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Activities to Develop Your Child’s Social Skills

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by Edna Elisabeth Nyang, Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Lead Bejing

by Edna Elisabeth Nyang, Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Lead Bejing

Children experience many new and unfamiliar situations. Sometimes these situations can also seem new and unfamiliar to their parents! This is especially true for expatriate children who are living with their parents outside of their home culture. It may also be true for children who are attending a school that is different in curriculum, language, or expectations than the schools their parents attended, or where caregivers from several generations are supporting a child. For children (like their parents), depending on their personality, this can feel exciting and even overwhelming at times. Sometimes, as a caregiver, we may have the urge to establish an oasis at home in hopes of making our children feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite effect and create a situation where the child has little exposure to others outside of their family. It’s important for all children to learn the verbal and non-verbal rules needed to participate in interactions with their peers.

Even though these rules may vary widely across various cultures, the intentions and goals of each interaction are relatively the same. Social interaction is something that we should participate in daily. Whenever your child is in a group of two or more people, it is important to see how well he or she can follow unwritten rules of social communication. For example, is he able to make eye contact to acknowledge a person or to make a request? Can he make a request by using a gesture or words? Is she able to start and maintain a conversation? Can she discuss a variety of topics? Is she able to recognize basic emotions in others? Can she change her response based on how someone else feels? If he is having trouble, do you (or others) jump in to communicate on his behalf or is he allowed to figure it out on his own? While most of us can make the correct decision in various social situations without giving it much thought, these interactions can be extremely difficult for those who have difficulty with social cues.

Here are a couple activities that you can try with your child at home to help increase their awareness of non-verbal cues and build on their skills:

  • Eye Spy is a good activity if you would like your child to work on locating and referencing items in your immediate environment. Have your child take turns describing and searching for items in the room. Start by reminding students that eyes are like pointers that show what someone is thinking about. Choose something in the room to look at, and tell them they have to guess what you’re thinking of. In the beginning, choose items that are close by, then work up to things that are farther away. Tell students that this is why we look at others when we’re talking or listening to them–it shows them that we are thinking about them. For those who may need extra assistance, you can use a small pen light or flashlight to help them find the objects or you can give them a “hint” by cutting out a “thought bubble” and glue it to a popsicle stick. Use a small piece of tape to attach a clue about the item you’re thinking about (I use small squares of colored paper to show the child what color the object is).


  • Use books to help your child learn about and understand idioms. One book that I recommend is In a Pickle and Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban. It gives a funny literal illustration and provides background history on each phrase. Once your child learns a few idioms, have them create a mini performance and act out the meaning of each one.


  • Board games are great activities to encourage turntaking among peers. I like playing Chutes and Ladders for younger children and Operation or Headbandz for the older kids.


  • Action games are a great way to engage children to have them give directions for others. Simon Says is great for younger children and Mother May I can hold the attention of older kids.


  • Emotional Charades is a great game for kids who have difficulty recognizing basic emotions in others. Instead of using movie titles or animals or other typical words, use emotions. Take turns picking a slip of paper and then acting out the word written on it or have the child draw a picture and describe it.


  • Storytelling is a great way to have a child work on turn taking and expanding their sentences by using their imagination. You can use photo cards to help your child decide what should be in the story. By adding pencil and paper, the child can draw small scenes to remember what is happening in the story and use the drawings to retell the story.


If you find that your child is having difficulty participating in these activities or if they present with a few of the following signs, you may want to consider consulting with a speech language pathologist:  difficulty following directions that are not paired with visuals (pictures, objects), limited or no eye contact, doesn’t understand jokes or idioms, never initiates conversation with others, only wants to talk about him or herself, and/or doesn’t like to play with others.


Helping Bring Quality Development Assessment Tools into Wider Use in China

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Dr. Becci Dow,  Clinical Psychologist, Pscyhology Lead and  Clinical Manager, Shanghai

Dr. Becci Dow, Clinical Psychologist, Pscyhology Lead and Clinical Manager, Shanghai

In October, we were fortunate to receive training in Shanghai from Dr. Denise Challis (London-based pediatric neurologist of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Portland Hospital and the most recent past chair of the Association for Research in Infant and Child Development (ARICD)) to use the Griffiths Mental Development Scales – Extended Revised (GMDS – ER). Dr, Challis visited LIH Olivia’s Place for the third  time to train groups of clinicians from local services, all hoping to gain a better understanding of the measure and introduce it to improve identification and assessment of children through their clinics. At the October training many of LIH Olivia’s Place staff volunteered their own children for the group to practice with and over three days both the 0-24months and 36-96 months versions were taught and trialed.


Within a paediatric developmental setting it is best practice to use a range of tools to establish the level of a child’s functioning, guide future assessment and intervention, support a diagnosis and offer a means of comparing improvement and delay over time. Depending on the setting of the service, clinicians must rely on a varied range of information in order to move from the most basic identification of a problem in any area, through to accurate understanding, diagnosis and treatment.


Many scales have been developed over the past 70 years, each attempting to best quantify a child’s development across the age range. Patterns of assessment have emerged drawing on accepted practical ways of assessing ability (climbing stairs, catching a ball, naming objects) through to more complex ways of measuring understanding and emotion. For the majority of the development phases (the statistical analysis and creation of norms) western ideas and populations have been used to produce the test scores, interpretation and age equivalents.


Many other factors influence the choice of tests to use. Standardisation and quality of the scale is the obvious first level issue but frequently access to the test, style of the clinic in which you are working, time available and issues such as the population you work with are big influences.


Table 1: Overview of Tests

Name of Test Domains assessed Nature of Test Outcomes Age Range Norms available
10 Questions Brief overview of areas of difficulty. No formal scales, no standardized scoring system Simple information about possible concern
Denver-11 Personal/SocialFine Motor – AdaptiveLanguage

Gross Motor

Standardised test with brief screening questionnaire and materials. NormalSuspectUntestable 0-6 years

0-72 months

US Norms
Bayley-111 CognitiveLanguageMotor


Adaptive Behaviour Scale

Standardised test with good psychometric properties. Materials box Derived scores (norm referenced scales, percentiles 0-42 months US Norms
GMDS LocomotorPersonal-SocialHearing and Language

Eye and Hand Coordination


Standardised test with range of materials and training certificate required to use test to ensure adequate standards maintained Month equivalent, percentile, z-score & confidence intervals 0-96 months UK norms & Chinese norms available this year


Denise Challis trains clinicians to use the GMDS-ER at LIH Olivia's Place in Shanghai.

Denise Challis trains clinicians to use the GMDS-ER at LIH Olivia’s Place in Shanghai.

For the Griffiths scale specialist training is required before the test will be released for use by a given clinician – this is to ensure that standards of conducting and interpreting the assessment are maintained and the validity and reliability of the scores can be protected. Doctors and psychologists are the only professionals permitted to independently administer the assessment, but selected therapists and educators who have been trained can administer parts of the assessment if they are working in a team led by a trained doctor or psychologist.


What is most exciting about the use of the Griffiths is that Dr. Challis, through several years of hard work with a number of leading medical universities in China, has developed norms for the Chinese population. ARICD has worked closely with a number of specialist centres across China and a UK statistician to create the norms and is in the final phases of creating the new normative data specifically for Chinese children. The findings were interesting in that they revealed different patterns of results for the Chinese vs UK populations. Chinese children were found to perform better on some academic measures while UK children have a different ability profile for motor and social skills.


LIH Olivia’s Place is working with the distributor of the Griffiths and is in the process of finalizing an agreement to serve as the distributor for the scales in China. From here we will continue to promote training and use of the instrument. Within LIH Olivia’s Place further discussion and planning can now be held about how to best use the tool within an integrated clinic pathway and to consider how it can direct interventions and measure progress. Undoubtedly there will be opportunities to share best practice with partners across China as well as consider the research data that may be revealed.


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.

ABA Services Lead Our Beijing Learning & Behavior Support Offerings

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Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), originally developed in the United States in the 1970s, has become one of the most widely-used interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder, as well as a number of other conditions and behavior-related concerns. ABA is an intensive approach to teaching children to improve socially significant behaviors. We are delighted to announce that Ms. Pengsi Shen has joined us in Beijing to deliver ABA based on the latest research from the United States in this field. Pengsi, originally from Hunan province, first worked as an ABA assistant in China and then attended Columbia University in New York, US to study ABA. She graduated with a Master’s degree in ABA and successfully passed her Board Certified Behavioral Analyst examination (BCBA), one of the highest credentials in the field of ABA. She is now one of only three only four people in mainland China to hold this credential. Pengsi is available for assessments, therapy, consultations, and training. Pengsi is the first member of a Beijing Learning & Behavior Support team that will be able to provide intervention in the clinic and in children’s natural environments, for children and families with a wide range of needs from early intervention to services for school-aged children.

A Lifespan Perspective: From Young to Old

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Dr. Becci Dow,  Clinical Psychologist, Pscyhology Lead and  Clinical Manager, Shanghai

Dr. Becci Dow, Clinical Psychologist, Pscyhology Lead and Clinical Manager, Shanghai

Older people’s well-being needs are not something that you would expect to be discussed at LIH Olivia’s Place – a pediatric clinic. Developing new services and being involved with research is something LIH Olivia’s Place is doing more of and is an effective way to change the culture towards those with rehabilitation needs across China. A combination of fortuitous meetings, circumstances, and shared interests has led to a collaborative piece of work to improve well-being in a community population of older people with low mood in Shanghai and Hangzhou.


Nottingham University in the UK is a tier 1 academic institution with interests across the world, including a campus in Ningbo. It also happens to be where our Chief Therapy Officer, Lis Ringrose, trained and where I worked in research for many years. Over the past 10 years Nottingham has forged links with Fudan and Jiatong Universities in Shanghai as well as Tongde Hospital in Hangzhou. The latest collaboration is a project, funded by the UK Foreign Office, to screen older people (aged 55-80) in the community for depression and train community staff to deliver an 8 week group support programme.


The health, emotional and social needs of older adults are significant and as the population across the world ages there is increasing awareness and concern about how these can be met. It is known that older people continue to contribute greatly to the economy, not least here in China through their extensive input as family caregivers. There is also substantial evidence that the combination of health problems, social needs, and distress places a large financial and emotional burden on the family and on the state. Most important is the need to introduce known effective strategies to improve well-being. So finding a quick and transferable means of intervention is a priority.


So where does LIH Olivia’s Place stand?

Again, happenstance meant that my experience as a consultant in older adult/geriatric psychology was identified by Professor Tom Dening, Psychiatry Lead at the Institute of Dementia at Nottingham. He asked if I could contribute to the project and I have now met with the key collaborators, Professor Fu Hua (School of Public Health, Fudan University) and Dr Jianmin Zhang (Vice President and Chief Psychiatrist, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province).


Working alongside them, I am drawing together a manual for a group intervention, looking at using cognitive behaviour therapy ideas, group activities, and culturally appropriate methods to improve well-being. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) will be used to measure pre-and post group mood and the leaders for the groups will attend a training session with the team to develop their skills.


Once the pilot phase is reviewed it is hoped that a Chinese language manual can be produced.  The could be easily followed by other community groups and can become a resource to be adapted for older people and delivered within their communities to take real steps towards addressing well-being needs where currently no help is available.


The parallels with the LIH Olivia’s Place’ mission to introduce high quality rehabilitation services to the Chinese community are obvious. Meeting the needs of a community group often overlooked is a priority and with the merger of Olivia’s Place and LIH Changhe, we are now working to not only help the pediatric population of China, but the adult population as well.  In fact, we are now working on building a 100 bed in-patient/outpatient adult/pediatric rehabilitation hospital that will help take us a step closer towards reaching this mission.


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.

China Hosts Renown Autism Event

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2015 1107 -1On November 6th- 8th, 2015 China hosted the first ever Regional International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) Conference in Shanghai. Many well-known organizations and universities, such as Autism Speaks and Duke University, have been working with the Chinese government and universities with the goal of working collaboratively to improve the lives of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families as well to support and advance ASD research. The conference was a huge success as it allowed many scientists, clinicians, educators and parents from around the world to meet and exchange knowledge with one another and encompass global perspectives about ASD. Five clinicians from LIH Olivia’s Place, one from each discipline, created an e-poster on using an inter-disciplinary team approach for screening, diagnosis and early intervention of ASDs. They discussed the assessment and interventions highlighted with many well- known researchers, clinicians, local educators, and parents. Fengyi Kuo, Occupational Therapist, also presented an e-poster on transition and therapy services for adolescents and young adults with ASD. An LIH Olivia’s Place high school intern, Tiffany Lu from Dulwich College Suzhou, also participated in many informative professional sessions that this conference had to offer. In addition, the clinicians and other participants attended lectures on a variety of topics, many of which highlighted the huge progress that is being made worldwide in developing effective interventions and assessment measures for children with ASD.


LIH Olivia's Place IMFAR Delegation (left to right); Lis Ringrose, Chief Therapy Officer; Laura Lofy, Psychology Lead Beijing; Jamie Fanelli, Behavior & Learning Support Lead; Sophia Gurracino, Speech-Language Lead Shanghai; Fengyi Kuo, Occupational Therapist

LIH Olivia’s Place IMFAR Delegation (left to right); Lis Ringrose, Chief Therapy Officer; Laura Lofy, Psychology Lead Beijing; Jamie Fanelli, Behavior & Learning Support Lead; Sophia Gurracino, Speech-Language Lead Shanghai; Fengyi Kuo, Occupational Therapist

For Jamie Fanelli, Behavior & Learning Support Lead at LIH Olivia’s Place, the conference was an incredibly rewarding experience; she reflected that it  “reinforced why I personally love my job so much— the opportunity to move forward in improving the standard of therapy in China and positively impact quality of life for so many individuals with ASD and special needs. It was a true pleasure to meet and develop relationships with several of the world’s leading researchers in ASD and even more so with local educators, physicians and parents. All of whom are extremely dedicated to improving the lives of children with ASD and their families here in China.”


One of the more memorable experiences for Sophia Guarracino, Speech-Language Therapy Lead at LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai, was listening to a parent question-answer forum. During this time, parents were able to ask any questions to a panel of presenters. Most of the parents’ stories were heartfelt, sharing feelings of being overwhelmed, helpless, and not knowing where to turn for knowledge to better understand their child’s condition. For Sophia, hearing parents’ stories about their children being asked not return to school “made it so clear that there is such as a need of more education and support for both Chinese families and China’s educational system, to better help serve the needs of these children with autism. That is why it is inspiring that LIH Olivia’s Place can help support this need as it continues to develop and spread the expertise in this field.”

USC Delegation Visits LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing

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USC Visit 5 USC Visit 3On November 5, 2015, a delegation from the Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy at University of Southern California led by the Chair of the Division, Dr. Florence Clark visited LIH Olivia’s Place’s Beijing clinic. The LIH Olivia’s Place team shared with the delegation about our clinical occupational therapy services, our programs providing technical support and training to university faculty in related fields in China, and our work developing new clinical education training programs for Chinese therapists. Dr. Clark provided an introduction to her Division and their coming work in China to support the development of occupational sciences and occupational therapy here. USC has received a grant from the Chan family of US$20 million to help them develop their top-ranked program further and foster the development of occupational therapy in China.

USC Visit 2


Preparing Children for Repatriation

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Beth Rutkowski, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, Shanghai

Beth Rutkowski, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, Shanghai

Repatriation can be more difficult than expatriation, especially for children. Everyone’s experiences with repatriation are different- some departures dates are locked in since arrival, others are completely unpredictable. Some people are returning to a country with family and friends, others feel they are leaving their support system behind in China. The same house, job, and school may be waiting for a family upon their return, while others are starting everything new. Logistically, the demands are many and the changes are beyond those for which we can fully be prepared.


The emotions that accompany repatriation are as innumerable as the experiences. There may be excitement see old friends and family or return to a school or house that they have missed. Other children may be distraught. Many children have spent more of their life living within an international culture than anywhere else. They have undergone major life transitions and accomplished great successes while living abroad. It is here that has shaped their identities and their expectations for a happy life. To these young people, home is being taken away- without a promise of return. As parents, trying to help can seem an overwhelming task.


As difficult as it may be, let your children know about plans to move home as soon as the information is available. The move will be a time of great uncertainty for your entire family, and beginning that process with children feeling as if they were deceived or kept in the dark will make things much more difficult for everyone involved. Encourage everyone in the family to speak openly about how they are feeling. Express your own feelings of loss or excitement, so that children know that they are able and welcome to do the same. Validate them in whatever emotions they express.


Often times children- and particularly teens- are very aware that their parents are undergoing a great deal of stress prior to the move. As a result, they avoid expressing their emotions or talking about their concerns in order to not add to their parents stress. Just because a child isn’t forthcoming with expressing his or her emotions does not mean they don’t have any to share. Be sure to ask them throughout the process how they are feeling and to model healthy expressions of your own emotions.


If children do seem fixated on negative aspects of a move home, it may be helpful to remind them of some of the positive things that will result from the move. The goal here is not to force them to change how they are feeling. Instead, it is to help them understand that the process will have both advantages and disadvantages for them. If they are returning to a country with family or old friends, remind them of the fun they have had with these individuals in the past. Talk about the aspects of the relocation you know they will enjoy- decorating a room, getting a pet, buying new things. Explain how things will be different for them than when they last lived in their home country, such as new privileges they will have or new areas worth exploring.


Be sure to take the time to truly say goodbye to your China life. This will allow both you and your children some degree of closure in this transition. Encourage your children to take an active role in this process. Ask them how would they like to bid farewell. Ask about favorite activities, meals, and friends they would like to invest time in. Take pictures along the way and remember to stress how these memories of such experiences will be with them forever.


IMG_4015Help your children get organized. Its an exhausting and confusing process for anyone relocating across oceans. Children may feel overwhelmed by all the tasks that accompany a move. Help them organize their packing process by assigning them smaller tasks for each day. If there are school assignments and exams that need to be completed, stay in touch with their teacher and remind them as tasks are due. Make sure they know you are available to help them if they need it, and that you support them as they tackle all of the tasks at hand.


Finally, tend to your own needs throughout this process. Repatriation is complicated and somewhat painful for everyone. As a parent, it is very easy to forget to make our own wellbeing a priority. Enjoy a massage at your favorite retreat, visit the dumpling shop you’ll miss the most, have a glass of wine with your friends. You are no help to anyone if you are sleep-deprived, anxiety-ridden, and miserable. One of the best things your can do for your child is to take care of yourself.

Clinician Profile: Marc Innerhofer, Physiotherapist

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Marc Innerhofer, Physiotherapist & Physical Therapy Lead (Beijing)

Marc Innerhofer, Physiotherapist & Physical Therapy Lead (Beijing)

Marc Innerhofer is a physiotherapist from Austria. He received his degree at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Marc previously worked in a public hospital predominantly treating adults, but has since spent the last 3 years specializing in the field of pediatrics at LIH Oliva’s Place in Beijing. He has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including developmental delay, ADHD, developmental coordination disorder (DCD), autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Erb’s Palsy, and Down Syndrome. Marc regularly volunteers his time to various welfare centers and non-profit organizations, providing expertise and treating children with a wide arrange of disabilities. Marc works with children and families in English, Chinese, and German.



How long have you been in China?

I moved to China in February 2012. My original plan to study Chinese for a few months has turned into almost 4 years that I’ve now been living in Beijing.


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

I chose to work for LIH Olivia’s Place to pursue my goal of specializing in the field of pediatric physical therapy. Despite the somewhat precarious health standards in China, LIH Olivia’s Place offered a professional setting and framework, ensuring international recognition for the work experience and clinical skills I have developed while working here. At the same time I have been able to contribute to the company’s ongoing mission to improve the standard of rehabilitation and therapy in China.


Why did you choose your field?

I chose to study physical therapy after completing my mandatory social service in a center for children with cerebral palsy back in Austria, my home country. Being introduced to the field of disability and learning about the impact therapy can have on the quality of life of people with physical impairments was an eye-opening experience.


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

I’ve had a lot of opportunity to make meaningful changes by volunteering at local welfare centers, where large numbers of children with disabilities can be found. Improving the quality of life of the most disadvantaged part of the population has been one of the most rewarding experiences. LIH Olivia’s Place has continuously supported me with his endeavor.


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?

I still see myself broadening my experience and honing my clinical skills. A very broad range of patient presentations has given me a strong foundation in the field of pediatric physical therapy. I hope to take my skills to the next level to keep up with current research and continuously improving treatment approaches that are emerging.