My son's story through the labels:
I am a licensed Behavior Specialist Consultant and Special Education teacher with the State of Pennsylvania. I have a Bachelor’s degree, with a concentration in Child Psychology and Health Education, as well as a Master’s degree in Special Education, from the University of New Mexico.
After teaching children with behavior disorders in Albuquerque for 7 years, I moved to Pittsburgh to be close to family just before my first son was born in 2005. I then stayed at home for 3 ½ years and had my second son before returning to the work force as a Behavior Consultant. During the past 8 years as a Behavior Consultant, I have specialized in children on the Autism Spectrum and worked with many with children with ADHD, OCD, Anxiety, and Conduct Disorder.
Before having children of our own, my husband and I served as therapeutic foster parents for a 9-year-old boy with special needs. Then, my eldest son was diagnosed with a variety of disorders including OCD, anxiety, Tourette’s, and ADHD before finding the root cause to be PANDAS, an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the brain. My own parenting experiences have lead me to be open minded and think outside of the box for solutions. I know fist hand the challenges of parenting and the need for practical solutions.
Throughout the 20+ years that I have been working with children with mental health issues, including parenting my own boys, I have seen the interventions that work. I have seen the ones that are worth your time, effort, and expense and those that are not.
I am a strong believer in healing the body through healthy eating! I have started a recipe blog to share my healthy, kid friendly, recipes that are packed with fruits and veggies as well as free of gluten and animal products! You can find me there at thehiddenveggies.com or click below.
I believe that all children want to behave and please adults. Sometimes a child is lacking the skills to allow them to be successful. It is our job as adults to set up structure and environments that foster success and motivate children to do their best. All people are encouraged by praise and reinforcement, not though punishment or harsh discipline. Looking at a child as a whole and coming up with creative solutions that work for them and their family is key in improving everyone's quality of life. There are many causes for a mental health diagnosis today, and many solutions for these issues as well.