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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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