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Program Review: Cultivating Resilience with MindUp

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Xiang Yi Yong, Psychologist, LIH Olivia's Place Beijing

XiangYi Yong, Psychologist, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing

In the 21st century, our children and young people are exposed to various stressors in their daily lives. Due to globalization, young people experience rapid changes in their environment following the advancement of science and technology, fast pace of life, and tight competition among their peers, which means that those who are more susceptible to stress and anxiety experience absolute and constant negative emotions. However, at the same time, a lot of these young people do not have adequate skills to cope with stress and anxiety. As a result, these conditions deter them from focusing during learning, which negatively affects their academic performance. Additionally, lack of effective stress coping skills can contribute to poor self-control, which potentially results in various behavioral problems, such as physical disputes with others or compulsive shopping. Ineffective coping with stress and anxiety can also later result in various types of psychological dysfunction, for example, over- or under- eating, substance abuse, or mood disorders. These issues not only have a detrimental effect on young people’s general health and daily functioning, but also the quality of their relationships with people around them.


There are various programs and curricula to equip our next generation with resources to cope with challenges. One of these programs is MindUp™, which was created by the Hawn Foundation in the United States. It is grounded in four prominent components in the field of psychology and learning: mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and social and emotional learning. MindUp™ applies a distinctive integration of these four pillars to build personal resilience in children and young people, which is a quality that is key to thriving in today’s world. MindUp™ aims to encourage positive behavior, enhance learning and academic performance, and improve relationships with self and others in young people. It consists of 15 lessons for children and young people from preschool to grade 8, customized according to age group and developmental level. These lessons can be fully integrated into school culture, such as in between the usual academic lessons, after-school activities, and holiday camp. Furthermore, the MindUp™ curriculum can be adapted by psychotherapists or counselors for their youth clients during therapy sessions, and trained parents for their own children at home.


MindUp™ offers an immersive exploratory experience together with daily core practices. One of these instances is the guided “Brain Break” breathing exercise, which can be best practiced during any transition of activities in daily life as a way to enhance emotional and behavioral stability, and increase receptivity towards new information. Extended from the four pillars, examples of topics that children and young people will learn from MindUp™ include:

  • Understanding brain structures and functions, especially those involved in focused attention and behavioral and emotional regulation
  • Having mindful awareness of various sensations and movements
  • Taking perspectives of others, practicing optimism and gratitude
  • Taking mindful, grateful, and kind actions towards others

MindUp™ activities are conducted in experiential and youth-friendly ways. These include:

  • Hands-on activities with lively instruction to invite young people to explore their inner experiences (e.g., body sensation, feelings, thoughts), and their surroundings (e.g., what they see, what they hear)
  • Information learning with the help of visual arts (e.g., colorful flow charts, videos, models)
  • Daily practice learning by following teachers/instructors’ modeling and coaching
  • Age-appropriate discussion that involves problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution processes
  • Home activities and journaling


MindUp™ is an evidence-based program that has been accredited by Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). It is also recommended by established governmental bodies to assist children and young people’s development, such as the National Institute of Justice (US). Research has shown that MindUp™:

  • Reinforces passion in learning
  • Increases academic success with improvement in attention, planning, and organization skills
  • Enhances self-control and self-regulation skills, and decreases aggression and antisocial behavior
  • Builds resiliency and decision making
  • Strengthens self-concept and self-esteem
  • Decreases conflict with peers
  • Improves positive social skills, such as empathy, compassion, patience, kindness, and generosity
  • Infuses optimism and gratitude

Despite the fact that research was conducted in the US, UK, and Canada, rather than in Asian countries like China, Chinese children and young people would potentially obtain similar benefits from MindUp™. This is due to the flexibility of its curriculum, which can be adapted in different contexts, and the shared and consistent concepts between MindUp™ and Chinese culture. The core concept of mindfulness- living in the present moment, originated from Confucianism and this concept still appears in current educational syllabi, despite the fact that it is practiced less now in daily life. The main concepts and elements of positive psychology, such as gratitude and creating positive relationships with others, are other important elements emphasized in Chinese tradition and culture. For the pillar of neuroscience, the universality of brain physiology and functions are undeniable. Therefore, the materials and research results relevant to neuroscience can be applied equally to Chinese children and young people. In terms of social and emotional learning, it is understandable that differences exist in emotional expression and social interaction among different cultures, which makes MindUp™ challenging to be completely applicable for Chinese young people. However, initial research has showed that with appropriate adaptation of the curriculum by taking Chinese cultures and lifestyles into consideration, a mindfulness program like MindUp™ can cultivate resilience in Chinese youth.


LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing is currently offering an adapted MindUp™ program for schools and in our clinic. For more information, please contact Michelle Wang at 13522341845 or Xiang Yi Yong:

Psychology Team Collaborates with Shanghai Sunrise

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Helen 1On Saturday, August 19, LIH Olivia’s Place Assistant Psychologist Ms. Helen Gu presented to teenagers of the Shanghai Sunrise program on Stress Management.


In China, children’s education is publicly funded until the age of 15. For children to continue their education, the student’s family must pay for the last three years of high school. This means that if families are not able to afford to pay for these school years, the children are left without completing a high school education. This can leave many children feeling without hope or a plan.


Shanghai Sunrise was founded in 1996, and is an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by intervening within these families. Shanghai Sunrise raises funds for educational scholarships and with the help of more than 1,000 sponsors worldwide, they have raised over 28 million RMB. This has created almost 11,000 high school and university scholarships and helped over 2,500 students and their families.


LIH Olivia’s Place has begun a collaboration with Shanghai Sunrise to provide additional support to these students. Following a meeting between the two organizations over the summer, additional needs of these students were identified. These included assistance with coping with stress, mental health concerns, social difficulties, academic pressure, and concern about the future. LIH Olivia’s Place is committed to improving the lives of children across China, and a partnership with Shanghai Sunrise offers an opportunity for this.


Shanghai Sunrise conducted a “Career Training Day” with the aim of helping prepare these students for their future jobs and roles in the working world. Ms. Gu presented on Stress Management. This presentation introduced the topics of “good stress” and “bad stress,” and a discussion of how to identify when bad stress is becoming too much. Sources of bad stress were covered, including academics, social pressures, and schedules. Tips for addressing bad stress were also offered, and what to do when it became too much.


Ms. Gu was joined by Dr. Beth Rutkowski, Clinical Psychology Lead (Consultant), for a question and answer session following this presentation. The attendees asked a wide range of questions about planning for the future, how to deal with negative peer interactions, coping with pressure from society, and many other topics. This event expected to be the first of many collaborations between LIH Olivia’s Place and Shanghai Sunrise.

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.

Experts Gather for Silk Road Child Health Forum

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Xian 1On 6-9 July, the Silk Road International Forum for Child Health 2017 was held in Xi’an by the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University and the Chinese Journal of Child Health Care. Nearly 500 experts in domestic and international pediatrics and health care participated in this meeting. A broad range of pediatric topics including early development, mental health, nutrition, growth and development, high risk infants, children with cerebral palsy, digestive health and allergic disorders, were discussed.

Dr. Susan Cadzow ( M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P., Australia, Chief of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics for LIH Oliva’s Place Clinics (a division of LIH Healthcare) and Kristi Troutman ((OTR/L, US), also with LIH Olivia’s Place, were invited and presented on “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Autism Diagnosis” and “What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy” respectively.
LIH Oliva’s Place Clinics, with rich resources in international healthcare, endeavors to build academic exchange with domestic medical institutes and is committed to the development of behavioral and developmental pediatrics and pediatric rehabilitation in China.

Congratulations on the success of the Silk Road International Forum for Child Health 2017!

GoBabyGo Speeds Into China!

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GoBabyGo is a US community-based non-profit research program that provides modified ride-on cars to children up to age 3 with limited mobility, such as children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and spinal injury. Program teams design and retrofit toy ride-on cars based on a rehabilitative assessment of a child’s motor ability. Driving the ride-on cars can help children with disabilities to develop their sense of autonomy, judgement, and tactile response, and also facilitate physical development or recovery. The program was initiated by Dr. Cole Galloway at Delaware University in 2012. The program offers impaired children precious opportunities for movement, mobility, and socialization, integrating assistive techniques, families, physicians, and corporate partners.

Dr. Rogers, her team, and the LIH SkyCity Team

Dr. Rogers, her team, and the LIH SkyCity Team


The "assembly team" at Beijing LIH Olivia's Place

The “assembly team” at Beijing LIH Olivia’s Place

The initial launch of GoBabyGo in China brought 10 modified ride-on cars in total to Chinese children. Special donation ceremonies were held at LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital and LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing. Dr. Sandra Rogers, Professor at Pacific University (Oregon, US), and Dr. Fengyi Kuo, LIH Healthcare Occupational Therapy Corporate Lead, presented 4 retro-fitted ride-on cars to 2 Kunming families and 2 Beijing families. In Beijing, therapists from Shunyi Women and Children’s Hospital of Beijing Children’s Hospital also participated in the program.

Dr. Kuo and Dr. Rogers being interviewed by local media in Kunming

Dr. Kuo and Dr. Rogers being interviewed by local media in Kunming

GoBabyGo has been promoted in the US for 15 years and it is hoped that the modified ride-on cars can now be accessible to more Chinese children with disability, helping to improve their mobility. According to Dr. Sandra Rogers, GoBabyGo has been working in many nations and the reason for choosing Kunming and Beijing as the first cities in China to launch the program was that LIH Healthcare has international facilities with an advanced rehabilitation philosophy that matches well with the program’s philosophy and vision.According to Dr. Kuo, through the training conducted by Dr. Sandra Rogers and her team, physicans and therapists in Kunming and Beijing learned basic techinques to retrofit the motorized cars.


GBG General 2GBG General 1A child in Beijng, who has Type II Spinal Muscular Atrophy, sat in the car trying to make it move. When he was asked by a therapist which color car he liked best, he answered, “red,” without any hesitation, and gave a new name to the car- a little red bee! The child’s dad was asked to join the assembly team. He took out all the parts started work with the clinical team.

GBG General 3In Kunming, When Dr. Rogers and her team learned than an 8-year-old child would be presented with a car, they searched for a larger ride-on car to retrofit.  “We will tweak the car to fit each child’s condition, if the recipient is an older child, we will choose a proper sized car specific to the child’s situation, make the car more comfortable to maneuver for the child,” said Dr. Kuo.GBG KM 5GBG KM 3


Modifying the seat back panel to fit the child.

Modifying the seat back panel to fit the child.

When the assembly was finished, the program team and therapists let kids sit in the cars, adjusting the manual brake to make it easy to manipulate. At the same time, they tweaked the seats to make the child felt cozy behind the wheel, and enjoy the freedom of a little mobility when driving.GBG BJ 4

Replacing the controller based on the child's hand strength, from a selection of 3 controllers.

Replacing the controller based on the child’s hand strength, from a selection of 3 controllers.

That's it!

That’s it!

With the guidance of their therapy teams, the children learned to drive the modified cars, use the controller, and avoid the obstacles placed by therapists. They learned quickly while having fun.

In Beijing, a young driver can't get enough of his ride-on car, especially when crashing into targets.

In Beijing, a young driver can’t get enough of his ride-on car, especially when crashing into targets.


Modified on-ride cars can improve children’s cognitive ability and independence, at the same time bringing happiness through play. The kids in Beijing were given group pictures as the event came to a close, some children exclaimed, “we are a family”, yeah! We are families, caring about each other, and fighting for love!”  Here, we’d like to extend our appreciation to Dr. Sandra Rogers, and her team, for this great program they brought to Chinese families and their dedication and contribution to pediatric rehabilitation.Together with LIH Healthcare, GoBabyGo is sure to continue its journey in China, creating more opportunities for the children we serve and their families.

LIH Healthcare Clinicians Attend NICU Training

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NICU 2A series of training on multidisciplinary practice in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was held at LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing from 12-23 July. The training program was designed to integrate theoretical and practical components. Prof. Sandra Rogers, of Pacific University (Oregon, US) and Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and Prof. Fengyi Kuo, LIH Healthcare Occupational Therapy Corporate Lead, jointly provided a 2-day face-to-face training. Following that training, a 6-week online technical certification course was completed by physicians, therapists, and nurse teams from LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing, LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital Kunming, and LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen.

NICU 3Training content included babies’ development in utero, nursing models for newborns, stress signals, interpretation of APGAR, and positioning, evaluation and feeding of newborns.
In the class, learners were not only presented with theory but also video demonstration and manual manipulation for positioning and feeding babies, in order to smoothly transfer theoretical knowledge to clinical practice. Participants were required to pass an online test before finishing each day’s course content in order to reinforce theoretical foundations, fill in gaps, and foster discussion and exchange of ideas among peers.

Professor Roger’s passion for teaching was evident and many students commented that they learn a lot from the course, because the content was well structured and very practical.

Parents of Children with CP Receive Practical Training

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SZ CP 1A free lecture event for parents of children with cerebral palsy was recently hosted by LIH Olivia Place’s Shenzhen and Shenzhen Angelland Disabled Children Caring Center. Parents attended with great learning enthusiasm despite the summer heat. Lead physical therapy consultant Ilija Dmitrovosk presented a three-and-a-half hour feast of rehabilitation expertise.

Through demonstration, Ilija vividly introduced the principles and approaches of physical therapy for treating children with cerebral palsy. Bearing in mind that each child is unique, he patiently instructed parents one by one how to properly care for their children at home.

SZ CP 2Ilija elaborated on the concepts of physical therapy in simple language to increase parents’ understanding. Quite a number of parents had some knowledge of physical therapy, but through this event, they learned myriad approaches of physical therapy such as 24-hour postural therapy and water therapy, to name but a few. In addition, Ilija introduced how to use the various equipment and special considerations for them. Many parents discovered that they had been using their child’s assistive equipment improperly.
During practical training, Ilija patiently explained appropriate exercises. He noted repeatedly that parents need to help their children exercise to fulfill their potential. According to the situation of each child, parents can use common and simple equipment to help children do rehabilitation exercises properly. But these simple exercises have many points that need to be carefully considered, therefore parents need to closely pay attention to their child and actively interact with and encourage them while they exercise.

Encouraged by her mother, a little girl sitting in wheelchair began to respond actively, positions that she had been unable to do before. All the people present burst into cheers and her parents were greatly inspired.SZ CP 4

During a break, parents said that they planned on signing up for more courses and the vivid descriptions and practical training brought benefits to them. Despite a duration of more than 3 hours, many found the event too short. After the lecture concluded, parents gathered around Ilija, continuing to search for professional instruction.SZ CP 5

Ilija Dimitrovosk, Lead Physical Therapy Consultant at Shenzhen LIH Olivia’s Place, has 15 years of experience in physical therapy early intervention for newborns and premature infants, children’s growth and development, children’s physical therapy, and sports and rehabilitation medicine.

LIH Olivia’s Place Specialists Give Keynotes at 3rd China International Forum of Pediatric Development

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From 30 June to 2 July 2017, the 3rd China International Forum of Pediatric Development was grandly held in the Beijing Conference Center. About 5000 domestic and international pediatric experts and scholars gathered there to exchange and share new concepts, new explorations, new technologies and new achievements in pediatric diagnostic technology, preventive intervention, and healthcare management. LIH Olivia’s Place experts Dr. Susan Cadzow, Director of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, and Prof. Fengyi Kuo, Occupational Therapy Corporate Lead, were invited to present at the forum.


Dr. Susan Cadzow has abundant clinical and training experiences in the field of developmental behavioral pediatrics. In the conference’s pediatric development and nutrition sub-forum, Dr. Cadzow reviewed new research and advanced treatment concepts in the early diagnosis of autism in her presentation, “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Autism Diagnosis.” In the presentation, she introduced how western multi-disciplinary teams make autism diagnoses and provided intervention strategies to encourage family participation and follow-up treatment.

In the pediatric rehabilitation sub-forum, Prof. Fengyi Kuo, LIH Olivia’s Place Occupational Therapy Corporate Lead, spoke on “Early Intervention & Family-centered Care for Children with Autism: An Interdisciplinary Team Approach” to emphasize the importance of family involvement in early intervention. Children’s overall functions and daily living abilities can be improved by integrating family activities with an interdisciplinary team approach.
“Children’s Health, the Starting Point of the Chinese Dream” was the theme of this conference. With great government support government and collaborative efforts of pediatric experts, pediatrics in China is thriving. Increased professional interdisciplinary teams in China certainly will help more children to grow healthily.

MDT Care: Together, we achieve the best outcome

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Martin (Hai) Qiu, Speech and Language Therapist, HCPC Registered (Consultant), LIH Olivia's Place Shanghai

Martin (Hai) Qiu, Speech and Language Therapist, HCPC Registered (Consultant), LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

Last month, we were invited to participate in the Pediatric Innovation Forum at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. The LIH Olivia’s Place Director of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Dr. Susan Cadzow, Shanghai Lead of Speech and Language Therapy Ms. Sophia Guarracino, and Speech and Language Therapist Mr. Martin Qiu attended the forum accompanied by LIH Healthcare public relations and translation staff members, Ms. Heidi Gao and Mr. Louis Liu.

In the forum, Dr. Michael Mintz, PsyD, from Children’s National Health System, gave a presentation on ‘Neurodevelopmental outcomes for children with congenital heart defects’ to share his experiences working with children with congenital heart defects in Washington D.C. Dr. Zhang Yiwen also presented about the ‘Cooperation of medicine and education for children with Down syndrome in Shanghai’ to discuss the recent reformation of pediatric care in local communities.

These two speakers shared their experiences from two different countries in different fields of pediatric care. However, they both emphasized the essence of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) model of care for achieving the best outcome for the child. Dr. Mintz shined some light on the care pathway involving multiple health care professions, such as speech and language therapists and occupational therapists. Whereas, Dr. Zhang discussed cooperation on a larger scale, between the health care professions and education department.

These perspectives fit perfectly with our core vision at LIH Olivia’s Place, to enable all people of China to access high-quality, evidence-based, inter-disciplinary rehabilitation services. More recently, following the latest evidence, LIH Olivia’s Place has developed multi-disciplinary assessments which are financially accessible for more families. Many of the families who are now able to obtain assessment and subsequent treatment are families from local communities with a child with complex needs. The MDT model ensures better communication between disciplines so that clinicians can understand the child’s strengths and weaknesses clearly. Only then can the team make an accurate diagnosis and provide effective family-centered treatment plans.

LIH Olivia’s Place will continue to be devoted to enabling more families to access high-quality, evidence-based, inter-disciplinary pediatric services. We strongly believe that working closely with other disciplines and local communities can help us to achieve this mission.

Empowering Parents, Children’s, and Young People’s Psychological Journey

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RuChi Yang, PhD, Psychologist, LIH Olivia's Place Beijing

RuChi Yang, PhD, Psychologist, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing

Many children and young people face social, emotional, or behavioral challenges that their parents find difficult to manage on their own, and help from a therapist through psychotherapy can often make a difference and assist the child or young person and their family to increase their communication, coping, or problem-solving skills; therefore, they are better able to handle future problems independently and successfully. The child or young person may also receive emotional support, resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems.

Psychotherapy refers to a variety of techniques and methods used to help children and young people who are experiencing difficulties with their social interactions, emotions, or behavior. Although there are different types of psychotherapy, each relies on communication as the basic tool for bringing about change in a person’s feelings and behaviors. Psychotherapy may involve an individual child, a group of children, a family, or multiple families. For children and young people, playing, drawing, building, pretending, as well as talking, are important ways of sharing feelings and resolving problems.

The common signs and reasons that children and young people may benefit from seeking help include: developmental delay in speech, language, or toilet training; learning or attention problems; behavioral problems; a significant drop in grades; episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression; social withdrawal or isolation; being the victim of bullying or bullying other children; decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities; overly aggressive behavior ; sudden changes in appetite; insomnia or increased sleepiness; excessive school absenteeism or tardiness; mood swings; bereavement; custody evaluations; development of or an increase in physical complaints despite a normal physical exam by a doctor; management of a serious, acute, or chronic illness; signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use; problems with transitions; and therapy following sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or other traumatic events.

Families play an important role in children’s and young people’s healing processes. Sometimes children and young people develop problems as a way of signaling that there is something wrong in the family. Other times the entire family becomes distressed because the child or young person’s problems are so disruptive. In all cases, children, young people, and families heal faster when they work together in treatment.

A psychological assessment may be indicated when there is a question about possible mental health diagnoses and/or when information is needed about the child or young person’s cognitive, academic, or adaptive skill levels. Assessment results lead to specific recommendations directly related to a child’s unique profile of strengths and weaknesses.

A comprehensive psychological assessment generally includes information from multiple sources, including parents and teachers, and an evaluation of a child’s social, behavioral, emotional, and/or cognitive and academic abilities or aptitudes. For children and young people, direct evaluation may include a series of tasks designed to assess different skill areas or psychological functioning; however, the format of a child’s assessment should be designed based on the best individual fit for a child.

A psychological assessment often includes a diagnostic interview, a cognitive test, a standardized test of academic abilities, neuropsychological batteries, assessments of developmental delays, and/or behavior or symptom rating scales, although many other measures may also be included. Behavioral observations are a critical part of the evaluation and may be conducted in the clinic and/or school setting. In addition, if a child has previously been evaluated or has any relevant medical or educational records, it is helpful to provide this documentation to the examiner conducting the assessment for review. Parents play a very essential role in their child’s life; therefore, they are very important to the work of the psychologist. The information they provide is crucial to how the psychologist moves forward with a psychological assessment.

Following assessment, a feedback meeting with the psychologist is good practice. This session is usually conducted with just the parent or caregivers without the presence of the child. During this appointment, the evaluator should review the results of the assessment, explain the implications of the findings, and provide a series of recommendations. Parents and caregivers should feel free to ask any questions or express any concerns during this session.

Following psychological assessment, parents or caregivers should also be provided with a written report that includes the results and the psychologist’s recommendations. This report will help parents and caregivers to understand the findings and work on the “next steps” to support their child. This report is also very useful for clear communication with the child’s school or medical providers.

In conclusion, children and young people are different from adults. Physical, emotional, and mental differences in maturity necessitate specialized expertise to achieve an optimal outcome. For this reason, it is essential for the parents or primary caregivers to choose providers who have both broad and in-depth clinical experience with children and young people and have professional knowledge in typical and atypical child development when seeking services during children’s and young people’s psychological journey.


Dr. Ruchi Yang earned a Ph. D. from Ganon University (Pennsylvania, US) and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from State University of New York, Albany.  She  is a licensed psychologist and US registered play therapist-supervisor.  Dr. Yang has more than ten years of experience as a psychologist, primarily with children and adolescents  with learning difficulties, ADHD, ODD, disruptive behaviors, negative attention-seeking behaviors, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, difficulty expressing thoughts/feelings, adjustment issues, grief, parental divorce/separation, low frustration tolerance, anger problems, parenting issues, parent-child relationship problems, trauma, poor decision-making skills, non-compliance behaviors, social skill deficits, relational issues, autism spectrum disorder, and limited coping skills. Dr. Yang provides individual, group, family, and vocational counseling; comprehensive psychological assessments (i.e. cognitive, academic, attention, executive function skills, social, emotional, personality, adaptive, developmental, & behavioral functioning); and crisis intervention/ risk assessment. She utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral therapy approaches. She also incorporates child-centered play therapy, cognitive behavioral play therapy, filial therapy, and child parent relationship therapy intervention in treatment. Dr. Yang is a member of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and graduated from the APT Leadership Academy in 2012. She has served on several APT committees and task forces. She has also previously supervised graduate level clinicians. Languages: English, Mandarin