Olivia’s Foundation provides financial support to offset the cost of therapy for children in need. In addition, the foundation is committed to long term projects and dialogue that will advance the quality and accessibility of pediatric therapy and inclusive education for children throughout China. The foundation also supports Olivia’s Place staff in Beijing and Shanghai who wish to find meaningful ways to engage in pro bono work, both in our centers and in our communities.
Chen Xu School
Chen Xu School is a migrant school is Shanghai that received a grant from Olivia’s Foundation this spring to further their mission of
building an inclusive school model. In the past month, staff from Olivia’s Place has provided 4 trainings to teachers at Chen Xu School. Educational Psychologist Laura Lofy provided an overview of special education and IEP (Individualized Education Plan) training to give both the mainstream teachers and special education teachers the context and strategies to providing inclusive education and how to develop an individualized education plan. Training on communication, sensory diet, and classroom management were presented by Speech-Language Pathologist Angela Gong and Occupational Therapist Durga Dass. A final training event provided an opportunity for Olivia’s Place staff to work with both teachers and students at Chen Xu, to model the use of Circle of Friends, a peer-based intervention approach that will be used on an ongoing basis and will provide specific support to the children with special needs who are enrolled at the school. In addition to formal training events, psychologists and therapists from Olivia’s Place have worked side by side with staff from Chen Xu School to develop individualized education plans (IEP) for the 3 special needs children that the school currently serves.
Clinical Psychologist Beth Kremer-Collins, with the assistance of volunteer interpreter Emily Yan, is currently providing monthly mental health consultation at Chen Xu School. In the course of her work at Chen Xu, Beth has recently provided support for teachers and parents to help a child who experiences severe separation anxiety and to address learning difficulties with reading for another student.
Shanghai Baby’s Home
Sarah Kirk, who leads our occupational therapy team, Educational Psychologist Laura Lofy, and Foundation Director Joanna Ren recently visited Shanghai Baby’s Home, a local foster care center for orphans with special needs. During the visit, Sarah provided consultation for a baby girl who has difficulty with the use of her arms. As a result of the visit, the Olivia’s Place occupational therapy team plans to work with several of the children at the home, as well as their carers, over the summer.
Collaboration with Kunming Medical University
Olivia’s Foundation collaborated with Kunming Medical University this spring to arrange for Susan Hermes to be a guest lecturer in the university’s occupational therapy program. Susan, a US occupational therapist with more than twenty years of practical, academic, and research experience, spent approximately one month at Kunming Medical University teaching 36 students in their undergraduate occupational therapy program.
Following her time in Kunming, Susan presented a workshop on US trends in school based occupational therapy practice at Olivia’s Place. In addition to Olivia’s Place staff, therapists and administrators of Shanghai Sunshine Rehabilitation Center and several international therapy centers participated as well. The workshop was very well received and a good opportunity for both the international and local therapists to connect and exchange observations and information.
Olivia’s Place Professionals Reach Out
Physical Therapist Marc Innerhofer is providing pro bono therapy services to children at Little Flower Projects foster center for medically fragile children in Beijing. In Shanghai, Occupational Therapist Eva Steins is volunteering her professional skills to provide therapy for a local child with cerebral palsy. Physical Therapist Veronica Bosch is providing pro bono physical therapy services to a migrant child who has spinal muscular atrophy. Another family in Hubei Province who has a child with the same condition found Olivia’s Place through Weibo. Because there are no comparable services where they live, Veronica has worked with the family to develop a home exercise program for their child.