China Mission Trip: Friday 10/19/2012
Today, the Occupational Therapists (OTs) continued the final fittings of the c-splints. It has been challenging to make pediatric splints for a child with severe tone, thus it has taken several attempts! We also officially conducted three evaluations this afternoon on children with Cerebral Palsy and other complications. The OTs also assisted in implementing a change in way that many of these children were fed. Spoons were replaced with a more appropriate size, positional seating was adjusted to include a head rest for one child, and also taught a caregiver techniques to facilitate oral motor skills for feeding and eating. What an amazing change for some of these children!
We have found that flexibility and patience have been a necessity to complete evaluations and to live in a foreign country. We attempted to evaluate and conduct our treatments and trainings around children’s daily routines, language barriers, and cultural differences. Therapy as a profession is fairly new here in China (within the last few years) and local therapists have been trained by the two resident foreign therapists. Stephannie, our speech therapist found that the caregivers are more receptive to new techniques and strategies once we are able to build a rapport with them and disclosing that she too is a mom. Due to everyone’s work schedule and the children’s schedules, it has been quite challenging to find the time to sit down with the caregivers in order to obtain information to complete evaluations.
Although we were working hard, we also had some fun! We had the opportunity to ride scooters to the orphanage when the rest of the team took an afternoon off. It was a strange experience that left us with a sense of thrill and fear. Riding on the back of a Chinese scooter is scary in the chaotic traffic and bumpy on unpaved roads, but also freeing as you are out in the open. In the evening, the ICC team celebrated with firecrackers to celebrate a team member’s birthday.