Phew what a crazy day! We started the day at the clinic where we saw more kiddos. Amber spent all morning with one precious girl with CP. She was able to educate on infant massage, positioning, facilitated strengthening in upright positions, and casted for some resting AFOs. Melissa and Sophie helped a family with a 13 year old boy with Autism to problem solve picture schedules, PECS and ADLs as well as tag teamed to help with family recommendations for an adorable little 5 year old with global delays. Sophie also instructed the family of a little girl with CP on feeding and oral motor exercises.
We ate a quick lunch and then headed to the largest Children's Hospital in Hunan province. We got to go visit their NICU, Autism center, and rehabilitation department. It was so interesting! We were a little surprised to see some of the therapy techniques being used, like acupuncture in young babies! Sophie and Amber were approached by a women who began speaking to them in mandarin as if they could understand. They grabbed a translator and found out the woman was asking them of they were Christians. Excitedly she told them about her daughter who was in a coma for 77 days and that when she went to the church to pray her daughter woke up! She said she prays that more people would come to know Jesus. It was a really cool moment.
After finishing up at the hospital we headed out to buy some toys for the clinic. We were able to find everything we thought the clinic still needed with the help of the head nurse's 4 & 6 year old daughters. They were so cute and they spoke to us in English! We ate dinner at a Hong Kong style restaurant and finished the night with gelato! Sugar rushes plus exhaustion sent us into fits of laughter as Dr. Lin became frustrated with the insane traffic to get out of the parking garage. People just drive wherever they want here! We've decided Sophie needs to lay off the sweets! Haha. We got in late again last night. We packed, got our gifts ready for the staff, met about future ideas, and made supply lists for the clinic to purchase and for our next team to bring along! After all of that it was late and we were exhausted! We completely forgot to blog!! Today is our last day in the clinic. We have been able to accomplish so much and are excited about getting to continue to invest in this incredible clinic. It is going to be such a blessing to the families that need it!
In the afternoon we will head to the train station and go to Shanghai on the high speed train...we are so excited to ride the train! We will spend the night in Shanghai, do some shopping and sightseeing then fly home in the evening. Please pray for safe travels and healthy returns to Arkansas!
Day 3- Divide and Conquer
At the clinic we divided up into PT/OT/ST rooms to evaluate kiddos. We each saw 3-4 children with diagnoses of Autism, CP/TBI, Hydrocephalus, and Arthrogryposes. Sophie was able to educate some of the staff on PECS with a one-on-one approach. Melissa helped facilitate ADLs using a picture schedule for a 13 year old. Amber was able to demonstrate and educate a mother on infant massage and positioning strategies for a 2 year old with significant neurological complication from a traumatic brain injury.
We had one of our favorite lunches today with some more life-changing dishes including corn and "sweet" tea! Our southern hearts were happy.
This afternoon Sophie presented on oral motor assessment/treatment while Amber presented on infant massage/positioning. Many in the audience of our talks have been parents of some of kiddos we have seen, who are seeking the best way to care for their children. It is so exciting when they ask questions, and better understand strategies for caring for their children!
Dr. Lin and one of the wonderful girls from the clinic took us to a market in the city to buy some souvenirs and get "Hot Pot" for dinner. Hot pot is very much like fondue and very tasty! We had our first experience smelling "Stinky Tofu" tonight, a staple in the province we are working in. We NEVER want to have another experience with that smell!
Tomorrow we will be seeing more kids in the morning, then touring a rehab hospital in the afternoon. We are done presenting, phew, but will continue to educate the staff in smaller groups so that they can follow through with treatment plans we have developed and educate parents.
The staff is really soaking in everything we teach them and will do well once we leave!
We got a little extra time this morning before breakfast and took advantage of the wifi to chat with family. Heading to breakfast, Amber and Sophie learned a lesson about Chinese traffic...always keep your head up! A car narrowly missed them as they crossed the street, eek! We had the same yummy breakfast of noodle soup and headed to the clinic for our next round of kiddos. We saw 4 different kids this morning.
First, we saw a 9 year old boy with a diagnosis of Autism. He was a very fascinating child with a wide array of difficulties and gifts. He was accompanied by a fantastic mom who was already doing so much for her son, but she was very worried about social skills, interrupting the classroom, and feared that her son would not be allowed to enter middle school due to sensory difficulties. Sophie and Melissa spent extensive time problem solving with mom to create different sensory techniques for the classroom setting. Then the boy surprised us by reading to us and counting English! We also saw a 4 year old boy with Autism. This little spit fire was a whirl wind and immediately began rough-housing with Sophie and Melissa. They again were able to problem solve with this child's dad to create different treatment techniques for home to help decrease negative behaviors and provide the sensory input he was so desperately seeking.
Third, Sophie did a speech evaluation on a 4 year old with expressive language concerns. When she had completed her assessment, demonstrated home exercise program, and educated mom, the child's mother reported concerns of falling/tripping while running. Amber was so excited to do a gait assessment! She was able to determine that he would be a good candidate for ankle strengthening, balance work, and practice walking/running on uneven surfaces. She was able to give mom some pictures/examples of exercises to do with him at home. Finally, Sophie worked with an adorable 3 year old girl with language delays. After assessment, Sophie was able to determine that the girls deficient oral motor skills were largely to blame. Sophie was then able to educate the mom on different oral motor exercises and activities to help with the child's articulation. After a long morning of work, we went to lunch with all the nurses, students, and doctors we are working with. Again, massive quantities of food were ordered and consumed! Dr. Lin is a very funny guy and car ride conversations always have us laughing!
For the afternoon, Amber and Melissa presented to a packed room of staff and caregivers. Amber gave an overview of Physical Therapy clinical assessment and demonstrated/showed a DVD of intervention techniques. Melissa demonstrated information on grasp development. The audience had great questions and were engaged throughout the presentations. We feel like we never stop eating here! Tonight we opted for a later dinner in order to get some of our clinical intake forms/treatment suggestions filled out prior to going out again, in hopes that we get to bed a little earlier. We had dumplings for dinner with gelato for dessert. Apparently the gelato and continued jet lag made us a little loopy which again made for interesting car rides. Amber was a little overly excited to purchase her favorite Chinese toothpaste, she only gets to buy it when she comes back. We also got to experience the Chinese version of "Delilah" on the radio which Sophie loving dubbed "Chililah" sending us back into fits of laughter! Dr. Lin doesn't know what to think of us sometimes. He usually just replies, "Oh my goodness," as we laugh hysterically! We are so enjoying our time here and getting to work along side Dr. Lin! Tomorrow there are several kiddos with gross motor needs coming so Dr. Lin says Amber will be busy! Both Amber and Sophie will present in the afternoon!
Thank you so much for your prayerful support this week. We really feel like we are making a positive difference in the lives of children and their families here in China!
Today was our first day in Changsha! We woke up after a great night's sleep ready to get to work. We loaded up all our toys/equipment and headed to the clinic. We first got a tour...and WOW! Dr. Lin has created an incredible place for clinical assessments. There is a huge waiting room, that we were all a little in awe of, a room for weight/measurements to be taken, a physician assessment room, several therapy rooms, an evaluation room with a two-way mirror, and a large treatment/training area. There is even a standard toilet, just for us (ha), whoo hoo! We assessed two children today. The first kiddo we assessed was a precious 6.5 year old boy that came in with expressive language concerns and after Sophie & Melissa spent 2 hours with him, determined he had sensory processing issues, social deficits, and would be an excellent candidate for PECS. They were both able to educate parents and will recommend therapy options for future interventions. Other than the dreaded "w-sitting" there were no gross motor concerns. The second child we assessed was a 2.5 year old, who was coming back for a follow-up to determine his speech abilities. He has made tremendous progress since his last visit and was determined that he is progressing appropriately. Again, no gross motor concerns...so Amber became our secretary and photographer!
We had a wonderful lunch at the hospital's cafeteria with a dish that we have talked about ALL DAY. CARROTS! The best carrots any of us have ever eaten. It sounds stupid...but if you had them you would understand. In the afternoon we gave presentations to hospital staff/physicians as well as parents of children in the community. Melissa's presentation focused on Improving Behavior in Autistic Children through sensory interventions. She demonstrated cheap, "at-home" interventions. Her presentation was so great that we got 3 new patients. Sophie presented on PECS using videos and demonstration. This seems to be a technique that the hospital staff is extremely interested in performing in the future. Amber did not present...so she retained her title as TEAM photographer.
For the evening, Dr. Lin took us to the east side of the city to see the biggest mall any of us had ever seen, with 50 restaurants on the top floor! We sat on comfy couches while we ate and tried some (very) spicy food! We were able to talk to some friends/family briefly with wifi. On the ride back to our condo we all crashed for naps.
Tomorrow we have at least 4 more kids on the schedule in the morning and Amber & Melissa will present in the afternoon. We are hoping for more CARROTS tomorrow and ready to continue our work!
We have arrived!! All of our luggage made it with us and they even waived the fee for our extra bag in Shanghai! While waiting for our final flight Sophie and Melissa sampled their very first authentic Chinese food: beef and noodle soup! Getting used to chop sticks with soup took a bit of a learning curve but they were successful, with only minimal splash zone. Amber opted for the comforts of home and ordered some strawberry ice cream instead (thank you Hagan Daaz)! After 24 hours of travel we are all a little worse for the wear and ready to stretch out for a full nights sleep. Tomorrow will be our first day at the hospital assessing and treating some precious kiddos! In the afternoon we will be educating staff/ caregivers on basic assessment and treatment techniques. We are all so excited to hit the ground running!
We are unable to send any pictures yet because we are not in a wifi zone, but many pictures to come as soon as possible. Please keep us all in your prayers as we start working with the wonderful hospital staff tomorrow!
Well it wouldn't be a TEAMworks trip if things didn't go a little wrong. Our lovely check-in ladies woke up on the wrong side of the bed (thank you daylight saving time), and our bags could not be even a pound over. We did some fancy shuffling and all 4 bags are exactly 50 pounds! Phew. We got to security and as our luck would have it, Victoria Lee was checked in instead of Amber Lee. She ran downstairs and found out her bag was headed for Salt Lake...eek! :/ We are about to board our international flight in Dallas, and are preparing for our massive spring forward for a total of 14 lost hours! We are so excited to see what God has in store for us and how he will use us to help the children of China! We are hoping everything arrives in Asia instead of Utah!