BLOG - Page 13 of 23 - LIH Olivia's Place

Clinician Profile, Tiffany Johnson, Learning Support Specialist

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , ,
Tiffany Johnson, Learning Support Specialist, Beijing

Tiffany Johnson, Learning Support Specialist, Beijing

Tiffany is an American Learning Support Specialist at LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing. She graduated from Widener University with dual certified in Elementary Education and Special Education in 2013. She has been teaching Pre-Kindergarten to 5th Grade Students for 6 years. She has 4 years of experience working with students with special needs, including students with severe disabilities and behavioral disorders. Tiffany has training in Applied Behavioral Analysis and is knowledgeable about autism spectrum disorders, as well as interventions, tools, assessments, and strategies to accommodate students with a range of abilities. She has experience modifying lessons to create ideal learning opportunities for each student to help them succeed. Tiffany speaks English.



How long have you been in China?

I have been in China for a little over 2 years.

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

Being licensed in Special Education in China is tough. The awareness and acceptance for students with disabilities is so low that you encounter students who you know need help not get it due to the stigma or lack of knowledge about it. When I found out about LIH Olivia’s place I knew I had to be a part of it. Finally, I thought, there is a place that is spreading the word, a place that is facilitating getting so many students the help, interventions, and tools they need to become successful. I was excited to hear about the upcoming programs and to be able to give input as someone who is on the front-lines in the classroom.

Why did you choose your field?

I knew I wanted to teach after I had one of the best fourth grade teachers. She told me I could do anything, be anything, and gave me hope when the surrounding environment was close to bleak and not so promising. I knew that I wanted to be able to do that for others, to give hope through the value of education. Showing students that being willing to learn about the world and themselves could take them so many places and is a wonderful gift. In regard to special education I fell into the field accidentally and those unique students took hold of my heart. I yearned to learn more about how to help those students be successful in any type of environment regardless of level of ability. I enjoy it and the opportunity it gives me to continue to learn and grow as a professional.

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

As a teacher I am lucky to have many extremely rewarding experiences. Every time I see a struggling student pass a test, or when I have a high achiever get accepted to a tough program, but I can recall one that will always stay with me.  I worked at an educational institution for students with severe behavioral and physical disabilities. I often took the students on trips in the community and the ratio was 2:1 or 1:1. I was assigned to two 20-year-old young men. They were the epitome of perseverance. They were both classified as dangerous and could severely hurt me if over stimulated or stressed. They never once showed aggression toward me so I asked to always be assigned to them for outings. One day I took them to the store to work through an “Activity of Daily Living goal,” they had to find items on a list. In one of the aisles one of the young men got very excited by a Disney character on a box; he began jumping, clapping, and yelling loudly, which were usually signs of behavior before he would become overstimulated and aggressive. Some of the patrons of the store looked worriedly our way and wanted to get help as my student was very tall and pretty stocky. I began jumping with him as I knew how much he enjoyed Disney characters and hoped to keep the store from calling others to the aisle, which would have negatively impacted him.  I told him that if he completed his goal properly I would get the item with the Disney character for him as a gift; he calmed down and hugged me and picked me up while hugging me. We finished his goal and walked to the counter. The cashier pulled me aside and told me that it was the most amazing thing she has seen. She said that before that point if she would have seen a person like my student she would have stared and walked away quickly but after seeing how I interacted with him and how he is just another person who likes what he likes, she now has an actual experience to refer to rather than an assumption. My students and I thanked her and gave her high fives. I took pride in know that he changed her perception; not someone telling her what she should think but rather getting the opportunity to see it firsthand. I think it is our job as educators to give our students a chance to prove themselves, think for themselves, and discover their own potential, teaching them to become their own mouthpiece while showing them the path so they can facilitate their own success.

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

My favorite thing about working in China is the opportunity to expose more and more people to an African American educator as well as continue to open the minds of so many people who are not aware of the helpfulness and benefits of Special Education and intervention. I hope to contribute toward removing its stigma and getting more people help in an open and accepting environment. In the area I live in Beijing, I have seen no other African Americans. My students have never encountered someone like me nor have their parents. I have been able to educate them about my ethnicity and let them know that I am an educated individual who is here to provide a quality education for their children. It has been a challenge to overcome some of the misconceptions and racism but it pushes me to become better and shows me that what I am doing is very necessary.

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

In 5 years I hope to be finished with my master’s degree and maybe start a family. I hope to take my experiences through traveling in Asia and maybe elsewhere to the United States to begin exposing American students to the world around them which is also so needed.

Promoting Lasting Change: How We Act on Our Mission

Olivia's Place Comments Off ,

In addition to directly serving children and their families, another large part of our mission has always been to promote and further rehabilitation and therapy in China. There are a many ways we are working towards this. Since the merger of LIH and Olivia’s Place our efforts toward this goal have become more intentional and faster paced. Lis Ringrose, a long standing member of the Olivia’s Place clinical team, was appointed Chief Therapy Officer across the company. She is tasked with ensuring clinical quality across the company and also to coordinate the work needed to underpin the expansion of services. Through development of LIH Olivia’s Place’s services, we can build clinics that demonstrate how best practice rehabilitation can be achieved in China.

Another element of this work is to develop training and teaching programs to up skill locally qualified staff. (Rehabilitation professional qualifications – OT, PT, SLT – in China are only just starting to be taught to a depth standard that is internationally accepted.) Due to culture differences and the fact that these programs are designed to be used with already qualified clinicians, a different approach to that of a western undergraduate program is needed. Lis has put together a team of experienced clinicians from across each profession to develop a structure and write the content for this program. The plan is that these programs can then be used in hospitals across the country which want to up skill their staff.

This month we also welcome Dr. Susan Cadzow. In the position of Director of Developmental Behavioral Pediatric Services, Susan’s role will be to develop a parallel fellowship training program for doctors who want to specialize in developmental pediatrics.

These training programs, while focusing on the individual skills that each profession brings, also emphasize a family centered team approach. All professionals have the opportunity to be supervised by an experienced clinician of their own profession while in an environment where they can learn about and from the other professions.

To support this training structure, a teaching program is being developed for participants to learn about common pediatric presentations and treatment approaches in multi-profession teaching sessions. Teaching resources are being developed to enable use of this program outside of LIH Olivia’s Place in line with the company’s mission to effect change within rehabilitation across China.

Beijing Training Event: How to Guide Parents to Get Good Care

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , , ,

LIH Olivia’s Place is delighted to announce that our new Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Director, Dr. Susan Cadzow is starting with us this month! Dr. Cadzow has more than 20 years of experience in the field including nearly six years of experience working as the only international developmental and behavioral pediatrician in mainland China at Shanghai United Family where she was from 2010 until now. She will be seeing patients in Beijing every other week starting the week of 25 April 2016.


To introduce Dr. Cadzow to the Beijing international school community and Beijing healthcare providers and give her an opportunity to share some of her experience a complimentary training event will be offered on  evening of Wednesday, 27 April  2016.


Children with Developmental Behavioral Problems: How to Guide Parents to Get Good Care

This event is designed for teachers and school nurses at international schools as well as other healthcare professionals  to help provide guidance and tips on how to help parents get the services and help they need for their children when they find out their child has development behavioral problems.

DATE:  Wednesday, April 27

TIME: 5:00 pm to 6:30pm

LOCATION: Beijing LIH Olivia’s Place Pediatric Clinic 北京长和大蕴儿科诊所

13 Jiu Xian Qiao Road, Building 6-1, 2nd Floor, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

中国北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路13号6-1楼2层 邮编:100016


Light sandwiches and soft drinks will be provided.


Please RSVP to by Monday, 25 April  2016. Please call John Giszczak at +86 135 1100 6282  if you have questions or if you have difficulty finding our clinic when you arrive. Our entrance is on the southwest side of the Orange Crystal Hotel. We are on the second story of the hotel’s building, but have our own separate entrance on the side of the building.

Physical Therapy for Children with Down Syndrome

Olivia's Place Comments Off , ,
Olivia Chow (8), Inspiration for LIH Olivia's Place

Olivia Chow (8), Inspiration for LIH Olivia’s Place

Since 2012 World Down Syndrome Day has been observed annually on March 21st to raise awareness for one of the most common genetic conditions, affecting roughly one in every 1000 babies born per year. Abnormal cell division causing either a partial or full copy of chromosome 21 results in a wide range of developmental and intellectual delays as well as the characteristic facial features associated with Down syndrome.

Physical symptoms encountered with Down syndrome include low muscle tone, ligamentous laxity, short arms and legs, and decreased strength. These symptoms typically result in delayed achievement of developmental milestones including learning to sit, crawl, and walk. To acquire these basic movement skills children with Down syndrome have to overcome greater challenges than typically developing children. Particularly the symptoms of low muscle tone and ligamentous laxity impede with the development of early movement patterns, which normally occur in a predictable sequence. There is an increased risk for the development of abnormal compensatory movement patterns which can lead to functional and orthopedic problems if not addressed accordingly. A primary example is learning to walk. Children with Down syndrome typically adopt a walking pattern whereby they keep their feet wide apart, turned outward and their knees locked. This walking pattern provides more stability in the presence of low muscle tone and lax ligaments, however uses more energy and eventually may result in painful knees and feet. Physical therapists play an important role in the care of children with Down syndrome to minimize the development of such abnormal movement patterns and support optimal gross motor development.

Once children with Down syndrome have mastered walking, physical therapy continues to support gross motor development to maximize independence and participation with age-appropriate activities of daily living. In the presence of low muscle tone simple everyday tasks such as sitting and standing for periods of time can to quickly result in fatigue. In addition reduced balance skills and postural control, which are often associated with low muscle tone, can have a significant impact on other domains such as play- and self-care skills as well as functional skills required in the school setting. Regular physical therapy can help address such areas of weakness. Alternatively blocks of intensive therapy at developmentally critical periods might be appropriate to address impairments that are impacting the acquisition of new functional skills.

Despite achieving developmental milestones late, children with Down syndrome will mostly learn the same movement skills as typically developing children, just in their own time. A common misconception is that physical therapy for children with Down syndrome is targeted at speeding up gross motor development. Rather than speeding up development, physical therapy focuses on facilitating the appropriate sequence of milestones and the quality of the acquired movement skills while limiting compensatory movement strategies. Physical therapists support the motor development of children with Down syndrome from a very young age, including advocating for regular activity and healthy lifestyle habits. Due to high obesity rates among children with Down syndrome, often stemming from low physical activity levels and compounded by a physiological predisposition, it is important that healthy lifestyle habits are implemented from a young age to maximize health and quality of life in adulthood.

LIH Olivia’s Place has been providing therapy services for children with Down syndrome since the very beginning. Our company was originally founded to sure that Olivia Chow, a now 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome, as well as other children in China, received the care and support she needed. For more information, contact LIH Olivia’s Place at or (010) 6461-6283 (Beijing) (8621) 5404-0058 (Shanghai).

LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai: Supporting Schools

Olivia's Place Comments Off , ,
Dr. Beth Rutkowski presents on mental health at LIH Olivia's Place Shanghai

Dr. Beth Rutkowski presents on mental health at LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

March saw the launch of the LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai twilight training sessions for our partners in the international schools. On Monday, 7th March we welcomed a group of 45 parents, teachers, and school nurses to our clinic. Dr. Beth Rutkowski, Clinical Psychologist, spoke with the group about Mental Health First Aid. She gave helpful advice on supporting children and also the signs of a child reaching out for support.

We are looking to our colleagues in the community to tell us what topics they would like to see covered in future training events. Health care professionals working in the community with young people suggested our first two topics. We have also had requests for workshops in handwriting, executive functioning skills, the multilingual learner, and supporting kids with ADHD in the mainstream classroom.

March also saw a new partnership with Suzhou High School. Our staff will be supporting the school’s community with a series of workshops and presentations on ‘Wellness.’ We look forward to supporting their pastoral team as they offer guidance to the young people in their care.

We have had a busy couple of months supporting the professional development programs at international schools and have been privileged to be invited to host a number of training events across the city. Members of our Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Learning & Behavior Support and Psychology teams have all provided training over the last few weeks and we look forward to working more with our school partners.

Look or further information in the coming weeks about our Twilight Training Program or contact Sara Naylor, Shanghai Deputy General Manager, at to suggest a topic or inquire about custom professional development or community information workshops for your organization. To learn more about how we provide training in Beijing, please contact Jacqueline Chen, Beijing LIH Olivia’s Place General Manager, and in Kunming, please contact George Wang, General Manager, Kunming LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital.

Childhood Obesity: How to Fight Back

Olivia's Place Comments Off , ,
Beth Rutkowski, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist & Psychology Team Lead, Shanghai

Beth Rutkowski, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist & Psychology Team Lead, Shanghai

The increase in obesity rates in the world today is extreme and disturbing. In fact, worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. Furthermore, this is starting from a young age. Over 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013. This is a scary, scary thing.

Obesity in childhood is linked to some very dangerous conditions. The facts are enough to make even the biggest milkshake fan take pause. Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes. Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.

The risks from this childhood condition continue into adulthood. Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults. They are more at risk for health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis. Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

As frightening as these facts are, there are ways to fight back. With your help, your child can live a full, happy and healthy life without the burden of obesity and its’ disturbing consequences.

In children, exercise is the most important factor in keeping kids at a healthy weight. Adults’ weight is more highly linked to what we eat. However, exercise in children has powers that we can’t benefit from once we reach adulthood. Everyone is born with a unique set of genes that influence sensitivity to a wide range of stimuli, including food. These genes also affect how one’s body responds to food intake and fat storage. However, recent studies have shown that methylation, or adding a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms to genes, turns the “fat genes” off! So when children engage in aerobic exercise, it adds methyl groups to the genes that control how fat is deposited and metabolized. Exercise actually suppresses genes that make people fat. And this is a benefit that kids are privy to in a way that adults simply are not. Unfair, but good for parents to remember when their children want to play video games all day. In fact, these benefits begin to occur after a single session of aerobic exercise. As an added bonus, exercise helps kids increase bone mass.

Help your kids structure their free time better. Children actually put on more weight in the summer than during any other season. This seems counterintuitive, as the freedom of the warmer months allows them to run around outside and not be restricted to classroom seats for much of the day. In fact, this “freedom” actually leads to boredom, which is linked to increased snacking. Additionally, leisure activities for children these days are largely sedentary. Days are spent on computers, iPads, and gaming systems, all of which require minimal movement. In order to help your child minimize mindless eating and maximize activity, help them structure their free time- both during the school vacations and weekends. Find clubs they can join, schedule lessons or sporting leagues, organize play dates with friends. The more they have to do, the less they will eat.

Sleep is another factor that is hugely important in the discussion of weight. While eating well and exercise are critically important, sleep helps in a range of unique and valuable ways. When we do not get enough sleep, our bodies naturally get hungrier. This is because we need additional energy (in calorie form) to keep us awake and functioning. With less sleep, our reward centers in our brain function differently. Responses to calorie-dense foods are more intense, driving us to enjoy eating them more. Furthermore, sleep deprivation essentially turns off the forebrain, which affects judgement and moderation. This creates a perfect storm of needing food to function, desiring food that is unhealthy, and lacking the moderation to keep us from overeating. The result: uninhibited gorging on fattening foods. Helping your kids establish a regular sleep schedule is critically important, and should be maintained during weekends and vacations as well.

Some of these interventions seem obvious. Others are surprising. All of them are important. While making changes to dietary habits and favored routines is never easy, helping your child develop a healthy lifestyle and weight now will benefit them throughout their lives. If you need help addressing such a sensitive issue, a pediatrician, registered dietitian, or therapist can help broach the topic in a supportive and informative way. For more information, contact your child’s primary care physician or a pediatric clinic.


Dr. Beth Rutkowski is a Clinical Psychologist who and Psychology Team Lead for LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s emotional or behavioral health and habits, you are welcome to contact her directly at or the LIH Olivia’s Place team at (8621) 5404-0058 in Shanghai or  (010) 6461-6283 in Beijing.

CARF-Supported Nursing Rehab Training Program Offered in June

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , , ,

The field of rehabilitation has developed rapidly in China in recent years, creating huge demand for rehabilitation professionals and relatively limited education and training capacity; both the education and practice institutions face a variety of challenges. As a leader in rehabilitation service and training, LIH is
committed to introducing advanced international treatment and management techniques to combine with Chinese needs. Rehabilitation nursing is a critical part of comprehensive care yet  support in China, yet only a few training programs targeting rehabilitation nurses have been organized, with varying consistency and quality.

Dr. Kristen L. Mauk

Dr. Kristen L. Mauk

It is our privilege to cooperate with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International) and renowned scholar Dr. Kristen L. Mauk to launch a series of comprehensive rehabilitation nursing courses in China in June 2016. Dr. Mauk has more than 30 years of experience in rehabilitation nursing and teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in American universities. Dr. Mauk is a recent past president of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) (United States) and has served ARN in many roles, most significantly including the Council of Leaders, Editor of the 5th edition of the Core Curriculum, PRN course faculty, and the task force to develop the ARN Professional Rehabilitation Nursing Competency Model. She has authored or edited eight books, including two recognized with an AJN Book of the Year Award. She is the co-founder and President of Senior Care Central/International Rehabilitation Consultants, providing educational, clinical, and legal nurse consulting in rehabilitation and senior care in the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Mauk has taught short courses to nurses and students in China over the past few years, and is well aware of the development gap of this profession in China. By combining her academic expertise and local needs, she developed this comprehensive course especially for nurses or nursing students to provide a thorough introduction to rehabilitation nursing. The course is offered in an intensive format over a 2 week period, involving approximately 104 contact hours in one block of nearly consecutive days. The course will include an experiential component, videos, case studies, quizzes, group activities, discussions, skills demonstration and practice, and relevant competencies. Screening tools, current models, care planning, and evidence-based rehabilitation techniques will be presented.

Topics covered include: introduction to rehabilitation, nutrition/dysphagia, maintaining skin integrity, bowel and bladder management, mobility, psychosocial issues, and cardiopulmonary rehab. Rehabilitation nursing care of patients with stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, neurological disorders, amputation, and joint replacement are also addressed. Special consideration for geriatric and pediatric populations are discussed.

The course will be delivered in English by Dr. Mauk with simultaneous translation provided in Chinese. Additional course materials will be provided in Chinese. At the end of the course, participants will gain competency in basic rehabilitation nursing skills and a certificate of practice will be issued jointly by CARF, Chinese local rehabilitation governing authority, and LIH.

 “Dr.Kris Mauk is a world-wide leader in rehabilitation nursing. She understands and uses CARF standards to assist rehab nurses to understand their unique role in the interdisciplinary team. —- By Christine M.MacDonell FACRM,Managing Director,CARF International

Course Information

Host: Yunnan Provincial Rehabilitation Medicine Association & LIH

Location: Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

Venue: 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University

Time: 5 June to 17 June 2016

Fee: 4500RMB per person, transportation and accommodation not included

Registration Inquiry:, +86-13522341845




LIH Investment & Management is licensed by Beijing, P.R.C as a comprehensive rehabilitation service management and investment company. LIH has a wide health care network both domestically and internationally, with a team of professionals with experience in international healthcare, investment, and enterprise management. LIH focuses on rehabilitation services in the areas of operations and management, innovation, and investment. LIH Olivia’s Place is an LIH subsidiary. To learn more about LIH,  visit (available in Chinese only).

Clinician Profile: Dr. RuChi Yang, Psychologist

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , ,

Dr. Ru Chi Yang earned a Ph. D. from Ganon University (Pennsylvania, US) and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from State University of New York, Albany. She also holds a B.S. in Nursing from Taiwan. Dr. Yang is a licensed psychologist and US registered play therapist-supervisor. She is also a Taiwan-licensed nurse. Dr. Yang has more than ten years of experience as a psychologist, primarily with children and adolescents who present with learning difficulties, ADHD, ODD, disruptive behaviors, negative attention-seeking behaviors, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, difficulty expressing thoughts/feelings, adjustment issues, grief, parental divorce/separation, low frustration tolerance, anger problems, parenting issues, parent-child relationship problems, trauma, poor decision-making skills, non-compliance behaviors, social skill deficits, relational issues, autism spectrum disorder, and limited coping skills. Dr. Yang provides individual, group, family, and vocational counseling; comprehensive psychological assessments (i.e. cognitive, academic, attention, executive function skills, social, emotional, personality, adaptive, developmental, & behavioral functioning); and crisis intervention/risk assessment. She utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral therapy approaches. She also incorporates child-centered play therapy, cognitive behavioral play therapy, filial therapy, and child parent relationship therapy intervention in treatment. Dr. Yang is a member of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and graduated from the APT Leadership Academy in 2012. She has served on several APT committees and task forces. She has also previously supervised graduate level clinicians. Dr. Yang speaks both English and Mandarin.


How long have you been in China?

I arrived in Beijing in 2014.

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

My long term professional goal is to contribute my professional knowledge and skills to Chinese children and adolescents and their families. As a Chinese psychologist, I can make a bigger impact on the lives of others, the development of the field of psychology, and the training of professionals in China. LIH Olivia’s Place provides me with the opportunities to achieve my dream.

Why did you choose your field?

I enjoy being with people and I believe that it’s challenging and satisfying to work with diverse populations. Also, I think that psychologists not only help their clients with their psychological problems, but also facilitate their own growth and self-understanding during their professional development.

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

My most rewarding experiences are when clients and their family members inform me of improvements since receiving therapy, express their appreciation regarding my professional help, and tell me about the impact on the quality of their lives because of treatment. The joy and satisfaction from the difference that I have made in treatment to improve a client’s quality of life is challenging to describe in words.

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

My favorite part of living in China is the opportunity to travel in China, meet different people, and gain cultural experiences to enrich my personal growth. Additionally, my favorite part of working at LIH Olivia’s Place is the support, helpfulness, and friendliness among colleagues from different disciplines in order to overcome challenges to make a difference in the quality of care for children and adolescents and their families in China.

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

I hope that I can obtain a deeper understanding of the development of psychology in China, contribute in educating the public about the role of a psychologist and psychological services, offer clinical services to more local Chinese children and adolescents and their families, make professional connections with Chinese psychologists, and provide clinical supervision to train Chinese professionals.


Clinician Profile: Anna Tan Pascual, Shanghai Occupational Therapy Lead

Olivia's Place Comments Off , ,
Anna Tan Pascual, Shanghai Occupational Therapy Lead

Anna Tan Pascual, Shanghai Occupational Therapy Lead

Anna is a registered occupational therapist in the Philippines and Australia. She has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and Master of Rehabilitation Sciences, both from the University of the Philippines. In her more than 20 year career, she has worked in a wide range of pediatric settings. Anna’s clinical interests include helping children meet school and classroom demands, especially handwriting, as well as working with children who are blind or have low vision. She also invests time training local therapists and educators, believing that the knowledge and skills she imparts will benefit many children in China. Anna speaks English, Filipino, Fookien, and Mandarin.


How long have you been in China?

My husband, two children, and I moved to China in July 2014. Prior to that, we were here a few times doing volunteer work, such as in the earthquake-hit Sichuan province.

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

When we visited Shanghai in 2012, we contacted Olivia’s Place and were impressed with the vision of not only providing quality care, but to extend the same quality of services to local kids.  It is exciting to be part of a team that is even now changing the landscape of therapy services in China.

Why did you choose your field?

Anna provides a demonstration in 2014 at Xinhua Hospital.

Anna provides a demonstration in 2014 at Xinhua Hospital.

My brother told me occupational therapy is matching people to their jobs! I blindly applied for it and almost changed my course midway through, but then fell in love with the profession once we started seeing clients in the hospitals. I always wanted to work with people and being an OT has been so fulfilling. I enjoy being with the kids, and the chance to impact the lives of families is so rewarding.

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

In China, it has been the opportunity to work with welfare centers, particularly in one province where an institution serves 900 kids. I would like to work with orphans more, and it is nice to know my job in LIH Olivia’s Place will allow me these opportunities.

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

Being immersed in the Chinese culture, especially for my children. I like that living here affords our family to be up close and personal to the Chinese way of life – because growing up Chinese in the Philippines gave us a different type of culture, compared to the “real stuff” here in China (Anna’s ancestors left Fujian to go to the Philippines five generations ago).  Being in Shanghai also allows us to know people from many different nationalities, the same thing I like about working at LIH Olivia’s Place. People are always so interesting to talk to because there’s so much to learn from them!

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

At that point our children will be nearing university age, so I would like to see my husband and myself working in other parts of China, hopefully working mostly with orphans. I can definitely see myself working as an OT till I am old and gray!

LIH Olivia’s Place Visits Suzhou

Olivia's Place Comments Off ,

On 19 January 2016, a multi-disciplinary team from LIH Olivia’s Place was invited to visit Suzhou to introduce our family-centeredSuzhou 1 services. Participants learned about who can benefit from our services and how we work with parents and teachers to help children and students improve their learning, speech and language, motor and cognitive development, communication, and social-emotional skills.

Parents from Suzhou Singaporean School and Dulwich High School joined our hosts at Dulwich College. The workshop was attended by more than eighty participants and was delivered in English, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese.

Suzhou 2We have already begun to work with a number of Suzhou families and look forward to to continuing to support Suzhou schools and families in the future.

Our sincere thanks go to the team at Dulwich College for the warm welcome they gave to both our staff and the visitors from the other schools.