I began babysitting at a young age through college. One of the closet families that I worked for had a child with mild Cerebral Palsy. In college, I taught swimming lessons to children and even taught some children with special needs. I am now a mother to four children. I have had personal challenges with all of my children ranging from mild to serious. All of my children have benefited from Occupational and Speech Therapy. Certainly as a therapist, I am very proactive in putting my children in therapy in comparison to non-medical parents.
As a mother I have had the experiences of grief when realizing that there was something “wrong” with my child. This is a very challenging thing to realize as a parent. We live in a society today that expects perfection with our children; whether it be that our children are gifted and talented, the most handsome or beautiful, or the best athlete. Through the challenges I have faced and continue to face, I have hope and belief that my children will reach their greatest potential. As a mother, I accept their challenges and choose to focus and appreciate their strengths and gifts.
I have a passion for children with sensory differences including children with ADHD and learning disabilities. My oldest son has dyslexia and had visual processing issues. I truly had to be his advocate through discovering exactly what his challenges were. We went to many doctors including three developmental optometrists. His visual issues were not caught when he was first evaluated. I also sought out neuropsychological testing that ultimately diagnosed him with dyslexia. I knew there was something “wrong” despite being told he was “grade level”. His struggles were really starting to negatively impact his self-esteem. Later on he was ultimately diagnosed with ADHD. My oldest son has overcome so much with Occupational therapy, vision therapy, and tutoring.
My other second son was born with some medical issues that we discovered when I was pregnant. Going through unknowns during his pregnancy and having his condition worsen was a challenging time. His urological condition was corrected with surgery when he was two years old and now his kidney function is monitored. He is doing great now and has also received Occupational Therapy for his sensory processing differences…my thrill seeker.
My youngest son has struggled with a feeding disorder, as he is an extremely picky child cutting out an entire food group. He is doing better with feeding therapy, but certainly getting him to eat new foods is something we continue to work on.
Last of all, I have a passion for working with children and their families impacted by hearing loss. My youngest, a daughter was born with hearing loss. She failed her newborn hearing screening, something that none of my other children had happen. She is the namesake for Hope Pediatric, as her middle name is Hope. Hope has become so much more meaningful after all that we have been through the last year and a half. After all the medical procedures and therapies were have been through, hope is a word that I hold on to. My daughter is doing well with acquiring speech and language, but she does require therapy to help her.
Her hearing condition will likely continue to worsen, but at some point she will be a candidate for cochlear implants. She now wears hearing aids and will recently began Occupational Therapy for her sensory differences and balance deficits due to her hearing loss.
As parents, we all want our children to be happy and to achieve the best that they can be. Here at Hope we share that passion and strive to provide the best care possible; whether it is excellent treatment, recommendations, or just support. I personally want the best people working with my own children and I hold myself to those high standards.