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Caitlin's Story

I grew up on a farm in rural Sussex in the UK and since then have lived in Brussels, Paris and London, before moving to New York in 2009 with my husband and two children.

 

Up until this point, we had tried everything for my son: drama therapy, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, kinesiology, aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, changes in diet, “circle of friends”, family therapy, art therapy...and I had devoured every parenting book available. Nothing was making a difference and we felt like we were spiraling underground quickly, barely able to draw breaths as we were constantly putting out fires. I was secretly hoping that maybe, just maybe, all our issues would dissipate over the Atlantic as we flew to New York. Unfortunately this miracle didn't happen and by Fourth Grade, he was placed by his school district into a therapeutic day school. At the age of 13 he went to his first therapeutic wilderness program then onto a therapeutic boarding school. However, after a year, he was kicked out, and so he returned to a second therapeutic wilderness program when he was 14. He is currently at his second therapeutic boarding school.

 

During his fifteen years of life, my son has been diagnosed with Early Onset Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Severe Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Non Verbal Learning Disorder, ASD (level 1) and Parent-child Relational Problems.

 

Over the same fifteen years, I have unwittingly become an advocate and expert in neurological, behavioral and academic issues for children who do not fit into a traditional academic setting. I am adamant that we need to treat the symptoms and not the diagnostic label and I am particularly motivated by the subtle but crucial difference between the drivers of oppositional behavior - the "can't do" versus the "won't do" - and the behavioral versus neurological implications.

 

I am passionate about twice exceptional children and young adults and the Theory of Mind. I am horrified at how often they are quite simply misunderstood. My life goal is to do something about this by focusing on the process, the brain and clear and consistent boundaries.

 

I have a First Class Honors (summa cum laude) degree in International Marketing & French from the University of Greenwich in London. I spent six months studying at the elite ICHEC - Brussels Management School in Belgium and I also have an Honors Diploma in Internet Journalism from the London School of Journalism. I am currently completely an Advanced Diploma in Counseling and Psychology with the International Career Institute.

 

In 2003 I spent three years working as a mentor for a high functioning child with ASD within a school setting and from 2006-2009 I was responsible for setting up and running a Gifted and Talented Program in London. In addition, I also ran after school clubs in Debating, Creative Thinking, Thinking Outside of the Box and Creative Writing, which were designed to challenge and enrich their learning experience.  I am specifically interested in the link between cognitive ability and neurological needs as well as the balance of intellectual IQ versus social IQ.

 

Throughout my journey as a parent, I have attended a multitude of therapeutic trainings and workshops. I have lived through having a child with complicated and misunderstood mental health issues and I have had to work incessantly at my family relationships in order to keep us afloat. This puts me in the perfect place to act as an advocate and coach for you, your child and family.

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