Eva Ma is an Occupational Therapist at LIH Olivia’s Place in Beijing.
Eva is an occupational therapist from the US, with more than 20 years of experience in pediatric occupational therapy. She holds a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. Her extensive experience covers early childhood education programs for 3-5 year olds and services for pre-kindergarten through middle school children with disabilities. She has provided interventions in home and day care settings, as well as special education and general education classrooms. Eva has dedicated time to projects around the world for equipment fitting and provisions for children with physical disabilities. She speaks English and Cantonese.
How long have you been in China?
I have been in Beijing, China since August of 2015.
Why did you choose to work at LIH Olivia’s Place?
I was looking for a place to work and volunteer in a developing country.
Why did you choose your field?
I was on a student visa studying in America, I needed to study and become a professional, which would allow me to stay in America after graduation. I was inclined to go to a helping profession. I wanted to study in a field that I can help the whole person acros6s the life span. I came across the field of occupational therapy, which was one of the skills in need in America.
What are some of the most rewarding experiences you have had in your chose profession? I have worked with many different clients in different settings for almost 27 years. I have volunteered and worked in many developing countries. I am grateful that I have a long list of very rewarding experiences. It is priceless.
- The ability to help a child with spinal bifida who was not able to walk to get a proper seating and mobility base so that he could sit up and be vertical.
- A child who used to be scared of movement and looked at me with an attentive gaze as an expression of joy as he slid down a slide.
- A set of parents reported that they could go out and dine in a restaurant as their child who has ASD tolerated the light and the sound.
- An older man who could lift his arm actively as he was recovering from a stroke. Helping an older woman who has cerebral palsy to taste some ice cream after not being able to eat by mouth for many years.
- I have taught seminars in North America. It was so exciting when fellow therapists wrote back and said that they tried what I taught them and it worked.
What’s your favorite thing about living in China?
I am learning to speak Mandarin Chinese and to practice writing both simplified and traditional Chinese. I get to emerge in this Chinese culture.
What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?
Doing the same thing I am doing… lying on the floor putting together 9-piece puzzle pieces with a 5-year-old kindergartener, pushing through an obstacle course on a scooter board with a 3-year-old preschooler, putting up the pony swing for a 10-year- old…. playing with children and making a good living.