From a young age, I knew that I wanted to work with children. My focus on mental health and behavior developed during my undergraduate years. I became interested in working with children with developmental disabilities after providing respite care for a family who had a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much from him and about the challenges families face caring for a child with developmental disabilities.
During my internship at Nova Southeastern University Community Mental Health Center, I gained more experience working with children with a wide range of developmental and behavioral challenges including developmental disabilities, learning problems, trauma and severe mental illness. I focused my postdoctoral training specifically on children with developmental disabilities here at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
I have been a pediatric clinical psychologist for more than 15 years. I specialize in the assessment and treatment of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorders and behavioral challenges. I have expertise in the evaluation and treatment of children with developmental and behavioral conditions associated with complex congenital heart disease (CHD). My research involves developing assessment guidelines for children with CHD.
I use a collaborative and family-centered approach to help families feel empowered and confident in their abilities to handle current and future challenges. Through parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), I coach parents as they interact with their child to help improve disruptive behaviors and increase compliance. I also conduct social skills groups for children with developmental disabilities.
I am passionate about working with families of children with developmental disabilities and disruptive behavior. I find it so rewarding to help parents build confidence in their parenting skills and strengthen their relationship with their child. It’s gratifying to coach parents on how to develop and build their child's positive behaviors, communication skills and social skills. There is so much joy and excitement watching a family succeed and no longer need my help. It is why I continue to do this work.
I am a certified PCIT therapist and certified PCIT Level 1 trainer. I previously served as training director of the postdoctoral fellowship and was a supervising psychologist for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program with the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. I also served on the board of Cincinnati Academy of Professional Psychology.
As the mother of three children, I spend most of my free time at sporting practices or games for my children. They are very involved in athletics, and I love every minute of it. I enjoy spending time with my family and our beloved golden doodle.