Our Clinic has had a lot of wonderful activities recently, so we thought we’d put together a short bulletin to share what’s been going on.
Dinner with the Amazing Student-Support Women of Shanghai
The Clinic team invited all amazing people working in student support (counselors, learning support staff, SEN coordinators, etc.) to their seasonal social, which took place during the third week of January.
These people do great work supporting students with special needs in regular international school environments, and functioning as a liaison between schools, parents and service providers such as ELG when a child needs therapy.
In most cases, these are incredibly busy jobs that get lonely at times: typically, learning support departments are made up of individuals or very small teams. Additionally, in the hectic metropolis that is Shanghai, these professionals do not have many opportunities to meet together.
Once our Clinic specialist realized that they often meet support staff from schools with multiple campuses more frequently than the support staff meet each other, the idea to bring everyone together for dinner was born.
On Thursday February 22nd the Clinic specialists, together with a large group of amazing women representing many different international schools, came together in Pistolera (Jinqiao). The evening was filled with sharing experiences and ways of working, encounters with complex support situations, and of course – relaxing, chatting, and having a blast!
The Clinic wants to thank everyone who came out for the evening! Given the success of it, ELG will continue to sponsor get-togethers for education professionals in Shanghai. Stay tuned for our big event in May!
ELG in Changzhou
Albine Klawatsch, one of our Occupational Therapists, recently moved to Changzhou, a city near Shanghai that is making a lot of investments to become attractive to expats and their families. Her extensive background enables her to support children and families with a wide range of needs.
Alexander Abdulnour, Principal at Changzhou Trina International School, summarized the benefits of OT during a recent meeting: “Occupational Therapy helps to learn and relearn skills needed to effectively function in daily life.” These skills include handwriting, social skills, behavior management, concentration and organizational skills, movement activities, homework motivation, etc.
ELG Clinic Specialists already travel frequently to places like Suzhou, Wuxi, and Nanjing, but with Albine joining our team, we can offer easier access to necessary services for families in cities neighboring Shanghai.
Child Safety Discussed at Mental Health Shanghai Meeting
Fiona Yapp presented to representatives of local and international hospitals, mental health providers, consulates and other community groups (such as Lifeline) on January 20th, as part of the Shanghai Mental Health group meeting. She addressed law and regulations relevant in China for child safeguarding and introduced her audience to the Signs of Safety model. This model is used when there is a concern for the child’s safety; it assesses and monitors a child’s needs, as well as the strengths and risks of their environment.
Upon her arrival in Shanghai in the summer of 2014, Fiona became part of a task-force addressing the need for child safeguarding protocols and guidelines, using her extensive training and experience as a Child Social Worker in the UK. Fiona developed a service for families who are in need of support, the Parenting and Care Analysis, and offers training and support to schools and other groups who work with children.
In December, two specialists of The Essential Learning Group’s Clinic team responded to a crisis situation unfolding in an international school in Liaoning Province, China. Albine Klawatsch (Occupational Therapist) and Kimberly Link (Educational Coach) worked together to support the school and its team of educators, and students and their parents by providing bilingual coaching sessions and training. Their work helped contain an escalating bullying situation, and equipped the school with tools that were otherwise unavailable to them. It is quite unique that ELG is able to provide these travel opportunities to support people in rural areas that have very little access to services. Our specialists told us that it diversifies their experience and provides for invaluable immersion opportunities.