Yi Lien

Hanen More Than Words Program: Empowering Parents

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Between October 2016 and February 2017, three families dedicated 12 Saturdays with Hanen-certified speech-language pathologists Yi Lien and Chihui Yong at LIH Olivia’s Place to complete the More Than Words ®: Hanen program for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and other social communication problems.

Hanen’s More Than Words® is a program developed by speech therapists with expertise in the field of communication disorders and backed by extensive research. It empowers parents to help their child with social-communication difficulty or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) reach three goals:

1 Improved social communication and back-and-forth interactions
2 Improved play skills
3 Improved imitation skills

Through the program, parents reported the following improvements in their child:

 Increased joint-attention skills
 Improved response (to parents), increased interaction and imitation skills (verbal/actions)
 Improvement in play skills

With regards to the program’s approach, one Shanghai parent reported:

“The trainers guide us to analyze and think of other ways to achieve the (communication/play) goals targeted. They used reflective questions to help us think. Unlike other programs, we were not given a template to copy, but were equipped with the strategies to help us interact/communicate better with our children.”

It was truly an exciting journey witnessing parents applying Hanen strategies to facilitate more back-and-forth interaction with their child, and hearing them generating their own creative ideas to communicate better with their child.

Due to the success of our workshop, we have decided to offer another it again. The workshop will be held in Mandarin Chinese. We would like to invite parents or teachers of children with social-communication difficulty or autism spectrum disorder to a free orientation session to learn more about the program.

Date : March 25th (Saturday)
Time : 2.30- 4.30pm
Venue : 41 YongJia Road, Office # 503
Contact Number : 021-5405-0058/59

For more information, please call LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai or email us.

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.

Formal Assessments for 4!

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Shanghai LIH Olivia’s Place worked together last month with a local cerebral palsy foundation to support a family with quadruplets diagnosed at birth with cerebral palsy. The family is from Anhui province and the four children are now almost 3 years old. Until now, they have had limited resources for assessment and therapy.

Lis Ringrose, Physical  Therapist

Lis Ringrose, Physical Therapist

On the morning of March 29, we warmly welcomed the family and CP foundation staff at Shanghai LIH Olivia’s Place. Our multi-disciplinary team had carefully planned for the visit over the previous two weeks. Speech Therapists Yi Lien and Shirley Zhou, Occupational Therapist Anna Tan Pascual, Physical Therapists Lis Ringrose and Zili Wang, and Counselor JingJing Du participated in the assessment. Led by Clinical Manager Dr. Becci Dow, the assessment of four siblings proceeded in a very orderly way and the children were immediately comfortable with our team. The whole family was relaxed, enjoyed the toys offered as part of the assessment, and interacted well with the evaluators.


quads 2The team used several formal assessment tools including the Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP), Rossetti Infant Toddler Language Scale, and the Preschool Language Scales (PLS-5) to gather information about the children’s development. After the assessment, the family’s therapy team met with the parents and the volunteer who accompanied them on their trip to Shanghai. The therapists provided advice on daily activities the family can do to help their children’s developmental needs. A formal written report will also be provided for each child.


A reporter from an Anhui TV station accompanied the family during their visit and interviewed our CEO, Nelson Chow, and the family’s therapy team. Video of the family’s time at LIH Olivia’s Place will be aired in Anhui in the future.group quads (2)

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.

Deepening Partnership with Changning Special Education Guiding Center

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Staff prepare for an LIH Olivia's Place professional workshop at Changning Special Education Center

Staff prepare for an LIH Olivia’s Place professional workshop at Changning Special Education Center

Over the last school year, Olivia’s Place completed a training project about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in cooperation with Shanghai Changning Special Education Guiding Center, a public organization which provides opportunities for career development for local educators who work with children with special needs. The trainings attracted many local school teachers and medical practitioners. Participants came from all over the city and neighboring provinces. The program content included childhood development, theory-based knowledge, and the sharing of clinical experience. Therapists from Olivia’s Place in each field of practice have made contributions to the project through interactive, inspiring, and practical presentations for all attendees:


  • Anna Pascual, Occupational Therapist Lead, introduced occupational therapy for children with learning difficulties.
  • Zili Wang, Physiotherapist, introduced how children with ASD benefit from physical therapy.
  • Jamie Fanelli, Learning and Behavioral Support Lead, introduced strategies and supports for academic success for children with ASD.
  • Yi Lien, Speech-Language Therapist, introduced speech-language assessment and treatment for children with ASD.


In addition to the multi-disciplinary ASD project, Olivia’s Place and Changning Center started a new series of trainings in the area of communication disorders. This project targeted applying clinical skills for different types of communication disorders in the school setting, including evaluation methods and comparison of different therapy approaches. These speech and language training projects were conducted by Angela Gong and Yi Lien. Both therapists have worked with Changning Center since 2013. The specific topics addressed included:


  • Heidi Gao and Jamie Fanelli, Learning and Behavior Support Specialist, field questions.

    Heidi Gao and Jamie Fanelli, Learning and Behavior Support Specialist, field questions.

    Children with autism spectrum disorder

  • Children with oral motor disorders/delays
  • Children with social and pragmatic impairment
  • Children with articulation and phonological disorders
  • Children with stuttering
  • Children with hearing loss


So far, we have received many greetings and positive feedback from the attendees of these projects. As a new school year comes, we cannot wait for new outreach and more collaboration with our partner organizations!