Shanghai Pubin Children’s Hospital – Shanghai Day 2

Our group traveled to The Shanghai Pubin Children’s Hospital, a private children’s hospital in downtown Shanghai. We listened to our presenters: Professor Bamdad, Tori Collins, Breeanna Gardner, and Rachel Lipman. We also learned from the director, Dr. Jin, about the hospital and more about the growing profession of speech-language pathology in China. Dr. Jin is the founder of developmental pediatrics in China, beginning in 2011. She discussed the importance of developmental age and the relation it has on attainment of speech goals for children. Her goal for the future is to build a bridge between China and The United States that facilities shared knowledge about various topics in speech-language pathology.

The entrance of the hospital looks like a castle! Extremely child friendly!
Pubin Children’s Hospital warmly welcomes us with a bright sign and friendly greetings.
Graciously exchanging and accepting professional contact information.
Presenting trends and facts about SLP in the USA. Go Professor Bamdad!
Professor Barrett sharing valuable information about social communication disorder

A tour of the hospital was given after the presentations, where we were able to view the evaluation and treatment rooms. We were extremely impressed and surprised by the grandness of the hospital. Pubin is a state of the art facility with specific rooms dedicated for hearing, sensory integration, feeding and swallowing, developmental behavior, allergies, and so many more!

After the hospital, we had the honor to have lunch with Dr. Liu, who further informed us of some of the challenges and improvements that have been made in the development of speech-language pathology in China.

Then, the GW group went to Shanghai Museum and learned a little more about Chinese history and culture!

That concludes our second full day in Shanghai! Looking forward to a relaxing free day tomorrow. The adventure continues!!

Hello Shanghai!

Good morning from bustling  Shanghai! This morning we headed to the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center near the financial district on the east side of the city. This is a public teaching hospital that opened 20 years ago with about 500 beds total. Because Shanghai is such a densely populated city, the system at this hospital is a bit different than the US. Patients get a ticket number based on their symptoms but the services and prices may differ based on the experience of the doctor as well as the medication provided. There is an information desk which assists the patient to decide what type of doctor they may need based on these symptoms. While the wait time may take several hours and lines may begin in the early hours of the morning, if needed, there is an emergency department but its use incurs a higher fee.

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Department houses the Speech Department

In the Speech Department there are nearly 10 physicians that will see at least 20-30 patients per day. Some of these physicians are local to the Shanghai area but others may be specialists from other hospitals. The Shanghai Children’s Hospital uses a wide assessment battery for evaluation but particularly the DREAM-C. There are 2 full-time speech therapists that focus specifically on therapy. This hospital is very special to Shanghai because it acts as a model for pediatric language development and continues to foster international relationships with institutions such as GWU as well as with ASHA. 

Dr. Zhang, the director at the hospital, had a very interesting talk outlining what the hospital is doing to facilitate language and optimize parent and SLP involvement. Dr. Liu identified that SCMC ranks number one in developmental language for pediatrics and created the first language lab in China. 

Group picture from the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center

Dr. Mahshie spoke about the research which supports parent involvement for patients with hearing loss. To facilitate early intervention, the hospital utilizes the Hanen Program when putting on parent classes which have at least 40 parents per class. 

Shayna, Maya, and Mackenzie Presenting their case

Our case study was presented by Shayna Greene, Mackenzie Nunnally and Maya Issac. Following the case, we were able to ask the SLPs at the hospital various questions about the field and their experiences. In any given day the SLPs at SCMC will see 6 children for therapy for about 45 minutes of direct therapy and 15 minutes of parent counseling. This was an incredibly eye-opening experience for all us GWU students and professors and we felt lucky to be fostering these relationships with the newly developing SLP community! 

Our new guide Bella!

After our morning touring and presenting at the hospital, we boarded the bus with our new tour guide, Bella, and headed to lunch by The Bund. Literally meaning “outer beach,” The Bund, or Waitan 外滩, is a street along the waterfront of the Huangpu River in central Shanghai. From various viewing points, you can appreciate the variety of architecture throughout the city. From modern skyscrapers to European influenced buildings from the early 20th century, the city’s architecture mirrors its dynamic history. 

With our bellies full and the sun high in the sky we opted to explore the “water town” of Zhujiajiao and saved the Museum of Shanghai for tomorrow. A mix of kitsch and class, Zhujiajiao, also known as “the Venice of Shanghai,” was a charming way to explore a traditional Chinese village. Little shops selling everything from porcelain tea pots and cups to meat on a stick and bubble tea, lined a shallow waterway dotted with traditional gondolas. We wandered through the zig-zagging stone pathways, shaded by willow trees, popping in and out of the shops until those of us with cash on hand had spent all the money we had left. 

Gondolas at Zhujiajiao

We boarded the bus again and drove back to Shanghai. After a group dinner, we went back to The Bund to see the city all lit up! Til tomorrow, 晚安 (goodnight)! 

Group dinner, family style!
View from The Bund at night!
Some of us back at The Bund after dinner

Day 5: Bye, Bye Beijing…

Hello Shanghai!

Day five, come and gone already! Today, we got the chance to explore the city one final time before making the trek to Shanghai. On our explorations today, we did some shopping, took in the scenery, and chowed down at some local restaurants. We even got the chance to try our hand at the fitness playgrounds!

A shopping mall in Beijing
Fitness Playground near Hutong area

After a morning of adventure, we boarded our tour bus and headed for a hutong, or a burrow of old China nestled discreetly within the bustling city. Here, we got the chance to ride through a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and zigzag corridors, guided expertly by our rickshaw drivers. We piled into the home of an accomplished martial-arts-master-turned-restauranteur for an authentic Peking lunch. The walls were adorned with keepsakes passed through generations, photographs of our host’s feats, and Chinese blessings for joy, prosperity, and laughter. As if homemade dumplings weren’t enough, dinner came with a show! Our host graciously performed a set of traditional songs on an erhu. Did you know that the ancient Chinese music system is built on a pentatonic, or five note, scale? Gōng 宫, shāng 商, jué 角, zhǐ 徵 and yǔ 羽—far from our Do Re Mi!

Rickshaws through the Hutong!
Lunch and a show

Then, we bid Beijing adieu (or Gàobié 告别) and climbed aboard the bullet train. Here’s a math problem for you: If a train leaves Beijing at 16:40 and arrives in Shanghai at 23:00, how much time passed before we fell asleep? At an average of 305 km (or 189 mph, if you fancy), the train’s speedy presentation of the Chinese countryside kept us glued to the windows….and then we napped.

Ready to board the bullet train to Shanghai
Journaling about our experiences so far!
Catching some zzz’s

We arrived at our hotel eager to experience everything Shanghai has to offer. Until tomorrow!

Day 4: Some Silk, a Square, and a Forbidden City

We began our day at the China Rehabilitation and Research Center. At this facility, there are various therapists. These therapists get their degrees in rehabilitation therapy and once they specialize, they can pick what avenue they go down: PT, OT, or speech. This location is mainly an outpatient facility and there are only beds for 100 patients.

Here, Dr .Mahshie and Professor Barrett shared their respective talks from yesterday. After their talks, there was a quick Q&A session about the information that was presented. Some questions that were asked dealt with early intervention, AAC use, and IEPs. Following the Q&A session, a therapist gave an introduction on the case history of a client that she has been seeing at the facility. Stephanie Ferreira, Victoria Gasiorowski, and Sarah Hine gave a presentation on intervention and therapeutic techniques for this client. After the presentations, we were given a tour of the Department of Speech and Hearing Therapy. Currently, there are 20 speech therapists that work in this department at this location.

Our day continued with some sightseeing. We had a busy afternoon! Our first stop was a silk factory. There we learned a bit about the process of how silk is made, starting with the life cycle of the silk worm.  The typical lifespan of a silk worm is 2 months. The silk is spun from their cocoon. Silk has a rich history in China. In fact, emperors and empresses used silk in their creams.  

Later, we visited the Tiananmen Square. It’s the biggest square in the world and can hold up to 1 million people! Every 10 years on October 1st, a parade is held on the main street. Until this day, no one talks about the tragedy that happened at the Tiananmen Square. Hopefully in several years time, there might be a better understanding between the government and the people of China.

Our last stop was the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City has a total of 3 gates. Gates were important in ancient times to show the emperor’s dignity. Every emperor in the Ming dynasty lived in this city for their entire lives. At the end of our day, we gathered to debrief about what we’ve learned so far in Beijing. Tomorrow we are headed to Shanghai!

Check out some pictures from our day today!

Therapy Room
Group picture outside China Rehabilitation and Research Center
Tour at the Silk Factory
Tiananmen Square
Forbidden City

Day 3: Presentations + Sightseeing Fun!

Day 3 of our journey started between 4 and 5 am (thanks jetlag!). After breakfast we headed to our first hospital site, Capital Pediatric Research Hospital, to collaborate with fellow health care providers. Presentations began with the head of the institute, the director of medical services offices, the director of the education office, the director of health care office, and various physicians. We were educated on the assessment process at the Capital Pediatric Research Hospital and noticed many similarities in our approach to assessments. Dr. Mahshie (the chair of GW’s speech and hearing program) gave a presentation on the importance of family-based intervention in children with hearing loss emphasized the significance of parental involvement. Our time at the facility was rounded out with case presentations in which Professor Barrett discussed a medically complex case about a child with ASD and other comorbidities. Graduate students Yasmin Uddin, Corrinne Daly, and Alfred Gribble followed with a presentation on intervention and therapeutic techniques specifically designed for a current patient from the facility. We left feeling grateful for the opportunity to learn from and with health care providers at Capital Pediatric Research Hospital.

Our day continued with some sightseeing at the Temple of Heaven which was built in 1420. Originally it was built for the Ming and Qing dynasties for the purpose of worshipping heaven, but is now a 500-acre public park where locals come to show respect to ancient Chinese culture and partake in leisurely activities. 

We finished our day at the Pearl Factory in southern Beijing, where we learned that the pearl represents wisdom, spiritual energy, and enlightenment in the Chinese culture. Surprisingly there are many variants of size, color, and value that exist within the pearl family. 

Check out our photos from the day! 

Arriving at Capital Pediatric Research Hospital.
Group Photo!
Dr. Jianhong Wang, head of the Language and Speech Branch of the Health Care Office.
Dr. Mahshie presentation on family-based intervention with children with hearing loss.
Professor Barrett’s medically complex case presentation.
Graduate student presentation
Temple of Heaven
Pearl extraction

Day 1 – Our Arrival!

Nǐ hǎo! We arrived to Dulles Airport at our gate 
for 8:00 am on May 3rd.
Excited to begin our journey! First stop Canada!
We arrived in Toronto after a short flight. 
China, here we come!
Ready for take off!
✈️ During our flight we did a lot of sleeping, 
a good amount of eating and even completed some 
exercises by doing lunges down the aisles. 
We landed in China on May 4th after 14 hours 
of airtime. Allen, our tour guide, greeted us
 with a large blue flag at the airport and 
continued us on our journey. He calls us "Allen's family" for fun. 
Tour guide Allen
We arrived at The Red Wall Hotel, unpacked our bags
and some of us went to a restaurant next door.
Not being able to speak Mandarin (yet!) made
ordering more eventful than usual, as we
needed to be creative to get a meal!
Red Wall Hotel Lobby
Breanna with some spicy 🌶 food

Excited to see The Great Wall tomorrow!

Day 2 – The Great Wall and Jade Factory

“If you have never been to The Great Wall you’re not a real hero”

We began the day with an early breakfast provided by the Red Wall Hotel! Once our tour guide Allen arrived we promptly loaded the bus and set out for The Great Wall of China.

While on the bus we had a brief lesson about Chinese educational standards, learned to say the phrases”I love you” “Good Morning” “Good Afternoon” and”Good Evening”, and how characters are used while writing.

Allen giving us Chinese Lessons while on the way to the Great Wall. This symbol means “bright”.


We also recieved a history lesson on the Mutianyu section of The Great Wall which was build under the supervision of General Xu Da who was commanded by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in the early Ming Dynasty. 1/5 of the Chinese population helped to build the wall and is measured between 5,000-6,000 miles long.

The journey to make it to The Great Wall was extensive, we arrived at the base camp at the bottom of a hill, walked up the aformentioned hill to a shuttle, proceeded to walk up ANOTHER hill until we boarded a cable car which took us up into the mountains where we began our difficult, yet extremely rewarding walk of the wall.


One group took the path on the right side which descended through the mountain and ended with a Gondola slide back to the base of the mountain; while the other group went to the left and climbed to the top of the wall.


After our rigorous day of hiking, we all sat down together for a traditional style lunch using spinning round tables. The restaurant was an indoor garden with tables placed inbetween thick layers of Ivy plants. We were lucky this time becasue we didnt have to order the food ourselves (Suprise! After one day we still aren’t fluent) and were able to relax and enjoy a delicious lunch.

Once we finished lunch, we were taken on a tour of a Jade Factory. In Chinese culture Jade is used to ward off Evil and, depending on the color (red, green, or blue), bring strength and vitality (Red), happiness(Green) , and peace (Blue). Jade will change color over time and is often given as a gift from a mother to a daughter on her wedding day and is continued to be passed down as a family heirloom. Once we finished our tour, we were able to shop in the store which is government approved for quality control.

Once we finished shopping we returned to the hotel for some much needed relaxation!

The Journey Begins

Join us on our journey as we travel to the beautiful cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing, China, where we will learn the skills necessary to become culturally rich speech therapists while participating in international collaborations in speech-language pathology. In addition to the rich cultural events and encounters, we will have the opportunity to meet with local professionals; visit numerous service delivery sites, observe and collaborate with health and education service providers and experience and evaluate the scope of practice in Speech Language Pathology.  We will also participate in language classes in Mandarin and enjoy some sightseeing, too!

“Not all classrooms have four walls.”