The Adler Family Centre provides the highest quality services to schools and their students. For students who are having difficulty academically, as well as socially or emotionally, we specialize in psychoeducational assessments as well as psychological psychiatric assessments. We also conduct workshops and presentations that address topics and issues that are highly relevant to schools, their staff, students and parents. In addition, The Adler Family Centre provides supervision to school counselors. Learning support teachers and other staff in related positions.
The Adler Family Centre specializes in conducting a wide range of assessment services, including psychological assessment of behavioral and educational problems, for children and adolescents. 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.
Psychological & Psychiatric Assessments
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)
- Mood Disorders – Dysthymic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Bipolar Disorder
- PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder – Includes problems arising problems with traumatic experiences such as physical and sexual abuse and exposure to violence
- Alcohol and other substance abuse problems
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.
THERAPY & COUNSELLING
Therapy and counselling are usually provided at the Adler Family Centre with the student’s parent(s) making arrangement for these services and assuming responsibility for their payment. In some situations, therapy and counselling can be offered at the student’s school.
Individual psychotherapy for students
For students of all ages, we treat the full range of psychological difficulties. We have considerable expertise in using a wide range of therapeutic strategies to treat ADHD, depression, anxiety, oppositional behavior, 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 students experience both the joy and satisfaction in helping them become more responsible, independent and caring. However, those who care for students with social-emotional difficulties often become frustrated despite hard work and dedication. Our parent counselling teaches the special skills required to help these students succeed in life. Once these skills are learned, practiced and mastered, students’ 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 problems that family members have interacting and communicating with each other. By finding more ways of successfully resolving conflicts and finding solutions to problems, family members will develop more satisfying and stronger relationships with each other. Family therapy also can address a wide-range of difficulties faced by individuals, 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 student. 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.
WORKSHOPS & PRESENTATIONS
- Remaining Calm While Improving Student Discipline
Teaching is often called a “noble” profession, although many of our colleagues who are teachers use far less positive terms, especially when it comes to maintaining class discipline to create a positive learning environment. This workshop helps teachers develop highly effective approaches to create a productive class environment using positive rather than aversive strategies.
- Creating an Optimal Learning Environment for Students with Social-Emotional Difficulties.
All teachers have had students with significant behavioral, social and emotional difficulties. Often, these students’ problems interfere considerably, not only with their own learning, but with the education of the rest of the class. This presentation focuses on teaching practical strategies to help these students function better, both behaviorally and academically, and join their classmates in successful learning.
- How to Engage Students to Improve Academic Performance
Students who are passionate about what they learn are highly motivated and committed to doing their best work. Unfortunately, motivation and commitment vary among students and even entire classes. This workshop provides training on how to greatly enhance student interest in any subject in order to increase the likelihood of increased academic success.
- Overcoming the Challenges of the Parent-Teacher Relationships
Teachers often tell us that one of the greatest challenges they face is communicating with parents. Difficulties tend to arise when parents are very, or sometimes, overly concerned, about their children’s academic progress and/or behavior or when teachers report to parents that their children are struggling academically or behaviorally. This workshop provides practical solutions for communicating successfully with parents.
- Reducing Your Child’s Stress in a Competitive World
For all of us, the world has become an increasingly competitive and stressful place. In particular, the negative stress that we all experience in Hong Kong increasingly challenges us, often resulting in our feeling less satisfied with our lives. This workshop teaches parents to better manage their own stress as well as the stress experienced by their children.
- Preventing or Ending Computer Addiction
Computers, including mobile phones and similar devices, are indispensable tools in today’s world. However, they also present many challenges for children. Recently, parents and schools have told us that children frequently stay up to the early morning hours, many nights in a row and on school nights, often playing video games. As a result, many children get little sleep which makes it extremely difficult for them to succeed academically. This workshop teaches parents effective strategies in setting reasonable limits on the use of computers and other electronic devices.
- Developing a Successful Behavioral Management Plan at Home
All children, whether or not they have significant social emotional difficulties, benefit from a thoughtful and well-developed behavioral plan to improve behavioral, social, emotional and academic functioning. This workshop teaches parents to develop effective behavioral management plans as well as approaches to monitoring and rewarding success.
- Working Successfully with Your Child’s Teacher and School Administrators
The challenges of being a parent are great. One area than almost all parents find difficult is communicating successfully with their children’s teachers and school administrators. This workshop provides practical strategies and approaches to help parents more successfully develop a better working relationship with their children’s school and establish a productive ongoing dialogue.
- Achieving Success by Reducing Stress
Stress, especially when it is negative, can seriously interfere with academic and social success. This workshop teaches students a wide range of strategies and techniques to reduce the impact of negative stress. The approaches include various forms of meditation including mindfulness meditation, changing negative thought patterns and engaging in behavior proven to reduce stress.
- Becoming “Bully Proof”
Bullying has become an epidemic. Students of all ages a vulnerable to being teased and often, bullied. These problems seem have become more common recently and are of great concern to parents, teachers and students themselves. This workshop teaches students to become “Bully Proof.” They will learn techniques to stop bullies from bothering them, when to tell a trusted adult and how to cope with the negative feelings that occur when facing a bully.
- Overcoming Society Anxiety
Extreme shyness, or what has been called social anxiety, affects many children of all ages. Difficulties relating to and communicating with peers and adults usually interferes significantly in all areas of life. This workshop teaches students strategies for overcoming social anxiety and provides many opportunities to master these strategies through practice (e.g., role plays, public speaking).
The Adler Family Centre provides supervision to counsellors, learning support teachers and other staff at international and local schools. We have both the expertise and experience to provide guidance, both on short-term basis and long-term, depending on the needs of the staff and school.