chapter  16
9 Pages

Professional development for teachers of students with autism spectrum disorders in Hong Kong

The principle of educating students with special educational needs in the least restrictive settings renders a rapid growth of the population of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in ordinary schools in the last decade. This change has caused a concern to teachers in ordinary schools. To equip teachers in ordinary schools with the knowledge and skills in dealing with students with special educational needs, different tiers of professional development programs have been developed. The problem is that these programs are mainly short-term and direct top-down transmission in nature. The lack of opportunity to try out the newly acquired knowledge and skills in real environments cannot give suffi cient confi - dence to teachers to work with students with ASD independently. This chapter discusses the effectiveness of a current professional development (PD) program for teachers of students with ASD in Hong Kong SAR. A collaborative mode of PD is recommended that can assist teachers to gain hands-on experience in a fi eld-based training program.