The First One Thousand Days: Practical Tips for Parents

International published journal by our Clinical Psychologist Dr. Maureen Kong


The objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of Incredible Years Basic Parent Training (IYPT Basic) in a community clinic setting in Hong Kong. IYPT Basic is a Western program developed to promote children’s academic, social, and emotional regulation skills and to reduce conduct problems among typically developing children. The program has not been tested in non-Western cultures, where the challenges for parents of children with developmental disabilities can be different.  The IYPT Basic was adapted slightly to accommodate cultural characteristics in Hong Kong. Parents of 52 preschoolers with developmental disabilities were randomly assigned to either the IYPT Basic or a waitlist control. Parent and child dyads were assessed before and after the 12-week intervention/waitlist period via self-reports and spouse/kin reports and videotape coding by observers blind to the intervention/waitlist status. Significant intervention benefits included (a) increase in positive and reciprocal parent –child interaction, (b) reduction in parental stress, and (c) decrease in oppositional behavior among the children. The parents’ attendance, satisfaction, and homework compliance was high. Practice or Policy: IYPT Basic, when implemented with cultural sensitivity, can be effective for —and well received by—Chinese parents of preschoolers with developmental disabilities in a community setting.

Positive mental health development in teen girls: How parents could help?

Dr. LAM, Wai Fan Fanny 林蕙芬醫生
Specialist in Developmental-Behavioural Paediatrics


Photos and video of the  Montessori Asia Conference Hong Kong 2017. For details, please refer to


Hong Kong Montessori Research and Development Association have set up a web site for the conference. For details, please refer to


Recognizing Developmental Delays in Children and When to Seek Help

Dr. Fanny WF LAM


Specialist in Developmental- Behavioural Paediatrics

Honorary Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Hong Kong

Tutor, The Association for Research in Infant and Child Development, UK



Since the first day of conception, human beings’ brains develop rapidly. In the first 1000 days of life, the fetus/infant/child’s brain forms approximately 700 new synaptic connections each second or upon each interaction with others. These synaptic connections develop and associate with senses such as vision, hearing and later establish more complex circuitry which supports the child’s motor skills, language mastery, and other cognitive functioning. If a child’s development deviates from normal limits, a standardized developmental assessment by a specialist should be put in place to further investigate the child's developmental needs, brain development and to provide intervention as early as possible.


Early signs of developmental issues:

  • Delay in Meeting milestones: milestones come in a range, which is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. Common milestones will be rolling over at 4-5 months, crawling at 9 months, walking independently at 12-13 months, babbling at 4-5 months and speaking the first meaningful word (e.g. dada for daddy, mama for mommy) at 8-9 months, combining words at 18 months
  • Abnormal or asymmetrical posture or movements
  • Lack of eye contact, social smile or interest to interact
  • Feeding problems e.g. picky diet, difficulty chewing
  • Sleep problems: e.g. trouble falling into sleep and persistent intermittent wakings at night
  • Parents’ concern in hearing and vision


Early intervention

Nobel prize laureate Professor James Heckman states that in terms of return, investing in early childhood education gives the most rewarding outcome. According to the Harvard Center of Child Development, the earlier the intervention of developmental delay, the more cost-effective and the less effortful it is. Timely intervention can significantly improve children’s development, and help children learn importantly life skills. Parent coaching on providing stimulating environment, pivotal response training, attachment-based relationship building, as well as tailor-made multidisciplinary intervention on motor skills, language development, cognitive and executive function training, is imperative in supporting the child to catch up from their development deviance while minimizing its negative impact on the child’s life.






Learning Objectives

  1. Evidence on early brain development
  2. Normative socio-emotional development in young children
  3. Normative executive function development in young children
  4. What can you do as a parent to facilitate thedevelopment of your infant/ young child?



  • 發展障礙的徵象會持續至成人階段
  • 如不接受治療,情況會逐漸變得複雜,後遺症漸漸出現
  • 藥物支援及定期的行為治療或心理輔導可 達至良好的治療成果
  1. Contributors of behaviour in a typically developing child /影響兒童行為及心理發育的因素
  2. Neurological and neuropsychological basis of developmental behavioural disorders in childhood /行為障礙的腦神經及腦功能基礎
  3. Early identification of common developmental conditions: what are their core features /及早識別發展障礙 :認識發展障礙的情緒及行為表徵
  4. Overview on the management of common neurobehavioural disorders in childhood /簡介發展行為障礙的治療方案