ZiLi Wang

Physical Therapy Team Trains Therapists in Kunshan

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , , , , ,

Physical Therapists Ilija Dimitrovski and ZiLi Wang recently trained therapy staff at Kunshan’s Jiajie Rehabilitation Center. The center is affiliated with the China Disabled Persons’ Federation and serves as an important resource for children needing rehabilitation, especially children with cerebral palsy or autism. Staff at the facility include physical and occupational therapists as well as speech therapists and learning support. The training provided by the LIH Olivia’s Place team focused on improving the staff’s ability to plan treatment and introduced new standardized assessment tools, as well as teaching specific techniques for children with cerebral palsy. Feedback from the course was positive, with the center’s president, Dr. Shao Ping, looking for continued partnership with LIH Olivia’s Place, including receiving occupational therapy and speech therapy experts for additional training in the future.


Teaching Therapists at an Anhui Welfare Center

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , ,

This summer, Physical Therapist ZiLi Wang and Occupational Therapist Irene Zhang, both of LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai, conducted their third visit to an orphanage in Anhui province, following up on their previous teaching while introducing new assessment tools and techniques.

Zili Wang, PT, works with a child at the welfare center.

Zili Wang, PT, works with a child at the welfare center.

The welfare center, the YingShang County Social Children Welfare House, was initially started in 1994 under another name – the Wang Family Foster Home – and has grown from a small labor of love to one of the biggest welfare centers in the province, having cared for over 500 disabled orphans over its 22-year history. It had moved locations multiple times before settling into its current location in YingShang County.

Mr. Wang and Ms. Zhang taught therapists how to assess and treat the children, but also how to handle them with minimal risk of injury to the therapists themselves. This included techniques on manual handling favoring the usage of the legs over the back, and pivoting techniques to move heavier children. How to handle behavior was also an important topic this visit, including a detailed lecture on how to motivate children and how to properly use rewards and praise to encourage certain behaviors.

We look forward to the next chance to share our knowledge with the hard working therapists in Anhui!

Irene Zhang, OT, teaching welfare center therapists.

Irene Zhang, OT, teaching welfare center therapists.

Clinician Profile: ZiLi Wang, Physiotherapist

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , ,
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.

Formal Assessments for 4!

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , , , , , , , ,

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)

Deepening Partnership with Changning Special Education Guiding Center

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , , , , ,
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!

OT and PT Team Up for Kids in Anhui

Olivia's Place Comments Off , ,

In April 2015, two therapists from Olivia’s Place, Irene Zhang (Occupational Therapist) and ZiLi Wang (Physical Therapist) spent 4 days at a welfare institute in Fuyang, Anhui, working to train the staff on various rehabilitation techniques and theories. The center was earlier visited by another member of Olivia’s Place staff, Jasmine Jia (Occupational Therapist), in October last year; this initial visit introduced the local staff to Western screening and treatment techniques and served as an important foundation to the training for this second visit.

The welfare institute is home to more than 150 children, many of whom have diagnoses requiring the attention of rehabilitation professionals. Conditions of children being treated included cerebral palsy, autism, Down Syndrome, and children with sensory needs.

Our therapists gave training on positioning and posture management techniques, adaptive equipment needs as well as specific hands-on techniques such as using upper and fine motor assessment tools and core strengthenin

ZiLi Wang, Physical Therapist, demonstrates positioning at a welfare institute.

ZiLi Wang, Physical Therapist, demonstrates positioning at a welfare institute.

g exercises. A team of 4 local rehabilitation therapists are on site to offer children daily therapy, and our therapists joined the treatment sessions to give hands-on advice in addition to giving lessons when not treating children. The management staff and ayis were also given training on the importance of postural care management.

The experience of working with the staff and children in Anhui was a very fulfilling and eye-opening experience for the team. “‘Working in a welfare center where there are so many children and so few therapists and resources, when compared with the individual treatment sessions I am used to and the comparative availability of resources in Shanghai forces you to change gears and loo at very simple, practical ways in which you can help the children and the staff caring for them,” commented Zi Li, “It makes you really realize the difference you can make in children’s lives.” This sentiment was also reflected by Irene. “To really change the way care is done in China for physically disabled children, one needs to look at the needs of the most disadvantaged – and really there are two worlds that we need to address. I think this was a very good initiative and think more should be done for these types of establishments.”