home.
Step 2: Assessment
There are several parts to the assessment. A high-quality assessment helps understand a child from different perspectives using several methods. The assessment includes the following:
- Standardised tests to assess a child’s intellectual abilities and academic achievement
- Intellectual ability – What a child is capable of achieving academically
- Academic achievement – What a child has achieved academically with a focus on reading, writing and maths
- Questionnaires and rating scales to assess a child’s social-emotional and executive functioning (engagement in purposeful, goal-directed, problem-solving behaviour) from the parents’ and teachers’ perspectives
- Interviews with the parents or parent, the child’s teachers and other school staff as well as the child, if appropriate
- Observations at school and during the administration of the standardised tests
- Review of school records
Step 3: Assessment Report
Once the assessment is complete, we write a comprehensive report that integrates and summarises the findings. The report typically includes the following:
- The reason(s) the child was referred for an assessment
- The child’s background, including educational history
- A description of the tests administered, test results and interpretation of those results
- Recommendations to solve and/or decrease the severity of the child’s difficulties. These recommendations are interventions that are designed specifically for the child and can be implemented at school and/or at home.
Step 4: Feedback Session(s)
After the child’s report is completed, we meet with the parents to discuss the report, including the recommendations. If it is helpful, we can also meet with the teachers, along with the parents, at the child’s school to review the report and discuss how the recommendations could be implemented.
ASSESSMENTS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL, MENTAL HEALTH AND CHILD BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS
We provide expert services in assessing a comprehensive range of problems experienced by children, teenagers and adults including
- ADHD – Includes problems with attention, concentration and focusing, hyperactivity, restlessness, impulsivity
- Anxiety disorders – Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Mood Disorders – Dysthymic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Bipolar Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) – Includes problems with defiance, oppositonality and anger management
- PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder – Includes problems arising problems with traumatic experiences such as physical and sexual abuse and exposure to violence
These assessments usually include comprehensive interviews(s) with the client and, if appropriate, family members. We also administer standardized questionnaires to better understand the nature and severity of the problems.
Following the completion of the assessment, we meet with the client or client’s parents to discuss the assessment results, conclusions and recommendations. Based on the parents or client’s preference, we can prepare a written report which includes the client’s reason for referral, background information, assessment results, conclusions and recommendations.
Our assessment of Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are both comprehensive and are designed to fully understand a child’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, many psychology and medical practitioners in Hong Kong tend to diagnose this disorder merely based on observations and parent or self-report during a one-to-two-hour meeting. In contrast, we integrate information form observations of the client, family and, if appropriate, teacher interviews with the “gold standard” for assessing Autism, the ADOS-2.
Once the assessment is complete, we write a comprehensive report that includes the client’s reason for referral, background information, assessment results, conclusions, diagnosis (if any) and recommendations. We then meet with the parent and/or client to discuss the report and answer any questions.
CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATIONS
Parents are often worried and upset when they are ordered to undergo an evaluation to determine custody and/or visitation. The prospect of going to court and appearing before judges, solicitors and barristers is enough to make anybody nervous. Excessive worry is not necessary, however as there are ways to navigate this process successfully
If parents are unable to reach an agreement about custody and/or visitation, the judge may order a forensic evaluation. A forensic evaluation, also called a custody evaluation, is an objective assessment of the needs of each child and the ability of the parents to meet them. It is a way of gathering information to help the judge make a decision. The court is trying to determine who the child should live with and who should be responsible for making decisions on his or her behalf as well as visitation arrangements. Married couples, domestic partners and any couples who have children together, may be asked to participate in a custody evaluation for the best interests of the child.
When it comes to custody litigation and evaluations, rumors abound. Some people say: “The court always decides in favor of the mother.”; “The judge doesn’t like gay parents.”; “Fathers always end up stuck with the bill.” Unlike solicitors and barristers whose job is to advocate for their client, the custody evaluator, a psychologist, maintains a neutral role in the process. The psychologist does not work for either side but rather collects and organizes information in order to prepare a report to be submitted to the court. Sometimes, the psychologist is asked to make a recommendation. The report might highlight things about the case that the judge did not know and that will help him or her make a fair decision.
The Adler Family Centre has considerable experience conducting custody evaluations. We have worked directly with judges, solicitors and barristers. In addition to expertise with a variety of psychological testing (personality measures and custody questionnaires, admissions tests), we have expertise in working with children in school and individual settings. We know how to establish rapport with any child so that families will feel at ease throughout the custody evaluation process.