Knowledge for Parents to Encourage Communication

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Hanen 1The non-profit lecture More Than Words – Daddy and Mommy, I Hope You Can Understand Me held by LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen on 28 July was praised by parents. Claire Lin, a Hanen Centre-registered and accredited speech therapist, presented the two-and-half-hour training to parents who wished to learn about communicating better with their children.


By analyzing multiple cases through video and using questionnaire surveys from parents, Claire vividly introduced how More Than Words teaches parents, enabling them to clearly judge which speech developmental stage their child is in, and how parents, according to the unique situation of each child, can positively motivate their to interact with others to further develop their social communication abilities. Claire’s first request of the audience was to name a a scenario in which you communicated with others today. One participant admitted thinking to himself, “Is ordering breakfast at KFC a fitting scenario?” (Yes!).


Hanen 3Claire analyzed what children need while interacting with others from four dimensions, namely person, reason, method, and understanding. Parents then analyzed the communication difficulties their children have encountered according to these four dimensions. One parent commented following the session, “This is the first time I have heard about such a way of analyzing, and all of a sudden I realize where my child has problems.” Following this exercise, parents used a Hanen-designed assessment survey to determine their child’s current stage of social communication: Own Agenda, Requester, Early Communicator, and Partner.


Claire noted repeatedly that parents need to know their children’s developmental stage and find the right methods to open the door of communicating with them. Claire asked the parents to discuss in groups about the interaction between children and parents in video-based examples and the warm discussion made it apparent that the parents were very engaged students.


Daily life, while seemingly simple, has ample subtleties that can help children grow. What children need is the learning opportunities brought to them by family and nature on a daily basis. Therefore, by studying the More Than Words course, parents can, according to each child’s unique developmental state, learn to use common games or interaction principles to properly help children and stimulate their desire to communicate. In this way, children can understand the communication with parents and become willing to get involved in interaction.


Hanen 4During the tea break, studious parents continued to discuss with therapists about their children. Dr. June Lee, Psychologist at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen also answered questions raised by parents, which many found very beneficial.


Parents said that the vivid description and the evidence-based interaction principles were extremely helpful. Many found the lecture very practical, but commented that they wished it was longer! One parent, when given the opportunity to provide feedback, joked that “The course is excellent except that the air conditioner is set a little low,” a reflection of these parents’ dedication to learning how to best to support their children even in the heat of a Shenzhen summer!


Claire LinClaire Lin is a Speech-Language Therapist at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen. She is aHanen Center registered and accredited speech-language therapist. She is also a member of the Taiwan Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has SRJ Oral Motor Therapy Level 1 training, as well as Relationship Development intervention (RDI) training.

LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen Now Open

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sz-front-deskLIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen, an affiliate of LIH Healthcare, opened in November to provide families with high-quality pediatric services and a multinational team which offers interdisciplinary services including well-child care, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, pediatric neurology, pediatric rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and psychology services.

LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen provides infants, children, and adolescents with pediatric services to meet a broad range of needs, including monitoring growth and development, nutritional assessment and dietary guidance, neurological and psychological developmental assessment, parental guidance, and developmental assessment, as well as developmental and rehabilitative therapies. Our team specializes in developmental and behavioral pediatrics and rehabilitation, with specific training and experience in diagnosing and treating ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, genetic syndromes, global developmental delay, language delays, learning disorder, cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, feeding and swallowing problems.

sz-imagesLike LIH Olivia’s Place in Shanghai and Beijing, LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen is guided by international standards to provide family-centered, inter-disciplinary care. LIH Olivia’s Place clinics are also supported through collaborations and strategic partnerships with domestic and overseas institutions, including Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey, US and Beijing Children’s Hospital, as well as the LIH Olivia’s Place Technical  Advisory Board, to ensure continued advancement of service, quality, and technology.

Inquiries about services and appointments can be made at or by calling 0755-33506288.


LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen is located at: 4078 Dongbin Road, Novel Park Tower 1 Floor 4 (near Lixiu Hotel), Nanshan District, Shenzhen

By Bus: (Dongbin Road, Middle Stop) 22; 79; 229; 233; b688; m400; m418; m467; m484

Stand Up for Healthier Sitting

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Ilija Dimitrovsk, Lead Physical Therapist, LIH Olivia's Place Shenzhen

Ilija Dimitrovsk, Lead Physical Therapist, LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen

Nowadays our way of living is more passive than ever. There are lot professions which use various electronic devices to help and get the job done properly. This trend impacts even children in the classroom. But that also has a, negative influence’’ on our health condition. One of the most affected body parts with this so called, modern age disease’’ is the back. Sitting is the most common culprit. Long and incorrect sitting can create weakness in our muscles (back, abdominal, gluteal and leg muscles), poor peripheral blood circulation, poor lungs ventilation, … Less physical activities can certainly influence our body weight, and increased body weight leads to worsening symptoms. So people who are required to sit for long periods of time or in incorrect seating are more exposed to these problems.

When talking about children, we need to mention increased use of computers and tablets for school work, in their spare time, and during recreational activities. Parents should be aware that excessive time spent in incorrect body positions can be harmful for children. Long periods of sitting daily can cause decreased heart and brain function (slow circulation), improper lung ventilation, slow digestion, and obesity. Children who are sedentary for too long can experience posture problems like neck and shoulder strain and back problems including pain and weak muscles (scoliosis, kyphosis, loose abdominal muscles, low back pain). Parents should look at the posture of their children and if they notice some changes, consult a healthcare practitioner or PE teacher for advice. These problems are not harmless or irrelevant and can negatively influence a children’s growth and development. Spinal deformities, weak muscles, and childhood obesity can all be linked to a sedentary lifestyle that features too much time sitting.

We all should encourage our children to take breaks during long sitting periods and do some movement. Established advice is 30 to 60 minutes per day of some physical activity. That could be activities like walking, riding a bike, slow running, stretching exercises, walking up and down stairs, climbing up a slide instead of sliding down, swinging, crab walking, jumping jacks, skipping rope, etc. Swimming is also highly recommended. One great free resource for movement breaks at home or in the classroom is Go Noodle ( Your child can also exercise while seated (stretching and breathing exercises).
Always check that your child is seated in the correct position, which means:
• Elevate feet from the floor at less than a 20° angle (books or cushions can be used for elevation)
• Lean back on the chair’s backrest
• Do not fold legs under bottom
• Do not hook shins and feet under the chair on which they are seated.

Adults often complain about back problems, which are typically neck or low back pain problems. With time, symptoms can worsen and pain can radiate all the way through a person’s arms and legs. That level of severity certainly reduces effectiveness in the workplace and quality of life in general. All around the world, employers and employees try to find the best models to organize their workplaces and activities to decrease that negative health influences’. There are two steps we can take to achieve that.

One is to adjust work environment and the other is to do a few exercises during worktime. If you are sitting a long time at work you should consider adjusting the height of your desk, the position and angle of your computer or other electronic device, and use accessories such as wrist or arm supports if it is necessary. When seated, lean your back fully on the backrest of the chair (back support part of the chair). Do not position your shins under the chair or sit on your bent legs; try to put your feet on a platform at a 15-20° angle with the floor, and wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Stand Up 1

Next are exercises. Performing physical exercises during the day helps to decrease symptoms, improve physical abilities, prevent possible future problems, and increase work efficiency. They can be performed in a chair at your desk, at the chair using it as a support, or simply stand up and do your exercises in a free space. Stretching is a main component of these exercises, then comes strength and endurance. You can stretch your upper or lower limbs, use some weight accessories for strength, and do as many repetitions as you can for endurance. Start with short duration, no/low weight, and fewer repetitions for start and then increase over time to avoid muscle inflammation, muscles spasms (higher muscle tone), fatigue, and pain.
We all should have regular physical activity, especially those of us who are sitting too long or in an inadequate way. In order to prevent pain, deformities, weakness, and poor work efficiency we can adjust our work space and exercise at work. However, before beginning any exercise at work, consider your present health condition. If you are currently experiencing pain or other symptoms, have a medical condition that could affect your physical abilities, or are just not “in shape, “ask for advice from a qualified healthcare professional or physical trainer first.

Shenzhen Parents Learn about Speech & Language

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LIH Olivia’s Place provides world class pediatric therapy for children with special needs and those who are typically developing. Our team uses a family-centered, multi-disciplinary approach. Our services include for children from birth through age 18 include: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech-Language Therapy, Feeding Therapy, Learning & Behavior Support (including ABA), and Psychology Services. Currently, LIH Olivia’s Place has clinics in Shanghai and Beijing. To serve more children around China and increase the quality and availability of development and rehabilitative pediatric services in China, we are establishing a hospital in Kunming and a developmental behavioral pediatric clinic in ShenZhen in 2016.

LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai Speech Therapist Yi Lien and Marketing Manager Heidi Gao went to ShenZhen to offer two presentations on Nov 9 -10. The purpose of the trip was to better understand the needs of parents in ShenZhen and to help parents understand speech therapy and their children’s needs and potential.

Yi Lien led presentations at two organizations: Oriental Genius Children’s Education (a local early learning center), and Victoria Kindergarten. In order to best meet parents’ needs, Heidi Gao began working with Mrs. Yin Fang, our on the ground staff in Shenzhen, on parents’ needs, topics, and presentation style a few weeks before the trip. We proposed 10 topics across disciplines to a Parent Committee, and after discussion a focus on speech and language for pre-school children was selected.

Both presentations were geared toward parents who have children studying at Oriental Genius Children’s Education and Victoria Kindergarten. Through the presentations, we introduced several topics including:

  • What is Speech and Language?,
  • What is Speech and Language Therapy?,
  • Red flags in Speech and Language Development,
  • How to Help Your child when they have Difficulties in Speech and Language Development, challenges parents will face during the period when their children are developing speech and language skills, and,
  • How to Use New Technology to Help Children Improve Skills and Reach Their Potential.


Shenzhen 1The first presentation was at Oriental Genius Children Education Center in the evening of Nov 9. Oriental Genius Children Education Center is one of biggest local early learning center in ShenZhen. About 25 parents joined the training and after the presentation, we had a lot parents stay and ask a lot good questions.

The second presentation was at Victoria Kindergarten Huangpu Campus on Nov 10. Approximately 80 – 90 parents attended this presentation. Victoria has been established for more than 10 years already in ShenZhen, where they have three campuses. Directors from all three campuses attended and listened to the presentation. Feedback following the presentation from parents and school staff was very positive. We had many parents stand during the presentation with questions about their child, and again after the presentation, many parents stayed and waited to ask Yi questions. The director of the school gave the presentation high praise and indicated they would invite us for additional training in 2016. In addition, many parents inquired about our plans and timeline to open the clinic in ShenZhen.

Shenzhen 2For some of parents at the ShenZhen presentations, it was the first time they had heard about speech-language therapy, and was the first time they understood that their child may not just always be naughty or a “bad boy.” Now they understood that sometimes their child just needs the right support, they just have some problems or delays with their speech development. One dad shared with us during the group discussion after the presentation at Victoria Kindergarten, saying, “I am so lucky to come for this presentation, I always thought my boy has some problems with his brain, sometimes I thought he is an idiot. Now I know I’ve been

Heidi Gao, Marketing Manager

Heidi Gao, Marketing Manager

wrong, he just needs my help. He just needs help on his language skills, needs my help to improve his communication skills.” For us at LIH Olivia’s Place, we feel so lucky to be able to help more and more parents and teachers to better understand their children and students, to help them to best achieve their potential.