Pengsi Shen is a Behavior Analyst with our Behavior and Learning Support team at Beijing LIH Olivia’s Place. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University (US). She has worked with preschoolers with disabilities in self-contained classrooms, assessing students, selecting evidence-based programs, and implementing intervention and behavioral plans. She has also worked with early elementary students with or without disabilities in inclusive classroom settings, providing interventions for students who lack certain developmental/social skills using scientific protocols, providing group and class-wide instruction, and implementing both individual and class-wide positive behavior plans to facilitate learning and love for learning. Pengsi works with children in both Mandarin and English.
How long have you been in China?
I was born here, raised here, and received most of my education here too. I left China three years ago to earn a master’s degree in New York, and came back again to China in July 2015.
Why did you choose to work at LIH Olivia’s Place?
I love to work with kids with special needs, and want to learn more about different professionals that also work with the same population. I would also like to keep up to a te with the latest research and practice from well-trained foreign therapists, but still be able to work with local children. LIH Olivia’s Place is a place where therapists (from all over the world) of all disciplines work closely together for the same goal: help each kid (regardless of their nationality) to reach their full potential.
Why did you choose your field?
The truth is by accident! I had never heard about applied behavioral analysis (ABA) before and had little experience working with kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) since there are no ABA degree programs in China yet and most children here with ASD have been excluded from general educational classrooms. However it is the best decision I’ve made so far in my life.
What are some of the most rewarding experiences you have had in your chosen profession?
(1) When a child starts looking into my eyes, with affection. It is really hard to get many of the children I work with to make eye contact.
(2) When all of sudden a child runs to me, gives me a hug, and runs away.
(3) When parents tell me that my suggestions have worked so well with their child.
What’s your favorite thing about living in China and working at LIH Olivia’s Place?
I can talk to my family without lag time and visit them more often. I am so excited for this coming Chinese New Year in February, since it will be my first New Year with family after three years. I love to talk to different therapists at LIH Olivia’s Place, and get to work with children with a variety of needs.
What would you like to be doing in 5 years time?
I would still be working with kids with special needs, and working with parents and teachers too. In 5 years, hopefully people will be better educated and can embrace kids of all kinds, acknowledge them, and love them unconditionally through our joint efforts. Also I hope for a flexible work schedule to enjoy life with my family.