PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am

Autistic children need best therapy

There has been a big increase in the number of autistic children in Hong Kong. According to the latest government statistics, 1,452 children under the age of 12 were newly diagnosed with autism last year. This is a big jump from the 1,023 cases in 2008 and 887 in 2007.

Applied behavioural analysis (ABA) is one of the most effective treatment for autistic children. ABA helps them acquire the ability and the desire to learn and to do well. It provides an array of support services, such as one-on-one advice. But it is expensive.

Therefore, parents with autistic children should receive a subsidy.

The government has a duty to help special needs students integrate into society.

Tiffany Tam, Li Fook Hing Secondary School

Introduce laws to protect tourists

Tour guides are giving Hong Kong a bad name. Recently, a 65-year-old mainland tourist died of a heart attack after an argument with a guide who refused to let him leave a jewellery shop.

In another case, a guide used bad language on a tourist

Both tour guides were angry because their customers spent very little money in the shops.

There have been many complaints against local tour guides recently. Tourism plays a major role in Hong Kong's economy but these people are tarnishing the city's image. Tough new laws are needed to protect tourists. Travel agencies which hire impolite and aggressive tour guides should be suspended for at least two months.

However, I also realise that tour guides are not well paid. To get extra money, they strike deals with some shops. If they bring a group of tourists to a shop, they get a percentage of anything the tourists buy. That's why some tour guides try to force tourists to buy, and there are quarrels.

The government should introduce regulations to ensure tour guides get a basic salary. They should receive a pay in accordance with the proposed minimum wage law. In addition, undercover officers should monitor the city's travel agencies and make sure they abide by the city's laws.

I hope there will not be any more unpleasant incidents involving tourists in Hong Kong.

Yu Sum-hei, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

A fun, colourful life can ease pressure

Living in Hong Kong can be very stressful. Our parents work long hours so we can lead a comfortable life. As for us teenagers, we have to deal with a lot of homework.

How can we survive in such a competitive world? I think we should add some new elements to our tight schedule. Otherwise, our mental and physical health will be adversely affected.

I think creating fun and happiness around us is one way to relieve the pressure. For example, we could organise a surprise birthday party for a friend. We could also share some jokes - as the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. Another option is to make things more colourful. For instance, you could decorate your room or design an eye-catching cover for your favourite book.

Research has shown that happiness can enhance our creativity. Besides, it can strengthen relationships and help us cope with the daily challenges of life.

Katherine Yuen

Support mainland

People have different opinions about the mainland. Some praise our motherland for opening up to the outside world and think it is a very powerful country.

On the other hand, there are those who criticise the mainland because the people there lack the freedoms enjoyed by Westerners.

Although China is far from perfect, we should not criticise it all the time. The mainland needs our advice and support as it continues to develop at a rapid pace.

With everyone's support and encouragement, China can soon become a 'superpower'.

Kenneth Chan, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Numbers game

Sudoku is a logic-based puzzle, and its purpose is to fill a 9x9 grid with numbers from 1-9.

I think it is fun to solve Sudoku since there are several difficulty levels. It can help us improve our maths skills, too. Moreover, it is a good way to kill time.

Chan Chi-him