As a developmental pediatrician, I specialize in treating children with developmental disabilities, particularly Down syndrome and Rubinstein Taybi-Syndrome. I also treat children who are deaf or hard of hearing along with developmental disabilities (Deaf/Hard of Hearing Plus).
When I was in college, I worked at a camp for adults with disabilities where the main focus was on having fun rather than therapeutic goals. This experience profoundly affected me – I got back so much more than I gave – and I seriously considered going into special education. After a time as a teacher’s aide, I decided to return to my prior goal of studying medicine. During a rotation in developmental pediatrics, I had an “ah-ha” moment. I knew that this was the field for me.
My care philosophy centers around building a relationship with my patient and their family. I always start my visits by directly communicating with your child. I do this to get a sense of their personality, their strengths and what they uniquely contribute to the world. I love working with families and learning from them strategies for helping their child be the best they can be.
At Cincinnati Children’s, we recognize that children may have difficulties when they come to our offices, and we try to support them throughout their visits. We have child life specialists, nurses and medical assistants who listen to you to understand how to make the visit go as smoothly as possible.
Our team at Developmental Disabilities and Behavioral Pediatrics includes psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nutritionists, social workers, physicians and advanced practice nurses. This multidisciplinary approach allows for a broader understanding and better expertise to help your child meet their full potential.
I am the clinical director of the Thomas Center for Down Syndrome at Cincinnati Children’s. I have also worked extensively with programs that support children who are deaf or hard of hearing. These include the National American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ohio Department of Health Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program, the Ohio Center for Deaf-Blind Education and the Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness in the Ohio Center for Low Incidence.
In addition to seeing patients, I conduct research that seeks to improve the quality of life for children with developmental disabilities. I work with an amazing team of scientists who are trying to determine if a technology-supported language intervention can help fill the language gap in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We have also focused on the language and functional needs of children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing Plus.
My research colleagues and I participate in many cross-departmental studies within the Thomas Center for Down Syndrome. These studies have focused on sleep, developmental outcomes for children who have Down syndrome with cardiac conditions and understanding the best use of medication for mental health conditions.
During my career, I am humbled to have received the Seaver Vision Award from Hands and Voices, as well as the Jefferson Awards Champion for Community Service and Volunteerism.
When I’m not helping patients or doing research, I love spending time with my family and gardening.
Children who are deaf/hard of hearing; children with genetic syndromes including Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome, Down syndrome, and CHARGE syndrome.
Children who are deaf/hard of hearing; children with Down syndrome
Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cochlear Implant, Ear and Hearing, Down Syndrome, Apraxia, Upper Airway, CHARGE Syndrome, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics