LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

Handwriting at Twilight Training

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handwriting training (2)April saw another successful event in our Twilight Training series! On Wednesday, 20th April we welcomed a group of 30 teachers and parents to our Shanghai clinic. Anna Tan Pascual, Occupational Therapist, led a session on the factors affecting handwriting development, identifying children who need further help, and practical strategies to encourage handwriting development.


Anna’s enthusiasm for the subject, wealth of knowledge, and sense of humor made for an entertaining and very useful session. Feedback was received the next day that the strategies Anna presented were already being used in the classroom!


More training sessions are coming up in May and June in Shanghai! These are “Teens and Transitions” in May and “Speech Development in a Multilingual Environment” on 1st June, and Learning Behavior & Effective Parenting on 10 June. For further information, or to RSVP for either session, please email:

Providing Community Based Training in ZhengZhou

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ZICW2 (2)Excerpts from an email from Teacher Liu of ZhengZhou Institute for Children’s Welfare (ZICW), dated 29 April 2016:





Through the previous 3 trainings given by Ms. Anna, we have great progress on specialized knowledge and operative skills. We are also encouraged by Anna’s high enthusiasm for the work and her personal charisma. We appreciated Anna’s contributions.

Every time Anna arrived in the middle of the night and started the training in the early morning the 2nd day of her arrival; she did not take rest at noon and worked very hard. I thank for your selfless help and encouragement on behalf of our institute and 850 children.



ZICW1 (2)Since last October, Anna Tan Pascual, Occupational Therapy Team Lead at LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai, has traveled to ZICW once a season to train their teachers. Using her weekends, Anna departs for Zhengzhou on a Thursday evening, provides training on Friday and Saturday, and returns to Shanghai on Saturday evening. She has given training on the role of occupational therapists and how OT’s work, developing fine motor skills in children, and sensory processing systems and disorders. She has also shared her extensive knowledge of working with blind and low-vision children. In addition, there have been opportunities to provide assessment and therapy demonstrations for the Zhengzhou team. In between two face to face workshop, Anna arranged an online video Question & Answer session. Teachers at ZICW sent their questions first, for Anna to review. Anna emailed replies for their staff to review and offered further discussion in the online Q&A. Anna’s efforts were supported by a bilingual LIH Olivia’s Place Communications Team.


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This is the example of LIH Olivia’s Place education outreach for a community-based organization. We share ZICW’s vision of making China a great place for children. If your organization’s mission is to serve children with developmental or rehabilitative needs, we are also happy to discuss partnerships to provide a customized program to meet your needs.


Clinician Profile: ZiLi Wang, Physiotherapist

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Zili Wang, Physiotherapist, LIH Olivia's Place Shanghai

Zili Wang, Physiotherapist, LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

ZiLi is a physiotherapist from Montreal, Canada, who obtained his Masters in Physical Therapy from McGill University. He has previously worked in a sports and orthopedic environment treating both adults and children, and has worked at Olivia’s Place since 2014. He has experience treating a variety of neurological and orthopedic conditions, including developmental delay, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and sports injuries. He speaks fluent English, Mandarin, Cantonese and French


How long have you been in China?

I first moved to China in 2013, initially to learn acupuncture and tuina techniques. Since then, I’ve lived in Guangzhou and Beijing, before finally settling in Shanghai.

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

I chose Olivia’s Place because it is pioneering pediatric rehabilitation in China, and gives me a chance to be part of a team that will help bring about evidence based, high quality care in China. Olivia’s Place has also given me opportunities to volunteer my time to help children who otherwise cannot afford therapy, including traveling to remote areas in China and working with orphanages.

Why did you choose your field?

I have always felt that pediatrics was one of the most challenging aspect in physical therapy, but at the same time one of the most rewarding. Especially with early intervention, it has the chance to have some of the biggest impact on a child’s life, improving their function, independence, and quality of life.

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

There are so many! Helping a little girl go from not being able to crawl to running around the room. Helping a child with cerebral palsy transition from using a walker to using crutches. Educating parents and local therapists on different techniques and exercises for children. Every day that I treat a patient or educate a parent feels rewarding to me.

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

Living in Shanghai, I feel like I get the best of both worlds – I get to connect with my Chinese roots, yet at the same time through the expatriate community feel right at home. Coming from Canada, a country with barely 30 million people, living in Shanghai is definitely a change in pace and scale. Working at LIH Olivia’s Place is also a great joy – when you are surrounded by people who are super passionate about what they do, and who all will give their best for a good cause, it makes you very motivated to come to work every day.

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

I would like to see more work being done in the realm of sports rehabilitation. While developmental pediatrics is still definitely a priority in China’s pediatric rehab world, sports injury treatment and prevention, especially in young athletes, is uncommon (or restricted to very high level competitive sports). I would like to bring my experience working with sports teams to help foster a healthy new generation of young athletes in China, in addition to my work in developmental pediatrics.

Every Child Deserves a Champion

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Every Child deserves a Champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.

                                                                                              – Anonymous


Akshata Kamath, Learning Support Specialist, Shanghai

Akshata Kamath, Learning Support Specialist, Shanghai

Every child has the right to education and this right should not be taken away. It amazes me when kids with special needs master their skills, goals, and targets set for them through an Individualized Learning Program. The happiness on the faces of their parents when they are informed about their child’s success gives a true meaning for imparting knowledge and education in community.

Keeping this in mind, LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai opened its door to special education in a new way by setting up a small program for kids with special needs this year. It’s a typical school environment with a passionate and realistic approach.

EI 1Every morning, students come with happy faces to meet their teachers and to begin an exciting day of learning. With their peers they enjoy half an hour of floor time by choosing activities set up for them by their facilitators. They then prepare for morning circle where they sing songs welcoming all. They independently set up their visual calendars and are ready to sing the songs that signal the start of the day – days of the week, counting numbers, and singing “What day is today, yesterday, and tomorrow.”  It’s rewarding to see the children help their friends and sometimes correct them. The children learn their routine through pictures and photos.

Next, they are ready to participate in guided reading with their teacher. After sitting and listening so well the children are ready for some exercise by playing games such as “Color, Color, Which Color do You Want?”

After some game time, the children are ready to work on their academics. The program follows 3 centers -


  1. EI 2Academic: This center is led by the facilitator. ILP goals are identified and are multi-disciplinary by nature. They consists of academic goals taken from US Common Core standards and goals set by ta child’s therapy team (ST, OT, and PT), keeping in mind the individual needs of each child.
  1. Independent: Many children with special needs find working independently a real challenge. To make them successful to live an independent life, this center encourages children to complete their task without help and guidance from the facilitator. We follow the TEACCH task system; students they pull out a bin of work planned for them, complete the activities, and place them into the finished bin.
  1. EI 3Sensory: Many of our children have sensory needs. Some benefit from a sensory activity before they begin work to help them focus and some need them after they complete work to help them relax. This center is designed with the individual needs of each student in mind. The sensory center is well-integrated with Academics, so children work on different kinds of hands on activities.

Each of the three centers runs for approximately fifteen minutes. Centers take place twice a day, one for language arts and the other for mathematics.

Afternoons are directed towards leisure activities. The children participate in Arts and Crafts, Music, Physical Education, and Cooking.  Some of the children have specialist therapies which have been built into their school day at this time.

By 3.00pm our students are exhausted after a long day of learning and are ready to go home. We sing the goodbye song and eagerly await the next exciting day.