Clinician Profile: Zhang Yan (Irene Zhang), Occupational Therapist

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Irene Zhang

Irene Zhang, Occupational Therapist, LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

Zhang Yan (Irene Zhang)

Irene is a Hong Kong-registered occupational therapist. She has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a diploma in Rehabilitation Science from West China Center of Medical Sciences, Sichuan University. She has worked with adults and children in rehabilitation center, hospital, and school settings. Her clinical interests are in working with children with a variety of special needs, including sensory processing difficulties, handwriting difficulties, ADHD, ASD, dyslexia, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.Languages: English, Mandarin, Cantonese


Why did you choose to work at LIH Olivia’s Place?

LIH Olivia’s Place is the pioneering service provider in China that offers world class, multidisciplinary pediatric therapy services. In addition, I was attracted by the mission to make high standard therapy universally available in China.


Why did you choose your field?

After having worked with adults with disabilities, disaster victims, and children with special needs. I found I was really enjoying teaching children new skills while playing with them. Pediatric occupational therapy offers me the opportunity to enjoy every minute of my life and meanwhile fulfill my career aspirations.


What are some of the most rewarding experiences you have had in your chose profession?

After regular visits to a welfare center for a year, all bed-bound children now have adaptive chairs and a daily routine to access these chairs. The quality of life for these children has changed and the staff at the center have started to understand how important a positive attitude and praise are for teaching and training children.


What’s your favorite thing about living in China and working at LIH Olivia’s Place?

The not very fast-not very slow pace of living in Shanghai and the international environment and culture compatibility at LIH Olivia’s Place.


What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?

Besides personal professional development, as a pediatric OT working mainly with expatriate families in Shanghai currently, I would like to contribute as much as I can to promote a holistic occupational therapy service to children with special needs all over China. This would include visiting more local schools and extend OT service in local schools and establishing long-term relationships and regularly visiting two more welfare centers.