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 and from there he went onto his second therapeutic boarding school. After a few stints in a residential treatment facility, he eventually came home when he was turning seventeen and started at a local day school. This year he has applied to college and got accepted at eleven out of twelve colleges. He is whittling down his final choice and will start in the Fall, most likely commuting from home for his first year.
During his eighteen 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), Parent-child Relational Problems, Personality Disorder and an Eating Disorder.
Over the same eighteen 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 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.