Clinician Profile: Cristina Sakthivel, Speech-Language Pathologist

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Cristina Sakthivel, Speech Language Pathologist, LIH Olivia's Place Shanghai

Cristina Sakthivel, Speech Language Pathologist, LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

Cristina Sakthivel, MS CCC-SLP
Cristina is an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist from California, US. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University Sacramento, and has completed training in PECS and PROMPT methods. Cristina has treated adults and children with speech and language needs for the past 6 years in a variety of settings, including medical/skilled nursing, public schools, and as a private practitioner. Cristina specializes in working with individuals with complex communication needs and multiple impairments. She served as an Augmentative & Alternative Communication Specialist in the San Francisco School District for four years. During this time, she provided direct therapy to students and consulted with other speech-language pathologists, teachers, and classroom staff to support the language needs of children using aided language methods. Language: English


How long have you been in China?
I packed up my husband and two geriatric “wiener” dogs and hopped a flight to Shanghai 2 years ago.

Why did you choose to work at LIH Olivia’s Place?
LIH-OP’s mission and vision are something I really believe in- improving access to therapeutic services for children in China.

Why did you choose your field?
I’ve always loved anatomy and language; speech-language pathology is the perfect blend of both. I find it wonderful that in the course of a day I can facilitate language growth by popping bubbles with a toddler, work on speech sounds with a second grader, and help a high school student craft theses statements and target social pragmatic skills.

What are some of the most rewarding experiences you have had in your chosen profession?
My true passion is working with children with complex communication needs (i.e., children who are nonverbal with multiple impairments) and providing them a means to communicate through pictures/icons, light-tech, or high-tech communication devices. I’ve never heard anything sweeter than the first time a child is able to say “no!” or “go away!” via aided means. It brings a tear to your eye!

What’s your favorite thing about living in China and/or working at LIH Olivia’s Place?
I love living in Shanghai- I think it’s a vibrant place, with so many wonderful and exciting things to do. I love that I still get lost when I go on a jog! And I love Family Mart.

What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?
I hope 5 years finds me continuing to travel as much as possible, enjoying a healthy life/work balance, and providing high quality therapeutic services to those in need.