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Shanghai Psychology Team Trains on Emotion-Focused Therapy

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Dr. Leslie Greenburg recently visited Shanghai and conducted a series of trainings on Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). Dr. Greenburg co-founded the therapeutic approach of EFT, which is an evidence-based psychological treatment. Dr. Greenberg is presently a professor in the department of psychology at York University, where he is also director of the university’s Psychotherapy Research Center.

Three LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai Psychology Team members – Dr. Sophie Westwood, Dr. Beth Rutkowski, and Ms. Veronica McKibben – attended his one-day workshop on Working with Shame with EFT. Ms. McKibben attended a further two weeks of training in order to develop in depth understanding and skills within the practice of Emotion-Focused Therapy.

The therapeutic techniques of EFT are based on the belief that emotions direct in the way people interact with the world. They guide our actions. They inform us of the things that we want. They help people grow and develop attachments.

The therapy focuses on regulating emotions in order to facilitate a change in behavior. Within a therapy session, an individual is assisted through the process of gaining awareness of their emotions. The therapeutic setting also allows people to experience emotions in a place that is safe and that may be challenging or even frightening to explore without support.

With training, therapists are able to help individuals identify primary and secondary emotions. An example of secondary emotion is when a person expresses anger, though she is actually masking sadness. People are then able to learn to understand, manage, and transform maladaptive emotions. This allows them the opportunity to access and utilize healthy, adaptive emotions, such as grieving the loss of a loved one or developing compassion towards a person who hurt them.

The psychological community of Shanghai was very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn these techniques from Dr. Leslie Greenburg. They will assist the LIH Olivia’s Place psychology team in their work with adolescents, families, and adults.

The Empowered Preschooler Series at Wellington Bilingual

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Lead Learning & Behavior Specialist, Shanghai

Lead Learning & Behavior Specialist, Shanghai

During the month of April, Jamie Fanelli, Lead Learning and Behavior Specialist at LIH Olivia’s Place, delivered a three-part parenting workshop at Wellington College Bilingual to an enthusiastic group of parents and caregivers. The workshop, entitled “The Empowered Preschooler Series,” introduced learning principles that are key to understanding child behavior and provided strategies based on these principles. The parents and caregivers gained better insight on “why their child keeps behaving in that way” and were given ideas for addressing negative behaviors using positive methods.

During the initial workshop, “ABC’s of Behavior & Beyond: Connecting Learning, Behavior and Positive Parenting,” the parents were educated about a new way of looking at behavior. Ms. Fanelli introduced the basic principles that govern how children learn and discussed how these principles shape child behavior. The parents learned that the building blocks of behavior include antecedents, what comes right before or ‘triggers’ the behavior, and consequences, what occurs immediately following the behavior. The parents discussed their child’s problem behaviors with one another and learned how altering the triggers and consequences can change the behavior over time. They discussed how prevention should often be their first goal and learned how to identify and anticipate the triggers to their child’s problem behavior. Ms. Fanelli outlined some prevention strategies, including:

• Establishing clear expectations and consequences
• Giving their child more choices
• Redirecting their child’s attention to another activity
• Breaking down difficult tasks
• Helping their child prepare for transitions using time warnings and/or visual schedules

Ms. Fanelli and the parents then discussed the different types of consequences, or ways to respond to the behavior. Ms. Fanelli emphasized that traditional discipline around the world focuses on punishment; however, research has indicated that it’s far more effective to focus on reinforcement. In contrast, parents also learned that sometimes no attention is better than negative attention as attention from an adult is powerful and can sometimes increase the problem behavior. Ms. Fanelli suggested parents try ignoring inappropriate attention-seeking behavior, especially when a child is whining or pouting. Behavior management systems, such as reward charts, were also discussed and examples were illustrated. Ms. Fanelli emphasized that rewards should be linked to specific behaviors and always delivered consistently.

Ms. Fanelli then discussed the differences between positive reinforcement and bribery. She stressed that bribing children with the promise of a reward while they are misbehaving is ineffective and counterproductive. The parents and caregivers then actively participated by turning bad behaviors ‘upside down’ by looking at behaviors in a new light. They learned that almost every bad behavior they are tempted to punish could be turned into a positive behavior they can positively reinforce. For example, parents could positively reinforce their child when he puts away a toy as opposed to only reprimanding him when he doesn’t clean up. The parents learned specific ways to teach positive behaviors, including:

• Explaining the desired behavior to the child
• Modeling it
• Practicing it
• Positively reinforcing it.

The parents and caregivers returned on the second day to learn about “A New Way to Say No” and promote positive behavior in children. The workshop reviewed the building blocks of behavior and focused on using the power of positive reinforcement to improve children’s behavior. Ms. Fanelli emphasized that positive reinforcement is one of the most effective tools a parent can utilize and can be delivered in many different forms, such as praise, given a reward or access to a favorite activity. The parents learned the most effective ways to use praise and encouragement, such as:

• Be specific and tell their child exactly what they like
• Keep the praise simple
• Avoid combining encouragement with criticism
• Be very generous with it
• Use the magic ratio of 5:1—praise 5 more times than they criticize or correct

The parents left the workshop empowered and ready to try some new ways of using positive reinforcement that they discussed.

The third and final workshop, “Tame the Terrible Tantrums: Understanding and Responding to Challenging Behaviors,” outlined effective parenting strategies to use when responding to problem behaviors. The parents put on their detective hats and learned more about understanding why the behavior occurs in the first place: the child is trying to communicate something, such as ‘I want you to pay attention to me’ or “I don’t want to stop and clean up.” Ms. Fanelli reviewed and emphasized the effectiveness of positive reinforcement as well as the problems with physical punishment. She discussed that physical punishment, such as spanking, models aggression and often portrays the parent as the ‘bad guy’ rather than focusing on the bad decision the child made. Children often respond to physical punishment by hiding and do not always change their problem behavior. Extensive research shows physical punishment is harmful, counterproductive and linked to antisocial behavior and mental health problems. Ms. Fanelli outlined alternative strategies, including using logical consequences and time-outs.

Logical consequences are negative consequences for problem behavior that the parent decides upon and are logically connected to the behavior. For example, if a child throws a toy at his friend, the parents take the toy away. Ms. Fanelli emphasized that children are not born with an ability to make decisions and accept the consequences and therefore need lots of practice and encouragement to learn how to take responsibility for their actions. Ms. Fanelli encouraged parents to begin by targeting one to three problem behaviors and explicitly teaching the child the rules through modeling, role-playing, using photos, and providing consistent feedback and encouragement. She also emphasized to use positive commands by telling their child what to do instead of what not to do. For example, a parent may tell their child to kick the ball into the net instead of telling them to stop kicking the ball at me. Ms. Fanelli and the parents then discussed using ‘time outs’ as a way to increase the child’s compliance and decrease problem behaviors. During the ‘time out,’ the child would be taken to a quiet area free of toys and given minimal attention. ‘Time outs’ are widely recommended as they are effective, nonviolent and give everyone time to cool down.

The workshop concluded with a discussion about ways to improve children’s emotional regulation skills. Developing strong emotional regulation helps the child control his own behavior, develop empathy for others, follow directions and focus. Ms. Fanelli recommended that parents encourage children to:

• Label their and others’ emotions,
• Help the child identify the triggers that lead to the emotions
• Help the child identify the physical reactions, such as tightened muscles or difficulty concentrating, that happen afterward.

Throughout the workshops, the parents and caregivers shared their own experiences and asked several great questions about their child’s problem behaviors. At the completion of the workshop, they left with a toolbox of strategies and resources to better respond to challenging behaviors and promote positive behaviors.

For more information or to schedule The Empowered Preschooler o similar workshops for parents at your school, please contact Penny Fan by email or at 86 21 5404 0058/59.

To schedule an appointment with Jamie Fanelli, Shanghai Lead Learning & Behavior Support Specialist, please contact or call 86 21 5404 0058/59.

Visiting Physicians Empower Shenzhen Team

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Training is a key “know how” at LIH Olivia’s Place and professional development and clinical education are central to our success and the success of the families with whom we work. Our March visiting physician at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen was Dr. Chuck Dietzen who acted as a consultant to encourage our clinicians in methods to better understand and realize our mission of high-quality, evidence-based, and inter-disciplinary rehabilitation. Most recently arriving from his duties at the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University (IU) Health, Dr. Dietzen has extensive experience in managing and building medical inter-disciplinary cooperation and provided a window into the effectiveness of a fun pediatric environment. He is a creative thinker and practices as a rehabilitation physician. He is also a teacher of both occupational therapy and physical therapy so as he attended case study meetings and consulted with many of our team members; he was an excellent guide for interdisciplinary work.


Dr. Cheema-Hasan, Visiting Physician, meets with the clinical team at LIH Olivia's Place Shenzhen

Dr. Cheema-Hasan, Visiting Physician, meets with the clinical team at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen

In April, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Cheema-Hasan from the Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Rhode Island Hospital as a visiting physician. Dr. Cheema-Hasan provided clinical training in some areas of expertise including current research and practice with autism spectrum disorder, and early intervention for high-risk and premature infants. She has been a recipient of a Maternal and Child Health Training Program Grant from Spotlight for Autism Awareness 2015 and brings a fresh perspective to the scheduled training sessions with Shenzhen clinicians. Dr. Cheema-Hasan will return to the Shenzhen clinic one week per month and will be available for consultation with clients.

Shenzhen Hosts Whole Child and Parent Support Week

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When parents bring their own child as well as a friend, they receive one of the screenings for free and can enjoy a 15% discount on a complete assessment.

When parents bring their own child as well as a friend, they receive one of the screenings for free and can enjoy a 15% discount on a complete assessment.

On the heels of LIHOP Shenzhen’s grand opening event on March 30, the clinic hosted the Whole Child and Parent Support Week from April 10th to April 15th. Screening sessions in four different areas were offered to families in the community. The success of screening in Speech and Language, Motor Skills, Attention, and Play Consultations motivated the clinic to extend the offer for further screening sessions until the end of April.


The purpose of the event was to provide resources and recommendations for geared toward optimal growth. Parents took part in presentations that gave them ideas for creating the best environment for their children in bilingual education. They also heard presentations on developing a child’s executive functions and growth-centered physical activity for children from ages 2-6.   The event included daily informational workshops that several parents and local teachers attended. Teachers came to the workshop on ‘Exercises to Improve Fitness and Learning’. Sessions were available with translation.


Physical Therapist, Ilja Dimitrovski presents, “Take a Break! Exercise Strategies to Improve Fitness and Learning”

Physical Therapist, Ilja Dimitrovski presents, “Take a Break! Exercise Strategies to Improve Fitness and Learning”



 Clinical Psychologist, Jaqueline Wolf presents, “Helping Your Child Develop Executive Functions for Success!”

Clinical Psychologist, Jaqueline Wolf presents, “Helping Your Child Develop Executive Functions for Success!”

LIH Healthcare Management Visits Children’s Specialized Hospital

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LIH Healthcare Senior Managers Hu Dai and Kristi Troutman

LIH Healthcare Senior Managers Hu Dai and Kristi Troutman

On March 28, Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH), LIH Healthcare’s partner hospital for pediatrics in New Jersey, US welcomed three LIH healthcare managers, Dr. Fengyi Kuo, Therapy Director at Kunming LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital; Kristi Troutman, Interim Therapy Director at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen, and Dai Hu, General Manager at LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing, prior to the opening of the AOTA conference. Clinical leadership from two organizations met face to face during the 1-day visit to conduct significant dialogue on various topics including rehabilitation facilities, clinical education, and team building in the cultural context of China and the US. The second part of the visit consisted of tours of CSH’s inpatient and outpatient facilities under the guidance of Patricia Foley, VP of Outpatient Services, with thorough overviews of their outpatient services and programs from an operational perspective. “As a clinic manager, the visit was fulfilled with great conversations with their clinicians and a deep tour in their inpatient and outpatient facilities which brought me inspiration on the direction of our Beijing clinic,” said Mr. Hu.

A special half-day meeting was arranged exclusively for clinicians to conduct special topic presentations, Q&A, and discussions. A series of topics including The Current State of Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Education in China, LIH Healthcare Current Facilities, Staffing and Patient Demographics, and Overview of LIH Healthcare Clinical Training and Leveling were brought to CSH’s therapist leads team by the LIH Healthcare managers. The presentations and dialogue received tremendous feedback from CSH’s clinicians. Kristi Troutman, Interim Therapy Director at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen recalled, “Our CSH counterparts found these presentations extremely helpful for them to put many things into perspective in terms of supporting clinician peers in China. It was eye-opening for them to hear about the ‘gaps’ in therapist numbers versus need throughout China and the history of rehab in China!” The meeting served as a great opportunity for stronger ties between clinicians as they exchanged professional expertise and went into a deep dive on special clinical topics.

During the meeting, CSH presented “The Six Thinking Hats” methodology that the organization adopted to train clinicians on multidisplinary team thinking and working models. The clinical leads initiated deep discussion with the LIH Healthcare managers on identifying needs areas for ongoing training and improvement for better multidisplinary team communication that leads to better treatment planning and higher quality of care. “My understanding on how CSH has been effectively implementing the family-centered care approach to all levels from management to clinicians had been incrementally growing throughout the visit. I was also constantly amazed by the level of cohesiveness of their communications between disciplines.” Said Dr. Fengyi Kuo, Therapy Director at Kunming LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital.

The partnership between LIH Healthcare and CSH was established in 2015, with the goal of increasing the quality and availability of services for pediatric rehabilitation/therapy and developmental-behavioral pediatrics in China. Since then, therapists from both organizations have been working closely on building knowledge pathways to share professional expertise. Children’s Specialized Hospital is the leading US provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age facing special health challenges, with a volume of 30,000 patients yearly – from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. With 68 inpatient beds and 13 New Jersey locations, Children’s Specialized is the region’s largest provider of services for children with ASD. Based on a Press Ganey independent survey, 99% of patient’s parents would recommend Children’s specialized to others. It has been named “Top Children’s Hospital” by The Leapfrog Group and named among Top Children’s Hospitals by New York Magazine.

LIH Healthcare Attracts Talent Overseas at AOTA Conference

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LIH Healthcare Brings Global Talent Together in celebrating 100 years of Occupational Therapy in AOTA

AOTA's Centennial bash

AOTA’s centennial bash

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 2017 Annual Conference took place from March 30 to April 2 this year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This conference is THE LARGEST gathering of OT profession in the world, with more than 1,600 presentations and 4,000 speakers this year, it attracted occupational therapy professionals around the global

It was a special year of the AOTA conference as all professionals in the global occupational therapy community gathered to cheer for the centennial celebration of occupational therapy. LIH Healthcare OT Team delegates, Therapy Director of LIH Kunming SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital, Dr. Fengyi Kuo, Interim Therapy Director of LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen, Ms. Kristi Troutman, and General Manager of LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing, Mr. Dai Hu attended this conference and brought LIH Healthcare to the stage by throwing a first-ever recruiting cocktail reception.


A well-attended event with the support of friends and partners

Kristi Troutman with delegates from the WFOT Volunteer Board

Kristi Troutman with WFOT leadership delegates

As a registered conference event, LIH Healthcare successfully hosted “Bring Your Talent to China: LIH Healthcare is NOW HIRING,” a special reception that aimed to connect and reconnect global OT talent with LIH Healthcare. The event attracted more than 70 people, including US occupational therapists, Chinese OT returnees, to global talent from countries other than US or China. In addition to many young professionals with an interest in joining LIH Healthcare, many of the company’s friends and partners attended the event, placing it in high regard as a great opportunity to greet and network with other professionals who share the same interest in China and the mission and service developments of LIH Healthcare. Their attention and warmhearted support ensured the success of this event. Many guests stayed beyond the end of the reception, with lively discussion about shared interests and a chance to further explore opportunities to support LIH Healthcare’s initiatives to provide high quality OT services across China. Special friends and partners included delegates from Children’s Specialized Hospital, Peking University, University of Southern California, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), long-term supporter, University of Pittsburgh, and Susan Hermes, a long-time support of LIH Olivia’s Place.

Delegates from Peking University and University of Southern California

Delegates from Peking University and University of Southern California

Kristi Troutman with delegates from Children Specialized Hospital

Kristi Troutman with delegates from Children Specialized Hospital


Leon Chang  (Faculty, SUNY Stony Brook), Dr. Athena Tsai (WFOT Standards & Quality Program Coordinator), Dr. Jim Hinojosa (2007 AOTA Slagle Lecturer), Dr. Fengyi Kuo (WFOT IAG member for human rights), Serena Wen (Sr. OT)

Leon Chang (Faculty, SUNY Stony Brook), Dr. Athena Tsai (WFOT Standards & Quality Program Coordinator), Dr. Jim Hinojosa (2007 AOTA Slagle Lecturer), Dr. Fengyi Kuo (WFOT IAG member for human rights), Serena Wen (Sr. OT)

LIH Healthcare’s Professional Presence

As a longtime active member of AOTA, Dr. Fengyi Kuo and her research partner Kit Sinclair delivered a well-attended education session during the AOTA conference to address the topic of “Occupational Therapy’s Role in Working with Displaced Persons to Support Their Self-Efficacy and Community Integration.” Dr. Kuo is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Indiana University School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences in Indianapolis. She also currently serves as the Therapy Director of LIH Kunming SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital.



LIH global recruiting initiative

LIH Healthcare has been rapidly growing since its establishment in 2013. The company has expanded its rehabilitation services in 4 cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Kunming. Three of these facilities are focused on developmental-behavioral pediatrics and therapy for children, while the fourth is the first comprehensive rehabilitation hospital in the southwest region of China. Equipped with a wide global professional network, LIH Healthcare has established a unique culture of diversity and inclusion that brings global talent together to achieve the ultimate goal of providing high quality rehabilitation services across China. To learn more about employment opportunities with LIH Healthcare, please contact our Talent and Development Team at (English) or by following this link (Chinese).


LIH Healthcare Supports High Quality Assessment for Chinese Children through GDS-C

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GDS SH 1 The first Griffiths Development Scales-Chinese Language Edition certification class organized by LIH Healthcare together with ARICD, was launched at Shanghai LIH Olivia’s Place from February 15-17, 2017.

The training included 12 pediatricians and therapists from LIH Olivia’s Place clinics in Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen, as well as 4 pediatricians from two hospitals in Shanxi Province. Dr. Denise Challis, the former Chair of the Association for Research in Infant and Child Development (ARICD), and Dr. Becci Dow, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Manager of LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai were the instructors for the course. Dr. Fengyi Kuo, Occupational Therapist and Therapy Manager at Kunming LIH SkyCity Hospital, provided support with Chinese translation.

GDS SH 3Participants’ assessment skills were greatly improved through structured lectures combined with case discussions, practical demonstration, and real case evaluation. Twelve of the participants passed and obtained Griffiths Registered User certification granted by ARICD.

The Griffiths Development Scales-Chinese Language Edition (GDS-C0 is adapted from the Griffiths Mental Development Scales – Second Edition (GMDS-2), originally published in English in 2006 by ARICD. The GDS-C is used for children from China aged 0-8 years. The standardization process was undertaken from 2009 to 2013 and involved 7 different locations across China. Clinical research results show that the GDS-C can effectively evaluate Chinese children’s motor function, learning difficulties, congenital mental development status and developmental disorder, vision problems, autism, degree of premature birth, and social/emotional development skills.

LIH Healthcare was officially authorized by ARICD, the copyright owner of the Griffiths Mental Development Scales and the international publisher Hogrefe in January 2016 to be the only sales, customer service, and training/certification provider in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. LIH Healthcare together with ARICD will also be responsible for bringing the GDS-C into wider use in greater China. To this end, LIH Healthcare will hold another four GDS-C training courses in 2017 in Kunming, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai in May and October. For more information about the GDS-C or to inquire about the training schedule and required qualifications, please contact LiQun, LIH Healthcare Sr. Training Manager , at

Case Management Project a Partnership of Disabled Persons Federations and LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing

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CDPF BJ Sept 1 Since September 2016, The Beijing Disabled Person’s Federation has contracted with LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing to provide case management for 150 children and to establish family support systems so that families can effectively access resources. An initial parent meeting and training was held at LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing on 13 September 2016. Twenty-seven children with special needs and their parents, teachers and students from the Department of Social Work at Beijing University of Agriculture, as well as LIH Olivia’s Place clinical staff participated.


CDPF BJ Sept 2Parents toured the clinic, met our doctors and therapy team, and were provided with an overview of clinic services. Clinicians briefly introduced the group to various therapies, techniques, and effects and outcomes of treatments. Parents came away with a better understanding of developmental behavioral pediatrics and therapies, as well as the mission of LIH Olivia’s Place. In addition, the project leader gave a detailed introduction to the case management project.


During the initial parent meeting, LIH Olivia’s Place Beijing Health Service Director Kristi Troutman also presented on “How to play with your Kids.” She introduced play suitable for children of different ages and with varying diagnoses and delays, as well as strategies to include therapy techniques in play. Through this lecture, parents began to think about how they usually play and interact with their children, and learned better ways to communicate with them. Read more

Kunming LIH SkyCity Clinicians Complete Intense Interdisciplinary Training

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KM IDT Training 2 Kunming LIH SkyCity Hospital clinicians attended a special interdisciplinary core competency building training program on February 7. This 5-day internal training program was conducted by the lead instructor, Dr. Fengyi Kuo. The objective of the training program was to equip clinical staff with interdisciplinary core competencies to ensure professional service provision at an international standard. Some of the topics covered included clinical reasoning, clinical documentation, family-centered care and goal writing, professionalism and ethics, confidentiality, patient handling, and postural assessment. Special guest speaker, LIH Healthcare consultant Dr. Ching-chun Lin, Senior Clinical Instructor and Physical Therapist from Taiwan Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, affiliated teaching hospital of Kaohsiung Medical University, presented a special session on International Classificiation of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). During the training, three SkyCity Hospital senior therapists, Marla Balzer (PT), Peter Drzymala (OT), and Liliane Akiki (PT) provided their expertise on patient handling and safety transfers through various lectures and demonstrations as well.


KM IDT Training 1The training not only provided trainees a solid understanding of clinical reasoning and disciplinary work but also various hands-on practice opportunities and many case studies for group discussion. Work groups within the training were based on an interdisciplinary team approach consisting of members from different specialties. As a result, the trainees enhanced their awareness of disciplinary team work culture and experienced the process of reaching an interdisciplinary solution and performing case analysis from perspectives other than their own. The training program garnered a lot of positive feedback, with one clinician commenting, ““This is a perfect training experience, very much appreciate for Dr. Kuo’ specific explanations and in-depth insights on clinical reasoning. Her teaching is very professional and thorough.”


The program’s lead instructor, Dr. Fengyi Kuo, is an experienced occupational therapy faculty member and clinician who has served as a visiting professor at Indiana University/IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in Indianapolis, US. She has also served at University of Indianapolis (Indiana, US), Gannon University (Pennsylvania, US), and MetroHealth Medical Center (Ohio, US). Fengyi serves on the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)’s Childhood Obesity Prevention and Health Promotion Work Group. Fengyi maintains several professional credentials and advanced certifications, which include Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR), Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP), Sensory Integration & Praxis Test (SIPT), and Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery.


KM IDT Training 4_aLIH Heatlhcare is dedicated to introducing advanced international rehabilitation techniques, cutting- edge services, and quality healthcare management models. Kunming LIH SkyCity Rehabilitation Hospital, a 14,000 square meter facility with 104 beds, officially opened in March 2017 and is working toward CARF standards. The hospital has an international team of consulting clinicians, as well as the leading rehabilitation technology and a high-quality healthcare environment. In addition, LIH SkyCity has established a partnership with the Department of Neurological, Rehabilitation, Orthopedics Rehabilitation, and Pain Management at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein Medical College, one of the largest resident training centers in the US. The hospital also partners with the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics department of Children Specialized Hospital (New Jersey, US), the largest children rehabilitation hospital in the US.

Together with Shining Star: Our Mission and Vision at Work

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Sophia Guarracino, Speech-Language Lead, LIH Olivia's Place Shanghai

Sophia Guarracino, Speech-Language Lead, LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

Since the summer of 2016, LIH Olivia’s Place has provided multi-disciplinary speech, occupational, physical, and even behavioral therapy, to children at Shining Star. Shining Star is a program for blind and partially sighted orphans who live in a residential home in Shanghai. It was established in June 2012 for these children to receive one to one care and instruction in basic life skills.

Therapists from each discipline visit Shining Star on a six week rotation, to assist staff, care managers, and volunteers, who work with the children each day, to provide specific therapy targets for each child. Through modeling, demonstration, and feedback, the staff is then able to carryover individual targets in each therapy discipline until the therapist’s next visit. There are also written notes for each child so the caretakers can remember what to work on.

The speech therapy team has been an integral to the program, using speech-language therapists to help these children improve their basic communication needs. On a few occasions, experienced speech-language pathologists from outside of LIH Olivia’s Place have accompanied the team to volunteer their time and expertise at Shining Star, while gaining a fulfilling volunteer experience in China.

One of the more notable aspects of LIH Olivia’s Place’s involvement with Shining Star, however, has been the training opportunities for Chinese-trained therapists. This successful training model has given junior staff members, such as Xieling Zhou, a chance to develop a high standard of clinical skills, specific to children with moderate to severe vision weaknesses and developmental delays, all while receiving supervision from internationally-trained therapists.

Typically, in a speech-language session at Shining Star, Xieling sees approximately 5 children in one day, each individually for about 30 minutes. She starts her sessions by having the staff model what they have been doing with each child in the previous weeks. She is able to gain an idea of what has been worked on and what has been helpful for each child, while also being able to provide more structured guidance in how the staff can improve each activity. Xieling also works with the children and staff in Chinese. Therefore, the children receive intervention in their native language and the staff receive specific and immediate feedback to help them carryover the treatment plan.

Since LIH Olivia’s Place began collaborating with Shining Star, many of the children have gone from being non-verbal, to speaking sounds and words. They are now imitating language more, are saying earlier developing sounds, and seem more motivated to use words and sounds to request their basic needs.

It is hoped and expected that the children will continue to make progress in the future, as the staff and children gain more opportunities to work on all areas of functional living skills. More and more local therapists will also be able to work with these children to gain more clinical experience. Shining Star and LIH Olivia’s Place have a relationship which is mutually beneficial; it is also a perfect example of the LIH Olivia’s Place vision and mission to change how therapy is done in China.