autism spectrum disorders

Autism a Focus of Professional Meetings in Beijing

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It iTervo BJ 2s the mission of LIH Olivia’s Place to improve the quality and prevalence of pediatric rehabilitation services in China and to help all children with special needs receive professional and effective rehabilitation service. In addition to providing high quality of service, LIH Olivia’s Place is also committed to promoting communication and interaction among professionals in this field. In November, Dr. Raymond Tervo, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician, participated in several professional development events in Beijing.With abundant research and clinical experience, Dr. Tervo has previously practiced at the Mayo Clinic and as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota.

On 23 November, Dr. Tervo shared his knowledge on the theory and practice of autism intervention with experts and clinicians from Beijing United Family Healthcare and Oasis International Hospital. In the workshop, Dr. Tervo also shared his clinical experiences and enthusiastically discussed problems in research and diagnosis.
BJ Tervo 4On 29 November, Xicheng Disabled Person’s Federation of Beijing and LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing jointly organized a lecture where Dr. Tervo again introduced theory and practice of autism interventions. More than seventy people participated in this lecture, including special education teachers from Xicheng District, doctors from the Mental Disease Prevention Institute at Pingan Hospital, pediatricians from Xicheng District Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital, and staff from the the federation. Dr. Tervo introduced the historical background, definition, prevalence, cause, diagnostic process, and interventions for autism. He answered questions and provided detailed explanations to particpants. In the Q & A session, a teacher from Peizhi School discussed and exchanged views on behavioral causes and training of autistic children she found in her teaching experience with Dr. Tervo.

LIH Olivia’s Place Teams Training on Autism Assessment “Gold Standard”

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

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

LIH Olivia’s Place has always worked to meet the needs of the families they serve. Recently, questions about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been among the most common. LIH Olivia’s Place has a strong team of clinicians with training and experience administering a range of assessment measures designed to diagnose ASD. This includes the tool widely considered the “gold standard” of autism diagnosis- the ADOS-2. LIH Olivia’s Place has consistently employed specialists trained in the ADOS-2 over the last six years. However, as demand increases for high quality autism assessment throughout China, LIH Olivia’s Place has responded by increasing the number of trained professionals and the depth of our training program, in turn increasing our ca-pacity to serve families by obtaining clinical information using a widely validated tool.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), is a partially structured observation of children and adults referred for ASD concerns. These observations are “standardized,” or held to a universal quality established through an extensive range of testing and confirmation.

The ADOS-2 has five modules, only one of which is administered at a given time. The determination of which module is administered is based on two factors- the individual’s verbal level and his or her age. Verbal ability can range from no words to fluent speech. The test can be administered to children as young as 12 months through adulthood. Each ADOS-2 module consists of talking or play activities using the same standardized materials every time it is administered. The algorithms used to diagnose autism spectrum disorders through the ADOS-2 have been consistently demonstrated to accurately identify autism spectrum disorders in toddlers, children, teens, and adults.

The ADOS-2 is widely used around the world and is the best fit for our team as we provide diagnostic assessment for children from China as well as expatriate children. Therefore, both Chinese and English speaking clinicians are presently being trained to administer the ADOS-2. LIH Olivia’s Place is utilizing the training system established by WPS, the publisher who has developed and distributes the ADOS system. The training is extensive and includes studying the administration of the modules, practice with the tool, and experience with scoring video examples of cases.

In December 2016, training on the ADOS-2 began with our Shanghai team. It will continue in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Kunming during early 2017. As individual clinicians complete the training, they will administer the assessments and work together to ensure the most accurate and comprehensive diagnoses possible. The ADOS-2 will be utilized alongside a variety of other tools from an inter-disciplinary team including psychologists, behavioral specialists, speech therapists, occupa-tional therapists, and physical therapists. With our increasing levels of skill and expertise, our teams continue to set a high standard for diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders.

Dr. Beth Rutkowski is the Lead Psychologist at LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai. You are welcome to contact her directly at or the Shanghai LIH Olivia’s Place team at (8621) 5404-0058.

ASD Training for Parents and Teachers in the Community

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asd-1Getting into the community and understanding the real needs of parents, teachers, and caregivers is important work at LIH Olivia’s Place. From 3-5 November 2016, LIH Olivia’s Place and Shanghai Changning Special Education Guidance Center held a public training on interventions for children with autism. Almost 50 therapists, special education teachers, parents, and caregivers participated. Three experts from LIH Olivia’s Place were invited to teach on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from aspects of behavioral intervention, speech-language intervention, and occupational intervention, which enriched the participants’ knowledge of ASD and provided a great forum for communication.


Jamie Fanelli, Learning & Behavior Support Lead, delivers her presentation

Jamie Fanelli, Learning & Behavior Support Lead, delivers her presentation

On 3 November, Jamie Fanelli, Learning & Behavior Support Lead, spoke on Understanding and Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. On the basis of increasingly inclusive attitudes towards children with autism in the US, Jamie presented the main features of ASD as well specific behavioral intervention methods and shared her practical experience of behavior analysis. Two interactive games also added much interest to the lecture.


Yi Lien, Speech Language Therapist, interacts with participants

Yi Lien, Speech Language Therapist, interacts with participants

The lecturer of the second day was Yi Lien, Speech Language Therapist. Yi presented on Speech Therapy and Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. During her one-day training, Yi introduced speech-language features of children with ASD in detail and shared assessment and intervention strategies for speech-language. She also introduced a program called “Hanen: More than Words” to help the audience understand that there are different ways to communicate. The highlight of her speech was analysis of detailed intervention methods by using rich video cases, enabling participants to easily understand the principles and master skills.


Fengyi Kuo, an LIH Olivia’s Place Occupational Therapist who is also a Visiting Professor at Indiana University and Adjunct Lecturer at Shanghai University of TCM, presented Occupational Support and Transition for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on 5 November. Her introduction of the concept of occupational therapy, sensory integration assessment, and intervention methods was warmly received by an attentive audience. Fengyi also helped participants solve practical problems in their daily lives or work during the Q & A session.

Fengyi Kuo, Occupational Therapist, answers a parent's questions

Fengyi Kuo, Occupational Therapist, answers a parent’s questions

Through three-day comprehensive training, experts from LIH Olivia’s Place brought practical experience which greatly inspired the participants.

Leading Pediatrician Presents on Autism at Beijing’s BoAi Hospital

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Dr. Eldon Schulz presents at BoAi Hospital in Beijing.

Dr. Eldon Schulz presents at BoAi Hospital in Beijing.

On 30 September 2015, LIH Oliva’s Place hosted Dr. Eldon Schulz, Director of Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), at Beijing Boai hospital for academic exchange with doctors and therapists of pediatric rehabilitation. Dr. Schulz gave a presentation titled Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Update.


At his presentation, Dr. Schulz compared the current version of the American Psychiatry Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) with the previous version with respect to autism diagnosis. Some of the things that Dr. Schulz noted for attendees are that in the DSM-5, there is a category called Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Asperger’s are no longer separate diagnostic options. He also indicated that the DSM-5 has included sensory processing differences in the diagnostic criteria. Symptoms together must limit and impair everyday functioning and must be present in early childhood (the previous version required that symptoms be recognized prior to the age of 3 years). Autism spectrum disorders may be designated as with or without: language impairment, intellectual disability, and/or known medical or genetic condition.


Dr. Eldon Schulz with BoAi staff and Dr. Alan Mease, Medical Director, Beijing LIH Olivia's Place, and Susan Zhu, LIH Olivia's Place

Dr. Eldon Schulz with BoAi staff and Dr. Alan Mease, Medical Director, Beijing LIH Olivia’s Place, and Susan Zhu, LIH Olivia’s Place

Dr. Schultz mentioned the US Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Autism Surveillance This program has collected data from 11 sites around the United States since 2000. Results have found that boys are diagnosed five times more often with autism spectrum disorders in the US.  The program has also found statistically significant differences among racial/ethnic groups in the US.


Dr. Schultz shared possible reasons for increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders,  “red flags,” and best practices for diagnosis. Dr. Schulz recommended the following web-based resources to participants:



US Center for Disease Control (CDC): Learn the Signs. Act Early.

National Autism Center (US)

Autism Speaks

First Signs ASD Video Glossary

Arkansas Autism Resource & Outreach Center (AAROC)