In recent years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder ("ASD") around the globe, including in Hong Kong. ASD is an umbrella term for a group of developmental disabilities characterized by significant social, communication and behavioral challenges, covering a wide array of skills and levels of disability within the "spectrum". Most Hong Kong students with ASD attend mainstream schools, presenting a number of challenges to their families and schools. Without widespread awareness and thorough understanding of ASD, students with ASD may be viewed as undisciplined in the classroom and struggle to get along with their peers.
In response to this formidable challenge, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust initiated the "JC A-Connect: Jockey Club Autism Support Network" in 2015, a three-year, HK$167 million programme designed to enhance support for Hong Kong students with ASD.