We had the privilege of working with Family First and Kids Connect for an intensive 7-week program for our 4-year old son combining Speech Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy (with their partners at Kids Connect). Prior to being referred here, the road we were on was not easy.

Around age 3, our sweet and happy boy started becoming angry and aggressive, exhibiting some pretty “strong willed” and often times “defiant” behavior. By age 4, his behaviors worsened and started causing problems in school and with friends. We sought help which, before finding Family First, came in the form of mainstream behavioral intervention which focuses primarily on teaching parents how to respond to and correct “problem” behaviors in children. While these “tools” worked to elicit a specific behavior from our son, the approach felt very robotic and at times “soldier-like”.

We couldn’t shake the feeling that we were essentially applying a “bandaid” to his symptoms without figuring out and tending to the “why” behind them. Our son’s anger and aggression were still there; we had just effectively gotten him to hold it all in. This just didn’t seem right.

We had to know why our happy, sweet, affectionate, and loving toddler had become an increasingly angry and aggressive preschooler with his head down anxiously absorbed in his own world. This led us to advocate on his behalf, research all the options and eventually find real, life-changing help at Family First.

Ashley C.

We had a wonderful experience with family First! From start to finish! The intake process was smooth (although a hefty amount of paperwork which is to be expected). There front desk people are amazing and sweet. And our therapist Sarah was absolutely wonderful. It was clear she took a vested interest in my sons improvement.

The environment was always so friendly, as everyone there knew my sons name, we felt like we were in “Cheers”. It’s evident the therapists working there are invested in the development of their clients! Although we will miss each and every one of our friends at Family First, we are happy we had this time with them and were able to make advances in our speech with the help of everyone there! I highly recommend Family First Speech Therapy!

Krystal B.

What I LOVE about Vanessa is her patience, kindness, dedication and tremendous knowledge in speech and Floortime. Her incredible energy and creativity come through with every session. My son Daniel has worked with her for more than a half year. Not only has his language greatly improved, but the way he thinks and plays has made a drastic progress. We’ve been very lucky to have her. I would recommend her 100%.
Daniel's Mom

Ms. Esquivel, thank you very much for all the support and guidance you have given to us as parents and to our child Andrew. You have gone beyond speech to provide us advice and bring to our attention areas in need of improvement. Working side by side with us you have been able to get out Andrews greatest potential.
Walter C.

Felcman is an outstanding clinician who embraces each child and family with caring and competence. With her DIR expertise she not only advances communication and language but the development of the whole child and the relationships essential for progress.
Serena W., Ph.D. 
Founder and Director of the DIR Institute
/Clinical Director of the Profectum Foundation

Michelle Reed is a gifted and intuitive therapist who can help children advance when challenges derail progress and integrates all aspects of development to strengthen children and families. I recommend her highly to you.
Serena W., Ph.D. 
Founder and Director of the DIR Institute
/Clinical Director of the Profectum Foundation

My son David has been a patient/client of Michelle Reed’s since he was three years old. Michelle’s knowledge of occupational therapy mixed with her caring attitude towards children and their families shines through every session.

She is always aiming to push the child in a forward direction while helping to sustain regulation all the while educating the parents so that a home program can not only be followed through but done with confidence.

She is constantly striving to obtain new ideas to get the most out of ever y session and every child. Michelle is a team player in every sense always consulting with other therapists on the team to assure that their goals are also incorporated.

Rachel G.

Michelle is a fantastic therapist with a wide range of skills at her disposal. When she first started working with my son Travis, he had a lot of trouble with self-regulation and body awareness. Michelle met him right where his biggest needs were and was able to engage him and establish trust, forming a close bond.

As he progressed, she could challenge him more and more. Michelle has a wonderful way of starting each session from a new place, being willing to meet my child where he is at in that moment, while gently encouraging him to meet the higher standard of what she knows is possible for him.

I am so grateful to have had Michelle traveling with us on our journey with autism for 5 years, from when Travis could not make eye contact, speak, or regulate his body to now where he is in his second year in the mainstream classroom at our public school, and is no longer eligible for any special services due to his incredible progress. Her expertise and encouragement has been a huge gift and I highly recommend her services!

Dr. Laura L.

As a mother of a child on the Autism spectrum, you tend to get overwhelmed and see the world without color. Family First Speech Therapy and Kids Connect Occupational Therapy helped paint a beautiful picture with my son Noah.

Their approach is to meet each child at their developmental level and use whatever is relevant and important to that child to gain their attention and motivate them during therapy.

What is truly awesome is that the conversation about that child and the plan for their therapy does not begin and end during their appointment; it is ongoing and continuously adapting to whatever is appropriate and needed. Thus, the picture that is Noah’s life now is not only vibrant in color it is simply magical.

Michelle S.

My Level 2 OTA Fieldwork experience at SPACE Therapy & Gym was an amazing learning opportunity. I gained invaluable, firsthand knowledge, and I was able to collaborate with intelligent and insightful staff.

Gina Drummond, OTD, OTR is a patient and knowledgeable Fieldwork Instructor I was fortunate enough to learn from. She answered my many questions and took time to make sure I had a thorough understanding of the pediatric occupational therapy experience, beginning with the initial evaluation, and ending in discharge, as well as every step in between.

The kids loved their therapy sessions and showed me how impactful and far-reaching occupational therapy’s influence can have on their lives.


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