I’m a pediatric psychologist who treats children and teenagers who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities and other mental health concerns. I work collaboratively with patients and their families, and I want them to feel that their voices are heard. My role is to identify areas of difficulty for a child, determine how we can best support them, and highlight the unique strengths of each child and how they can use these strengths effectively.
I have always enjoyed working with children, and I participated in various volunteer opportunities throughout undergraduate and graduate school that led me toward a career in pediatric psychology. Throughout these volunteer opportunities, I was able to see children in inclusive environments, building friendships and gaining confidence. Being a part of these children’s journeys toward recognizing their strengths and truly enjoying themselves with their peers was a wonderful experience.
During my clinical training in graduate school, I continued to focus on working with children and their families. I was fortunate to complete a training program within the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. This provided me with the opportunity to work with children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.
Throughout my training, I quickly realized one of my roles was to help families feel empowered to advocate for their children. The importance of identifying areas of difficulty and evidenced-based strategies to address concerns is critical, but it is also equally important for children to see the amazing qualities they have. Based on experiences with my colleagues and the families I met each day, I quickly knew working within this division and with children with developmental disabilities was my calling. Each family I have worked with has impacted me in a different way, and this has continued to show me why I love the work that I do each day!
My approach to care is family centered. Parents and families are the experts on their children, and I look for ways to incorporate their core beliefs and values with evidence-based strategies to develop the best care plan. My hope is that following their child’s evaluation, families feel that we have a comprehensive understanding of their unique strengths and difficulties, have a greater understanding of supports that may be beneficial across all environments, and have a plan moving forward that they feel comfortable and confident in.
During my career, I have received two awards that have been the most meaningful. The first was being nominated for Cincinnati Children’s Family Advisory Committee's GREATitude Award. Families nominate providers based on their positive experience working with them. I give my best to each family I see each and every day, but it is so meaningful to hear from the families themselves how you have impacted them.
The second award that has been very meaningful to me is the Cincinnati Children’s Roz Parrish Leadership and Service Award. This was an award I received while in training through Cincinnati Children’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disability (LEND) program. This program focuses on increasing the number of professionals with the knowledge to provide evidenced-based care to children with developmental disabilities. Receiving this award was significant because it highlighted my passion and commitment to working with children with developmental disabilities.
When I’m not helping patients and families, I love spending time with my family. My daughters and I love to have movie night, dance, and eat ice cream and popcorn! My favorite hobby is photography and I love to capture photos of my girls and our family pet.