Sophia Guarracino is the Speech-Language Therapy Lead at LIH Olivia’s Place in Shanghai.
Sophia is a speech-language pathologist from the United States. She received her Masters degree at Bowling Green State University, Ohio (USA). Sophia previously worked in the public schools working with children with varying needs and disabilities from the preschool to high school age. She also provided Early Intervention in the home setting for children ages birth to three, with a focus on parent and caregiver training. Sophia has since spent the last 3 years specializing in the field of pediatrics while working in Shanghai. She has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including those with developmental delays, speech and/or language delays, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and children with learning disabilities specific to reading and writing. Sophia has previously volunteered her time to some non-profit organizations and has completed teacher and staff trainings for local schools. She currently provided supervision and management expertise as the speech-therapist lead for the LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai. Languages: English
How long have you been in China?
I moved to China in February 2012. My original plan was to work abroad and travel around Asia for a year, but I have now been living in Shanghai for over 3 years.
Why did you choose to work at LIH Olivia’s Place?
I chose to work for LIH Olivia’s Place because I really wanted experience working in another country while being completely immersed in the culture. I also enjoy the professional setting of working in a multi-disciplinary private clinical setting, which was a career aspiration of mine. I hope to contribute to the company’s ongoing mission to improve the standard of rehabilitation and therapy in China. At the same time, LIH Olivia’s Place provides opportunities for me to only further develop my clinical skills, while also providing me with teaching and management experiences.
Why did you choose your field?
I chose to study speech-language therapy because I enjoy learning and studying languages, I enjoy working with children, and I like how speech-language therapy combines educational methods and practice with a more medial and specialized framework.
What are some of the most rewarding experiences you have had in your chose profession?
No matter if I am having a good day or a bad day, working with children always brightens my day. Some of the more rewarding experiences are when I am walking in a hallway at a school and a student sees me and they become so excited to say hello to me. In addition, when a child makes even the smallest amount of progress on a skill you have been working on, it is quite rewarding.
What’s your favorite thing about living in China and working at LIH Olivia’s Place?
The fast pace and ever-changing social and physical landscape in China makes living here a daily adventure. The therapists at LIH Olivia’s Place embrace this attitude and it’s great to be part of a growing and dynamic team. No matter how complex the needs of a child might be, the close-knit team at LIH Olivia’s Place is always able to provide support and share their experience and expertise from different corners of the world.
What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?
The field of speech-language pathology is so broad and diverse so there is always something to be learned. Therefore, I hope to continue developing my clinical skills by delving into areas where I would benefit from more clinical experience. I also hope to broaden my leaderships and teaching skills.