I am West Coast born and raised and have enjoyed building my practice and settling down with my family, which includes my wonderful daughter and husband. As a parent myself I can relate to the many stressors and challenges families meet daily and how important it is for families to be heard and have strategies that they feel they can manage and ones that will have the lasting positive impact they desire.
I have spent the past 24 years building a practice that has involved both the private and non-profit sectors, as a clinician and clinical director. My career started in family support, as a social worker providing 1:1 support and group facilitation to parents who were navigating a newly diagnosed child with developmental and/or physical disabilities. But as time went on I found the draw to providing more direct support to neurodivergent children and their families. This led me to pursue a masters degree in special education and to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. Seeing that there was so much more I could do when I had the chance to build longer-term relationships with families and provide guidance around strengthening and supporting the abilities of neurodivergent children. This has included creating child-centered, family-focused and individualized intervention programs in homes and clinic settings. I have had the privilege to work with so many individuals over the years, providing support to educators in school settings and families in home and community.
While my earlier years of practice were rooted in more intensive support, over time I have branched out to focus on coaching parents and educators around building a greater understanding for the complexities of behaviour in children, how to utilize strategies anchored in science to bridge this understanding to generate tools that are prevention driven and that will have a more lasting impact. This shift has enabled me to grow my practice around workshops and public speaking to parent and educator groups, something I am very passionate about doing as much as I can.
Today I split my time between working directly with school based teams and parents and also as an associate in a collaborative pediatric practice. This range enables me to provide support around the complex nature of behaviours with both neurotipycal and neurodivergent children.
My practice is rooted in science and includes principals in ACT (acceptance commitment training) and the importance of building strategies centred in the values of not just the adults in a child’s life, but the child themselves. In working with children I continue to draw from a more play-based naturalistic developmental approach to learning (ESDM – Early Start Denver Model for neurodivergent littles), as I recognize the tremendous value of children growing, learning and regulating in natural settings and in play, at a pace reflective of who and where they are developmentally. Children learn best, when they are understood and are heard and this means supporting them to reach optimal states of engagement and calm in their day.
In today’s world, children now more than ever are experiencing high states of stress in themselves and the environments around them, therefore focus on their social emotional needs are paramount. I strive to build strategies that help children both understand emotions and develop tools to regulate and for the adults around them to be more equipped to help them regulate and understand their triggers in life and navigate those hard moments.