I specialize in working with children with developmental disabilities and behavioral concerns. I see children with autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities or delays, and other genetic syndromes. My treatment focuses on improving disruptive behavior, such as tantrums and aggression. I also specialize in treating pica and assisting with toilet training.
Working with children as a career is a dream come true. I was inspired by my friends in high school and college who had siblings with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The way their families demonstrated resilience and inclusion influenced me to work with this underserved population in college and graduate school. In my formative years, I loved working at the YMCA and in other childcare settings.
My philosophy is to assume competence and maintain high expectations for my patients and their families. Everyone can benefit from mental and behavioral health services throughout their lives. These services are as essential as physical health care, and we should support and empower individuals and families to take the lead along their behavioral health journeys.
My aim is to include the patient and family in all aspects of care, including decision-making. I speak directly to a child, even if they cannot verbally respond. I also work with the family to find feasible strategies to help accomplish their goals. We always work together as a team.
My research focuses in two areas. The first is training healthcare providers to become leaders in the field of developmental disabilities. We look at strategies to build interdisciplinary and leadership skills in graduate and post-graduates, as well as family and community advocates and people with disabilities. The second area aims to educate professionals who work with young children impacted by the opioid crisis. We study emerging best practices to support the development and behavior of this unique population of children.
In 2015, my team received the Bridge Builder Award from the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency. The honor recognized our efforts to train Head Start and childcare professionals to work with children with disabilities. In 2019, I received the Jack H. Rubinstein Award. This award recognizes the person who best embodies and exemplifies the vision and mission of the Jack H. Rubinstein Foundation for Developmental Disorders. As a graduate student studying for a master’s degree in public health at the University of Cincinnati, the Department of Environmental Health awarded me the 2020 Practicum and Culminating Experience Presentation Award.
In my free time, I love to watch sports, especially Xavier Musketeers basketball. I also love watching Netflix shows, going to the theatre, reading, practicing hot yoga and traveling. When I’m away from work, I enjoy walking my two labradoodles and spending time with family and friends.