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The Story of Yat-long

Kwok Yat-long (Yue Jai) is gifted with high intelligence, but he also has more than one learning disability. Is his path of life destined to be more arduous than others’?

Yat-long, who is currently 17 years old, had done two assessments of learning during primary school. The results found that he had dyslexia, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. However, he was identified as a “gifted child” as he got an IQ score of 140. Although Yat-long did not perform well on his academic results, he was able to develop his natural talents in one aspect – “I joined a scientific inventions competition for the first time at Primary 6 and won a prize. Since then, I have been passionate about scientific research.” Before he went to secondary school, he was diagnosed with another disease – Asperger Syndrome, which is a type of autism spectrum disorder.

Despite the various learning disabilities, Yat-long still persists in his pursuit of scientific research. At secondary school, it came as no surprise that he joined the design and technology (D&T) club. He represented his school to join quite a few of competitions and got a lot of awards. As he was merely fond of learning through scientific research, the D&T room had become the only place where he wanted to go at school – ‘The D&T room was my “home field”. It’s so boring when I went back to the classroom. The difference was like heaven and hell!’ Yat-long believes that self-motivated learning is the most effective learning method for him and thus he had never been able to get used to the traditional, mainstream teaching method. Besides, his problem of autism had been the hindrance between him and other students. At senior secondary school, the pressure from assignments was getting bigger. One year ago, Yat-long finished Secondary 4. Nevertheless, he decided to quit school as he lagged behind other students academically and needed to repeat a year.

During the year after he left school, Yat-long had not given up on learning through scientific research. He chooses CHAN Yik-hei, Stark as his role model and his dream is to take part in international innovation and technology competitions. Yet, without the support of school, it is not easy to participate in a competition. In order to continue his path of scientific research, he is considering going back to school. Will he be able to overcome the obstacles to learning and to study while doing scientific research? This is the difficulty which he is now facing. After all, can the ideal and reality coexist? What is the best choice for marginal students in mainstream education settings like Yat-long?

Producer: Joan FONG
Assistant Producer: Jasper LEUNG

Hong Kong Stories - Tango in the Margin (Series 35)

10 documentaries telling the stories of social marginal people in Hong Kong. These people belong to the minority groups who may have material deprivation, limited social participation, insufficient access to social resources, and may even lack of normative integration in the society. However, they do not give up and able to find their own places and go their ways.
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