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New School Relationship Team for the new school year

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Louis

Louis Liu
International School Relationship

Dear Friends of LIH Olivia’s Place,

I am Louis Liu, the school relations manager, at LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai. It’s my great pleasure to meet you here. I received my bachelor’s degree at China Pharmaceutical University at Nanjing. Having studied four years in the field of pharmaceutical sciences, I never thought I will pursue my career in the field of pediatric rehabilitation. I got to know LIH Olivia’s Place in 2016 and started my new journey from there.

3 years at LIH Olivia’s Place

I often hear people asking me why I chose this job. My answer was and would continue to be that I wanted my job to be meaningful. It’s not about making money to live a life, it’s about to bring changes to other people. Every time when I see people come with nervous while leaving with a smile on their face, I know that my work has been worthwhile. 3 years at Olivia’s Place, I heard many stories and saw lots of touching moments, which motivated me and proved that we are doing the good and right thing.

How I can be Helpful to You

As a school liaison, my role is to help schools, teachers, and families to access resources to help students to better fulfill their potential. As an educator making impact and building future, you are the most important role to lead the students to their future. But on the way, you may face challenges, you may see a child in your class struggle to make friends, you may see a child suffering emotional difficulties, you may see a parent who is desperate for help but have no confidence in the local supporting pathways, etc. That is where I can help. I can help to bring in quality therapy service to meet students and families’ clinical and emotional needs.

For the international school community, I know that teachers are facing challenges as this is such an environment with diversity. Things may go different from what you have been familiar with, in the aspects of culture, policy and so on. I hope, by working together, we can break barriers that may interfere children to receive the best services in China.

 

Yoyo Zhou
International School Relationship

Dear Friends of LIH Olivia’s Place,

I’m Yoyo who is the new school liaison at LIH Olivia’s Place and it’s a great pleasure to introduce myself here.

About me

I spent my first two years of my high school in Yew Wah International School, and took my last school year in the US. Before this, I was studying in a public middle school in Shanghai. In addition, I received my bachelor degree in New York City and stayed there for 7 years. That said, I have always been evolved in a diversify environment and thus to have a better understanding and experiences between Chinese and oversea cultures, as well as the school life in both private and public schools. I believe, all of these would be beneficial for me to better relate with my clients.

What I learnt about LIH Olivia’s Place

Back to the time before I joined LIH Olivia’s Place, I had no idea what autism was, what the specific symptoms of the kids would be, and how the autism would affect these kids’ life and future. Now, after I have talked with so many parents and have seen all these cases myself, I am able to have a better understanding not only the neurodevelopment disorder itself, but also what all these parents and kids were experiencing mentally. I felt happy from my heart to see that our services could help pulling these families from desperate to hope and happiness.

My View about Rehabilitation in China

China’s medical rehabilitation still remains at a lower penetration rate compared to the global benchmarks, such as the US. This could be mainly attributable to the lack of therapists and how Chinese parents’ cognition about the neurodevelopment disorders. I hope I could help the Chinese parents to better understand medical rehabilitations and let them give their children a better therapy in the early stage.

For my Position, as a School Liaison

I will coordinate with school’s learning support departments and teachers to take their referrals regarding students who are in demand for services and supports from our clinic. Setting up the bridge between our clinic and school learning support department, and providing consulting services and feasible solutions to teachers and administrators who are confronting issues that need to be solved.

For any support regarding training, including teacher trainings and parents trainings etc, from school teachers, I can book and coordinate workshop according to any specific needs.

As a marketing personnel, I will also participate in the major educational forums and festivals held by international communities and international schools. At the same time, I would bring in our therapists as well to give corresponding presentations if needed.

 


How Teachers Can Help: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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How Teachers Can Help:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

 

Beth

Beth Rutkowski
Lead Clinical Psychologist in LIH Olivia’s Place

Prioritize Seating

Seat the student away from windows and the door, and near the front of the class.  A seating arrangement in which students are in rows, with focus on the teacher is preferable to students seated around tables or facing one another. For testing or quiet study time, create a quiet area free of distractions for the student to work.

Deliver Lessons Clearly

Give instructions one at a time. Encourage the whole class to ask if they need repetition, and repeat whenever there is a request. If possible, work on the most difficult material early in the day. In addition to teaching verbally, provide visual information such as charts, pictures, and color coded materials.  Create outlines for the student to take notes in class, which organizes the information based on the order in which it is presented.

Minimize Challenges with Work

Create worksheets and tests with fewer items to demonstrate mastery. Instead of long exams, give frequent short quizzes. Reduce the number of timed tests. When possible, test the student in the format that they are best able to represent their knowledge, such as orally or filling in blanks. Divide long-term projects into segments and assign a completion goal for each segment. Offer the opportunity to turn work in late or not fully complete in order to obtain partial credit.

Assist with Organization

Allow time for the student to organize materials and assignments for home. Post a visual reminder of steps to take when getting ready to go home at the end of the day.  Make sure the student has a system for writing down assignments and important dates. Periodically check what the student uses it. Color-code materials for each subject.

Assign a special folder to be checked each day with communication between home and school, such as behavior reports, permission slips, project descriptions, etc.

Start the Lesson on the Right Foot

Signal the start of a lesson with a cue such as a chime or a bell. Establish eye contact with the student who has ADHD. Use their first name to get their attention. List the activities of the lesson on the board, and add pictures when possible. Tell students what they’re going to learn and what your expectations are. Make sure students know exactly what materials they’ll need.

Teach with Accommodations

Keep instructions simple and structured. Use props, charts, and other visual aids whenever possible. Include different kinds of activities and allow breaks. Have an unobtrusive cue set up to indicate to their student when they are off-task, such as touching them on the shoulder.  Summarize key points at the end of the lesson. If you give an assignment, have three different students repeat it, then have the class say it in unison, and put it on the board. Be specific about what to take home.

Allow for Movement

Allow the student to move around or fidget, preferably by creating reasons for the movement. Provide opportunities for physical action- do an errand, wash the blackboard, get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, etc. If this is not practical, then permit the student to play with small objects kept in their desks that can be manipulated quietly, such as a soft squeeze ball, if it isn’t too distracting.

Partner with Parents

For best results, teachers must partner with the parents to ensure that their child is ready to learn in the classroom. Have regular communication via in person meetings, phone calls or email. Use a daily or weekly report, if helpful. Provide feedback on any concerns regarding medication effectiveness or worsening symptoms.

 

 


Parenting Through Relocation and School Changes

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Parenting Through Relocation and School Changes

 

摄图网_501008655       Starting a new school can be an exciting and challenging process, and every child’s experiences are different. While
never predictable, there are steps you can take as a parent to help ease the transition. 

       Prior to the change, keep your child informed and involved. Talk with them about schools you are considering or have selected. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and remind them that it is okay to be sad or angry. If your child seems fixated on the negatives, remind them of some of the positives. The goal here is not to force them to change their feelings, but to help them understand that both advantages and disadvantages exist. For example, talk to your child about programs or teams at the new school that they might enjoy.

       If your child is leaving friendships at a previous school, let them know that these relationships do not have to end. Remind them of all the ways to keep in touch- email, Skype, phone calls and WeChat. Have them practice contacting friends using these methods while still at the same school, making it more tangible and realistic. If the friends are still living nearby, investigate clubs or activities they can take part in together outside of school. If your family is moving, plan to reconnect in the summer or at holidays. Make these plans ahead of time so your child has them to look forward to on tough days,

       Before the first day of classes, find out if the school provides a campus tour for new students. If they don’t, request permission to walk the school grounds with your child. Identify where the important things are, making the first day of classes less intimidating. Ensure your child knows how to get to school and practice any routes together. If English isn’t your child’s first language, investigate support programs and services that can help. Introduce yourself to the people who will be working with your child, such as their principal, teacher, or counselor.

       Once school begins, ensure that your child has the right equipment, clothes and books. This avoids any additional feelings of ostracism. Help them get organized. If they become overwhelmed, assist them with breaking down assignments or projects into manageable tasks. If your child is having trouble keeping up with academic expectations, recognize that this is common with changing schools. Normalize the need for additional help, and help your child find a tutor or get engaged with learning support. Attend any parent nights or conferences, and request additional meetings about ongoing concerns.

       While never easy, your child’s adjustment to a new school can be as smooth as possible with your your support and assistance.

Beth

Beth Rutkowski
Lead Clinical Psychologist in LIH Olivia’s Place


Parents and Kids: Health for Kids The benefits of interacting with Nature

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What are the cognitive benefits of integrating with nature?

In the last two decades children are gradually spending more time playing video games or staring at computer screens and this has been a perpetuating problem in modern society.Richard Louv, author of the book, ‘Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder’,tells the story of interviewing a child who told him that he liked playing indoors more than outdoors ‘because that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”

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This culture of sitting for long periods playing games on various media such as IPad, phones, games consoles and watching television, usually while munching calorie dense snacks has led to childhood obesity and serious health threats for children including type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, sleep apnea as well as social and psychological problems. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 17 percentof children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are obese, a number that has tripled since 1980. The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen.

In the past decades the benefits of connecting with nature has been well documented in many scientific studies and publications. This body of research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is influenced in a positive way when they have daily interaction with nature. The research by Faber Taylor, A., Kuo, F. E.,Sullivan, W.C, (2001) supported the hypothesis that: Attention deficit symptoms will be more manageable after activities in green settings than after activities in other settings.‘Nature is important to children’s development in every major way- intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically’. (Kellert, 2005).

 

How can interacting with nature improve a child’s self-esteem?

Many studies show the positive links between direct experiences in nature and children’s mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. These studies show that regular direct access to nature can have benefits in the following areas of a child’s development:


Benefits to cognitive development:

Proximity to, views of and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive WechatIMG703ability (Wells 2000). Nature activates more senses and awakens a child’s multi-sensory interaction with the environment for examples through visual input of multiple arrays of colors, olfactory experiences linked to visual and tactile input such as looking at and touching leaves and flowers.  “As the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow,” Louv warns, “and this reduces the richness of human experience.” Children develop a special sense of wonder when they interact with nature. This nurtures their inquisitiveness and encourages more exploration of the world around them.

Early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked with the development of imagination and a sense of wonder. A sense of wonder is an important motivator for life-ling learning. Children who spend time in well-designed nature-filled outdoor spaces with nurturing adults develop valuable skills across all learning domains, Miller, D.L (2007)

Benefits to academic performance

Studies in the US show that use of outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education support significant gain in; social studies, science, language arts and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American institute of research, 2005)

Benefits to creativity and problem solving

Studies of children in school yards found that children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas, they also played more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment, 2006). Play in nature is especially important for developing capacities for creativity, problem and intellectual development (Cellert 2005). When children are presented with opportunities for unstructured style of play, this allows them to interact meaningfully with their surroundings. They can think more freely, design their own activities, and approach the world in inventive ways.

A number of authors talk about the importance of the middle years (6 to 12 years old) for the development of the child’s relationship with the natural world. This is a time where the sense of wonder of early childhood is transformed to a sense of exploration.Research found that participation with nature before age 11 is particularly potent in shaping both environmental attitudes and behaviors in adulthood. This foundation of empathy and connection with nature may then extend into environmentally responsible actions and empowerment, as the child grows older and discovers opportunities to develop pro-environmental behaviors.

 

In this era of technology, do you see nature as a healthy contrast to excessive screen time?

Nature is a healthy contrast to excessive screen time

A number of recent international surveys indicate that fewer children are experiencing nature directly, with the majority of children playing indoors more often than out. The surveys highlight that many young people are ‘glued to the virtual world’ and are far removed from nature, lacking knowledge of biodiversity and awareness of its importance.The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen.Studies conclude that further effort is needed to make nature more available to children, and to inform and empower a future generation of environmental champions.

Screen time reduces outdoor time: The first 2 years of life are seen as critical for brain development. Electronic media such as TV and IPad can interfere with exploration outdoors, interaction with peers and other people which affects social and physical development. For the older child, too much screen time can interfere with outdoor physical activity, homework, playing with friends and family (Kidshealth.org September 2010). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 years old not watch any TV and those older than 2 years watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

 

Do you think there is a link between increased exercise and an outdoor lifestyle?

WechatIMG701Benefits to physical well-being

Children who regularly have positive personal experiences with the natural world show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility, Fjortoft, Ingunn (2001). Outdoor exercise is better for children than indoors:Exercise can release endorphins into the blood stream which has a soothing effect and can help with the production of melatonin which helps with better sleep. Outdoor play encourages activities such as running, climbing, pushing, and pulling which promote muscle fitness and flexibility. ‘Children who experience school grounds with diverse natural settings are more physically active—more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another, and more creative’ (Bell and Dyment, 2006)

Interacting with nature gets children moving. Most ways of interacting with nature involve more exercisethan sitting on the couch. Not only is exercise good for kids’ bodies, but it appears to make them more focused, which is especially beneficial for children with ADHD.

Benefits to your child’s self-esteem

Interacting with nature builds confidence. The way that children play in nature is less structured than most types of indoor play. There are infinite ways to interact with outdoor environments, from the playing in the backyard or park to going on a walk or fishing at a lake. It reduces stress and fatigue and cultures a fit body and curious mind. According to the ‘Attention Restoration Theory’, urban environments require what’s called directed attention, which forces us to ignore distractions and exhausts our brains. In natural environments, we practice an effortless type of attention known as soft fascination that creates feelings of pleasure, not fatigue.

There is growing evidence that children are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Without direct experiences in nature, research findings suggest that children are missing opportunities to enhance their health and well-being, and to develop responsible long-term environmental behavior.

 

Incorporating nature more into the curriculum in schools

“First-hand experiences can help to makesubjects more vivid and interesting for pupils and enhancetheir understanding which prepares them for the next stage of their lives. Teaching concepts using nature brings in a child’s multiple senses and supports interest in learning. Concepts can be taught in a practical way such as performing mathematical operations such as dividing, multiplication, fractions etc. using plants, animals and natural matter. Language teaching can be vividly and concretely supported using nature e.g. teaching descriptive and categorization language concepts (Blank levels-Marion Blank). Academic concepts such as volume, quantity, length, size, weight, are better understood by children when taught in a practical hands-on way that incorporates all other senses and this is suitably achieved through use of nature.

Getting a little dirty in the great outdoors, far from being a bad thing, helps children lead happier, healthier lives.摄图网_501290076

When we let our children play in dirt, we’re not only allowing them to explore the wonders around them, we are also exposing them to healthy bacteria, parasites, and viruses that will inevitably create a much stronger immune system. Many kids who live in an ultra-clean environment have a greater chance of suffering from allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases that we would otherwise be protected from through the simple pleasure of playing with some nice common dirt.

Studies have shown that simply having contact with dirt, whether it is through gardening, digging holes, or making pies out of mud, can significantly improve a child’s mood and reduce anxiety and stress. With antidepressant use in kids on the rise, an increasing number of experts are recognizing the role of nature in enhancing kids’ mental health. Dirt can even improve classroom performance.

 

What benefits can nature have on a child’s Health? WechatIMG702

Too much time indoors leads to health issues: There is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (“the sunshine vitamin”) among infants, children, and adolescents worldwide. Too much time spent indoors keeps children from getting enough sunshine exposure. Vitamin D deficiency is a risk for rickets and may be a risk factor for developing cardio-vascular diseases, cancer or autoimmune conditions, (Huh S, Gordon CM)

More time spent outdoors is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness, also known as myophia, in children and adolescents (American Academy of ophthalmology, 2011)

Time spent outdoors improves social relations. Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have a regular opportunities for free and unconstructed play in the outdoors.

Outdoor play increases fitness levels and builds active and healthy bodies. Being outside improves distance vision and lowers the chance of nearsightedness. Research also shows that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition (Waliczek and Zajicek, 2006). They are also more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives (Morris and Zidenburg-cherr, 2002)

Contact with the natural world can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as five years (Kuo and Taylor, 2005)

Research has also shown that through positive experiences in nature, children will develop their love of nature and a foundation for the development of responsible environmental behavior.

Research has shown that empathy with and love of nature grows out of children’s regular contact with the natural world. Hands-on, informal, self-initiated exploration and discovery in local, familiar environments are often described as the best ways to engage and inspire children and cultivate asense of wonder.

What would you recommend for parents who want their children to interact more with nature?

摄图网_500559010Recommendations for parents to encourage children’s interaction with nature.

  • Visit favorite local nature spots such as Central Park, Chenshan Botanical garden and Gucun park all in Shanghai
  • Make a habit of going on hikes, riding, fishing with your family. Make a regular plan to do something with nature.
  • Dress appropriately to encourage children to interact with nature e.g. putting on wellies for playing in wet conditions.
  • Use nature to create art in a way that does not destroy the environment e.g. using dead leaves, sticks etc. to make models.
  • Allow your child to get dirty while exploring nature. Let your child get wet, climb rocks, jump in puddles taking manageable risks which is important for their development.
  • Use observations of nature to teach your child and develop curiosity e.g. regarding texture, seasons, why some leaves are green and others are a variety of colors, the rain cycle, how plants make food and breathe.
  • Bring your child’s camera, IPad along so that they may learn a different way of using electronic gadgets and capture memories of nature which can be shared with family and school.
  • If possible, grow your own plants and develop your child’s understanding of the importance of nature to our well-being.
  • Teach your child names of plants, animals as well as seasons and the plants associated with the seasons.
Dennis

Dennis Mlambo
Therapy Director & Speech- Language Therapist in LIH Olivia’s Place


A letter from LIH Olivia’s Place

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Dear Friends of LIH Olivia’s Place,

 

As we are reaching the end of the school year of 2018-2019, I would like to first congratulate all the 719 children who have made progress with us over the last year.

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Nelson Chow, CEO of LIH Olivia’s Place, is giving the speech in the national Down’s Syndrome Forum

This year is a year of our rapid growth and development. I would like to share with you some of the successes along the way.

 

In Sept 2018 we saw the first child with Autism under our therapy fitting into a mainstream bilingual kindergarten. He has made very good progress with his challenging behaviors, and also rapidly catching up with his language development. We are working closely with his educators to continue the interventions at the kindergarten. Next year is the final year of his kindergarten and we hope we can support him transitioning into a mainstream school.

 

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In Nov 2018, LIH Olivia’s Place have officially become the pediatric rehabilitation center for Shanghai Mental Health Center

In Nov 2018, we have officially become the pediatric rehabilitation center for Shanghai Mental Health Center which is the biggest mental health center. This does not only mark the recognition of our quality of services, but also enables us to
access the much needed local mental health and support resources.

 

In Jan 2019, we have initiated our new operation model to help us look after more patients by using a tiered services model, so that the senior therapists can take ownership of the clients and supervise the junior staff to deliver the therapy program. This enables us to support more clients with more efficiency and higher quality. We have also implemented a new documentation system which measures the therapy outcome for each episode of care.

 

In March 2019, we have reduced our waiting time – the days from first contact to first appointment to an average of less than 5 days. We also supported SENISH (Special Education Network in Shanghai) with an educational event with three of our clinicians presenting with totaling of more than 50 years of experience in special needs.

 

By June 2019, we have supported more than 5000 children with more than 50,000 therapy hours over the last 9 years. We have also made the first record to conduct more than 900 hours of therapy in one school year at a single school. We have also conducted a total of 62 workshops to support teachers and parents in this academic year.

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Our Deputy General Manager is giving a speech in international school fair

 

We also saw that we have many areas of improvement. The first is the communication with our clients and our partners. Whilst we respect confidentiality and privacy of the clients, it’s in all children’s interest to ensure the best communication between parents, educators and ourselves. We have built new referral mechanisms and communication pathways to ensure the improvement for the next year.

 

We know also that every child becomes attached emotionally to their therapist, and our therapists and us feel the same. Unfortunately, there have been some staffing changes over the last year with various reasons. Although we have made every effort to make every transition smooth, there may have been some disruptions. We would like to apologize about this. Reassuringly though, every child has made progress under our care based on our outcome reporting system.

 

Finally we would like to thank you for your continued trust and support, and help us to serve you better in the coming years! Wish you all a happy summer holiday! Safe travels for those of you travelling!

 

Best Regards

Hao Lu
Deputy General Manager
LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

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LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing in the Community

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Between July and September, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing was invited to attend numerous events in the community to provide training and information for parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals.

Lectures on Child Development at Hongkong Clinic & BIBS

Milind HK ClinicOn July 27, Milind Sonawane,  Speech-Language Therapy Lead at LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing, offered a lecture to clinicians at Beijing’s Hongkong Clinic on the topic of Child Development and Pediatric Therapy. The event served as the foundation for further cooperation between LIH Healthcare and Hongkong Clinic in Beijing to continue the establishment of early screening and intervention treatment of child developmental disorders.

Milind shared his professional knowledge and experience, and discussed the future direction of pediatric therapy with clinicians in attendance. First, he introduced the general pattern of child motor development. He also talked about early “red flags” that signal concern in a child’s motor development. Through case review, Milind explained how an interdisciplinary team ( for example, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychology) consultation) conducts a comprehensive and subsequently provides therapy services through a treatment plan. Attendees asked a lot of questions and participated in active discussion, especially on topics like interdisciplinary evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as the various therapeutic models used across countries.

This event was a tremendous success. Through exchange of experience and knowledge, LIH Olivia’s Place supports clinicians to evaluation and treat child behavior and developmental concerns.

Milind BIBSOn August 15, Mr. Sonawane lectured on child development for more than 70 teachers at Beanstalk International Bilingual School. He talked about children’s development at different stages, including the areas of gross motor, fine motor, social, cognition, and speech and language. He emphasized the significance of focusing on child development, as well as measures to take when there are “red flags” signaling concern. Teachers gained approaches to use as they identify potential problems with a student’s development.

Although each child develops at their own pace, it is possible to see what is within the range of “typical” and we look to “developmental milestones,” such as saying first words, crawling, walking, or even the age a child rides a bike the first time. When a one-year-old is not able to cruise by holding onto furniture or use a pincer grasp to pick up objects, or a three year old is lacks the basic skills to help put on clothes or climb stairs independently, these are examples of situations when early intervention may be greatly beneficial.

As an expert in speech and language, Milind also gave teachers advice on how to help children who have language delays. He explained that, when a child cannot understand your instructions or is having difficulty producing language, or cannot produce sound, it is necessary to consider the child’s ability to think, whether they have a solid language foundation in a specific language, their oral motor skills, their ability to hear and understand, and whether they need more time to answer questions. These observations will help a teacher to understand the child’s level of ability and whether to seek further assistance. Read more


Establishing a School Morning Routine

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by Sara Naylor, Director of LIH Olivia's Place Learning Centers

by Sara Naylor, Director of LIH Olivia’s Place Learning Centers

Many families find the morning routine stressful. Do you find yourself running around the house looking for swimming hats, a favorite pencil, a water bottle, and last night’s homework when the clock is ticking closer and closer to the arrival of the school bus? Being persistently late can affect a child’s ability to settle into school routines and have a knock on effect on attainment. With the help of a good morning routine, a stressful morning atmosphere can be avoided helping your child to arrive at school content, on time, and ready to learn.

GET PREPARED THE EVENING BEFORE

Being well prepared for the next day will ensure that the morning routine is stress free. Ensuring that everything is well prepared will enable you to focus on the important morning tasks of washing, dressing, and eating.

Encourage your child to develop responsibility for their possessions and time management. Check the school timetable together early in the evening. Together, you can make a checklist of what you need to prepare the night before. This list might include:

  • School uniform, including shoes, socks, etc.
  • Packed lunches – prepare all food so it’s ready to go
  • Check that all homework has been completed
  • Sign any letters or paperwork for the school
  • Pack the school bag
  • P.E. kit, musical instruments, or other special equipment needed on particular days

Do not allow the preparation to disrupt the bedtime routine though! Encourage your child to prepare for the next day before going out to play or watching television for example.

GET UP EARLY

Think about how much time it normally takes to get everyone ready …. and then add another thirty minutes. This will allow the morning routine to have a leisurely pace. That way if things are going well there will still be plenty of time to go over that tricky spelling word, review pick up arrangements, have a cuddle, change a jumper that is covered in toothpaste…….

PLAN BREAKFAST

It is essential that children have something to eat and drink before going to school. If they have not eaten since the evening before they will not be able to function well in class.

Try giving your child a couple of options in the mornings. There will be some things that are going to be out of the question on a school morning but a choice of cereal or flavored yogurt will help your child feel that they have some control and will encourage them to look forward to breakfast. Lay the table in the evening to save time and try to model good habits by sitting down to eat with your child.

If your child is very young it’s usually a good idea to have breakfast before getting washed and dressed to avoid last-minute disasters needing a change of clothes.

 GETTING DRESSED

Many parents of younger children have battles over getting dressed for school. Children are often easily distracted by other far more interesting activities or simply claim that they are too tired! Encourage them to lay out their clothes or uniform the previous evening so that everything is in the correct place and decisions are made. Resist the temptation to get too involved with helping your child get dressed. If you take over, and always tie shoes or do up buttons, your child is likely to struggle to do it themselves after P.E. and could end up feeling distressed. Getting up earlier on a school day, leaving more time for the child to dress, will quickly help them become more independent. Don’t worry if they don’t do it perfectly at first – they’ll gradually get better with practice.

GET AHEAD

Once being more organized in the morning has become a habit, you’ll be amazed to find that you may even have some time before you need to leave the house! This benefits everyone in the house and gets the day off to the right start. Now, if something unexpected occurs, such as a lost book or P.E. kit, there will be more time to find it. And whether you send children to the bus or leave for school together, everyone’s in a better mood.

Make time to talk and listen to your child each day to check how things are going. Just giving attention in this way can help your child feel supported and more confident. However, resist the temptation to ask too many questions, especially when a child first gets home from school and is likely to be tired, hungry, and short-tempered from coping with new experiences and the focus of learning.


LIHSC Focuses on Clinical Training Excellence

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KM ped rehab 3Kunming LIH SkyCity continued to focus on clinical training opportunities for hospital staff and clinicians across the region throughout the summer, with special events in developmental pediatrics, neuropsychology, and pain management.

 

On August 5, international and domestic specialists were invited to attend a workshop at LIHSC on the topics of “parenting and behavioral development of premature infants,” “development, behavior, and parenting,” “child life, recreational therapy, and social involvement,” and “strategies to prompt child communication.” Special guest Joanne Ennion, Audiologist, M. Aud, B.Sc, held a lecture on “the development of audiology in pediatric rehabilitation.”

 

Dr Morse 2Also in early August, Dr. Phil Morse, a neuropsychologist from the US specialized in acquired brain injury and stroke rehabilitation, held three lectures. Topics were focused on anxiety and depression after stroke; stroke in right side of the cerebral hemisphere; memory loss and the elderly.

 

Dr. Morse has extensive experience in cognitive rehabilitation and education in the United States. Playing a significant role in American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) and serving as the Chair of Stroke ISIG, he was recently honored as a Distinguished Member of ACRM. During the past three years, Dr. Morse has been cooperating closely with New Zealand Government on acquired brain injury rehabilitation.

 

Dr Boxu Chen 1Dr. Boxu Chen visited LIH SkyCity Hospital to provide a workshop on chronic pain management and rehabilitation from 9-11 August. Dr. Chen is the director of the rehabilitation department at Taipei Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, as well as the PHD counselor at Taiwan University and Chang Gung University. The training he provided to physicians and allied health professionals focused on musculoskeletal problems and neuropathic pain.


Program Review: Cultivating Resilience with MindUp

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Xiang Yi Yong, Psychologist, LIH Olivia's Place Beijing

XiangYi Yong, Psychologist, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing

In the 21st century, our children and young people are exposed to various stressors in their daily lives. Due to globalization, young people experience rapid changes in their environment following the advancement of science and technology, fast pace of life, and tight competition among their peers, which means that those who are more susceptible to stress and anxiety experience absolute and constant negative emotions. However, at the same time, a lot of these young people do not have adequate skills to cope with stress and anxiety. As a result, these conditions deter them from focusing during learning, which negatively affects their academic performance. Additionally, lack of effective stress coping skills can contribute to poor self-control, which potentially results in various behavioral problems, such as physical disputes with others or compulsive shopping. Ineffective coping with stress and anxiety can also later result in various types of psychological dysfunction, for example, over- or under- eating, substance abuse, or mood disorders. These issues not only have a detrimental effect on young people’s general health and daily functioning, but also the quality of their relationships with people around them.

 

There are various programs and curricula to equip our next generation with resources to cope with challenges. One of these programs is MindUp™, which was created by the Hawn Foundation in the United States. It is grounded in four prominent components in the field of psychology and learning: mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and social and emotional learning. MindUp™ applies a distinctive integration of these four pillars to build personal resilience in children and young people, which is a quality that is key to thriving in today’s world. MindUp™ aims to encourage positive behavior, enhance learning and academic performance, and improve relationships with self and others in young people. It consists of 15 lessons for children and young people from preschool to grade 8, customized according to age group and developmental level. These lessons can be fully integrated into school culture, such as in between the usual academic lessons, after-school activities, and holiday camp. Furthermore, the MindUp™ curriculum can be adapted by psychotherapists or counselors for their youth clients during therapy sessions, and trained parents for their own children at home.

 

MindUp™ offers an immersive exploratory experience together with daily core practices. One of these instances is the guided “Brain Break” breathing exercise, which can be best practiced during any transition of activities in daily life as a way to enhance emotional and behavioral stability, and increase receptivity towards new information. Extended from the four pillars, examples of topics that children and young people will learn from MindUp™ include:

  • Understanding brain structures and functions, especially those involved in focused attention and behavioral and emotional regulation
  • Having mindful awareness of various sensations and movements
  • Taking perspectives of others, practicing optimism and gratitude
  • Taking mindful, grateful, and kind actions towards others

MindUp™ activities are conducted in experiential and youth-friendly ways. These include:

  • Hands-on activities with lively instruction to invite young people to explore their inner experiences (e.g., body sensation, feelings, thoughts), and their surroundings (e.g., what they see, what they hear)
  • Information learning with the help of visual arts (e.g., colorful flow charts, videos, models)
  • Daily practice learning by following teachers/instructors’ modeling and coaching
  • Age-appropriate discussion that involves problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution processes
  • Home activities and journaling

 

MindUp™ is an evidence-based program that has been accredited by Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). It is also recommended by established governmental bodies to assist children and young people’s development, such as the National Institute of Justice (US). Research has shown that MindUp™:

  • Reinforces passion in learning
  • Increases academic success with improvement in attention, planning, and organization skills
  • Enhances self-control and self-regulation skills, and decreases aggression and antisocial behavior
  • Builds resiliency and decision making
  • Strengthens self-concept and self-esteem
  • Decreases conflict with peers
  • Improves positive social skills, such as empathy, compassion, patience, kindness, and generosity
  • Infuses optimism and gratitude

Despite the fact that research was conducted in the US, UK, and Canada, rather than in Asian countries like China, Chinese children and young people would potentially obtain similar benefits from MindUp™. This is due to the flexibility of its curriculum, which can be adapted in different contexts, and the shared and consistent concepts between MindUp™ and Chinese culture. The core concept of mindfulness- living in the present moment, originated from Confucianism and this concept still appears in current educational syllabi, despite the fact that it is practiced less now in daily life. The main concepts and elements of positive psychology, such as gratitude and creating positive relationships with others, are other important elements emphasized in Chinese tradition and culture. For the pillar of neuroscience, the universality of brain physiology and functions are undeniable. Therefore, the materials and research results relevant to neuroscience can be applied equally to Chinese children and young people. In terms of social and emotional learning, it is understandable that differences exist in emotional expression and social interaction among different cultures, which makes MindUp™ challenging to be completely applicable for Chinese young people. However, initial research has showed that with appropriate adaptation of the curriculum by taking Chinese cultures and lifestyles into consideration, a mindfulness program like MindUp™ can cultivate resilience in Chinese youth.

 

LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing is currently offering an adapted MindUp™ program for schools and in our clinic. For more information, please contact Michelle Wang at 13522341845 or Xiang Yi Yong: xiangyi.yong@lih-oliviasplace.com.


Psychology Team Collaborates with Shanghai Sunrise

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Helen 1On Saturday, August 19, LIH Olivia’s Place Assistant Psychologist Ms. Helen Gu presented to teenagers of the Shanghai Sunrise program on Stress Management.

 

In China, children’s education is publicly funded until the age of 15. For children to continue their education, the student’s family must pay for the last three years of high school. This means that if families are not able to afford to pay for these school years, the children are left without completing a high school education. This can leave many children feeling without hope or a plan.

 

Shanghai Sunrise was founded in 1996, and is an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by intervening within these families. Shanghai Sunrise raises funds for educational scholarships and with the help of more than 1,000 sponsors worldwide, they have raised over 28 million RMB. This has created almost 11,000 high school and university scholarships and helped over 2,500 students and their families.

 

LIH Olivia’s Place has begun a collaboration with Shanghai Sunrise to provide additional support to these students. Following a meeting between the two organizations over the summer, additional needs of these students were identified. These included assistance with coping with stress, mental health concerns, social difficulties, academic pressure, and concern about the future. LIH Olivia’s Place is committed to improving the lives of children across China, and a partnership with Shanghai Sunrise offers an opportunity for this.

 

Shanghai Sunrise conducted a “Career Training Day” with the aim of helping prepare these students for their future jobs and roles in the working world. Ms. Gu presented on Stress Management. This presentation introduced the topics of “good stress” and “bad stress,” and a discussion of how to identify when bad stress is becoming too much. Sources of bad stress were covered, including academics, social pressures, and schedules. Tips for addressing bad stress were also offered, and what to do when it became too much.

 

Ms. Gu was joined by Dr. Beth Rutkowski, Clinical Psychology Lead (Consultant), for a question and answer session following this presentation. The attendees asked a wide range of questions about planning for the future, how to deal with negative peer interactions, coping with pressure from society, and many other topics. This event expected to be the first of many collaborations between LIH Olivia’s Place and Shanghai Sunrise.


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