By Regina Nicolas Schaufelberger

Physical Therapist

Sensory Integration Specialist

Summer Program Director

We had a blast in 2018 with a team of therapists, special educators, and interns who gave their all to support the children who attended!

Looking back, some highlights of the summer included weekly water day, a field trip to the Shanghai Children’s Museum, doing an obstacle course while pretending to be superheroes, lots of baking and cooking, making tie-dye t-shirts, and experimenting with chemical reaction “volcanoes”.

We saw some great successes (names have been changed), such as:

Story 1: Sam

Sam always had problems with the transition. A new place, a new face, and new activities would leave him crying on the floor and would signal a big tantrum. On the first day of the Summer Program, he was indeed overwhelmed and cried for about an hour. He was distracted the whole day and was not able to focus at all.

After 3 weeks in the program, he would come inside the lobby, walking happily hand-in-hand with his program leader as he bid his mom goodbye with no tears.

Feedback from the Parents:

There’s more eye contact, and people (the driver and ayi) around him also commented that he reacts to them more. We went glamping recently and I saw moments where he observed our friends’ kids, even though there’s still no mingling but the observation is a good step forward. As for his speech, he repeats after us more than before. And there are also fewer tantrums! I think he finally realized that school is more fun than home. He seemed to truly enjoy the summer camp.

Story 2: John

John is a lovely and sensitive boy. He has a rare diagnosis which affects how he moves his hands. Due to this difficulty, he’s developed a fear of eating — he refuses to hold the utensils and feed himself, refuses to hold the cup and clean up. Tantrums are a common behavior he exhibits, which affects his overall function at home and in the outside community. After one week at the Summer Program, he was screaming less, had fewer tantrums, and managed to feed himself. 

Feedback from the Parents:

Firstly, it’s the first time for [John] leaving us to school by himself for a long time (a whole day). On the first day, we were very nervous about him. Up until now, he still needs a nap every day after lunch. But actually, in ELG he can stay for a whole day, and he told us he like the new school, and he is happy! 

Secondly, because of his weakness of finger ability, he would lose his temper suddenly for his inability by screaming, lie down on the floor and even slapping someone’s face. We thought it would happen in school and feel so sorry for you and all the other teachers. However, after 3 days, we find his change. He becomes a bit gentle and sweet-tempered at home, doesn’t slap his grandma anymore, and is beginning to control his mood when I make him do something he doesn’t like. IT’S A BIG SURPRISE! 

Thirdly, thanks for Mr. Hongsian [ELG occupational therapist and Summer Program staff-click here for “A Day in the Life of Hongsian”]. We see John can sit at the table, keep his peace and try to touch the cup, which used to be the scariest thing for him. That’s the main change in the past week and we are looking forward to the new progress he will get in the full-time program. 

Furthermore, he felt a little nervous after the first two days, telling us he is not good at school. He misbehaved and got no stars. From the third day, he told us proudly that he is well-behaved in school and got 5 stars! 

Story 3: Mark

Mark is a very shy and reserved boy. He has issues with showing his feelings and initiating conversation. He also appears less flexible at school. He would only show his skills when he feels attached to a certain teacher. Mark would gravitate towards the teacher and won’t be able to function without that key person. After attending the Summer Program, Mark slowly opened up his world to others. When spoken to, he replies with a lesser time lag and his words can be heard. He’s gaining confidence to make friends which is a big social skill to be learned at his age level.  

Feedback from Parents

The Summer Program helps Mark a lot. His progress is obvious at home:

1. Now Mark can speak loudly to family members,

2. He is willing to reply when we ask him questions. Previously, there was no reply when he was not interested in the topic.

3. He talks a lot about ELG, daily life, teacher Hongsian, and his classmates. Usually, he says nothing about his kindergarten,

4. He is seeking more physical exercises such as trampoline, slippery slides, and climbing. Sometimes, he even tries to take some little adventures.

Spots are still available for this summer’s sessions. If your child needs a boost this summer, send them to ELG’s inclusive Summer Program for a therapeutic and engaging experience. 

Program dates: July 8 – August 2, 2019

Cost: 6,000 RMB per week (incl. taxes)

Address: ELG Puxi Campus, No. 19-20, Lane 209, Zhennan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai, 200333

Registration is on a weekly basis. Email [email protected] to register or for more information.