SLP in China

7 Dialects

Numerous Subdialects

1000 SLPs to a population of 1.3 BILLION!

Talk about a packed schedule! The field of Speech-Language Pathology is relatively new in China having only started services in the 1980s for select language disorders and dysphagia. Historically, the majority of service providers have only received a few courses focused on speech therapy within their studies of general rehabilitation as well as on-the-job training. Due to the lack of specially-trained SLPs, several providers tend to be physicians, nurses, or OTs. Additionally, the amount of dialects and subdialects in China makes it significantly more challenging to provide appropriate intervention to clients. (See ASHA Blog: Speech-Language Pathology in China: Challenges and Opportunities for full article describing speech pathology in China since 2011).

Gains have been made recently with the start of the first accredited speech pathology program created in 2014 with the support of the University of Hawaii at Kunming Medical University (KMU) located in southwestern China. Hopefully, with the installation of this established Bachelor’s program, other academic programs providing courses in SLP will be further developed, China will see a rise in well-trained and qualified SLPs, and service delivery models will be improved.

Professional Organization

Chinese International Speech-Language and Hearing Association (CISHA).

Professional Opportunities

Interested in working as part of a multi-disciplinary team in China? Here are a few organizations that welcome internationally trained and English-speaking SLPs (Madarin speaking therapists are always a plus!)

LIH Olivia’s Place:

Consulting therapists from all disciplines for Olivia’s Place are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen with their main site located in Shanghai. Professional development opportunities are also offered through seminars and trainings!

For more information regarding work and volunteer opportunities, email career@lih-oliviasplace.com

Essential Learning Group (ELG)

Also located in Shanghai, ChinaELG offers competitive salaries and good vacation time for international staff. PLUS they will support clinicians with work visas!

Visit their website for more information about job openings and send your resume and cover letter to careers@chinaelg.com.

ChinaELG also offers parent support groups and provides workshops for educators and professionals working with children to better support speech and language challenges.

Orient Speech Therapy Center (China) (OST) is a legal entity of Hong Kong with nearly 20 centers in cities of China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In addition to providing skilled intervention, OST also offers training programs for providers to further develop clinical skills.

Know of any other professional or educational opportunities in China? Share them with me to be featured on this page!

Therapy Abroad–Welcome to Belize (Week 1: 7/1-7/7)

The students and staff of Therapy Abroad, a program designed to provide students and professionals with opportunities to develop speech and language therapy overseas, launched its first student program in Belize this week! As an avid blogger and the Team Leader of the undergraduate students participating in the program, I am thrilled to share about our experiences thus far and those to come this summer!

DAY 1
We arrived early Sunday morning after our red eye flight from Los Angeles. Despite the exhaustion (and unBelizable heat), the students and staff were eager to explore our home for the next two weeks, Monkey Bay. We kicked off our trip with a trek through the Pine Savannah!

DAY 2
Our first real day of work began at the Inspiration Center, the only clinic in all of Belize to provide speech and language therapy. The students and staff of Therapy Abroad will support the Inspiration Center throughout the summer by carrying out evaluations and a group therapy program we have dubbed ‘Communication Camp’.

The students spent the day planning all the activities that will be carried out during Communication Camp and prepped LOTS of resources for our pirate themed camp which will run for 6 days over the 2-week period!

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On our way to the Inspiration Center

DAY 3-5
Time to play with our Pirate Campers!

Communication Camp is based on Titan Tykes, a group therapy program developed by Dr. Kris Brock from CSU, Fullerton who is also working with Therapy Abroad in Belize to provide a well-rounded experience for the SLP students and campers. The language enrichment program consists of 7 stations—Fine Motor, Storytime, Basic Concepts, Behavior Regulation, Gross Motor, Snack (a station added to support those picky eaters!) and Pretend Play. With the support of licensed SLPs, the undergrads have had an unique opportunity to plan activities for the stations and lead the campers in each as they grow to become more confident communicators!

In addition to providing therapy, we supported the head SLP at Inspiration Center (and only therapist in all of Belize) with her backlog of evaluations. While some students and SLPs stayed at the clinic to carry-out these evals, a small group of students went with myself and Chad, the Program Director of Therapy Abroad, on home visits to both evaluate the children being seen and support the caregivers with communication and feeding strategies. We worked alongside the Inspiration Center’s social worker who regularly sees clients in the community to support their needs; however, as her educational background is not in speech and language pathology, this gave us an opportunity to provide training and model strategies that can be implemented during her visits following the departure of Therapy Abroad’s students and staff.

Fun Times
Therapy Abroad isn’t all about work. We like to have some fun too!

It’s only Day 5 and already so much has happened! It is the end of our first big work week and the students and staff worked so hard to make the first ever Communication Camp in Belize come to life! I feel like a proud mama as the Team Leader of these intelligent and creative women who surpass the expectations of undergraduates in our field. I look forward to seeing what ideas they bring to the table for next week’s camp. But until then, it’s time to see some more of Belize and embrace the culture!

Next up— A visit to local schools and Pathlight (more on them later) on Friday followed by an adventurous weekend of Cave Tubing and Ziplining! Stay tuned….

And follow us on instagram @therapyabroad

Kristin AmRhein, M.S. CCC-SLP
Team Leader
Therapy Abroad