My passion for working with individuals with disabilities began with my aunt. The unconditional love she exuded inspired me to work with individuals with special needs. In 2012, I received an innovative training in The Son-Rise Program and implemented the program in a child’s home. Through the Son-Rise principals and values of unconditional love and acceptance, being present and joining a child’s world, using the child’s interests and motivation to foster connection, teaching learning through play, creating a safe environment with limited distractions helped children develops strong attachments and healthy development. As a therapeutic staff support member I continued working with children and teenagers with trauma and co-morbid diagnoses through NHS in home, school and camp settings.
In 2015, I received a master’s degree from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. During my first year at Bryn Mawr, I completed my field work at Devereux’s residential treatment center, where I had the opportunity to use therapeutic games to connect with children and teenagers with co-morbid disabilities and trauma. I continued working at Deveruex with children as a therapeutic staff support member and mobile therapist in various settings. For my second fieldwork placement, I was introduced to Spectra Support Services where I offered a comprehensive array of services to children and adults with an assortment of various needs. I facilitated social and life skills groups for Adults and children with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities, provided life skills coaching and individual therapy for individuals of all ages. This was my first introduction to Mindfulness Based Play Family Therapy. Post graduation I continued working full time at Spectra Support Services where I perused Behavioral Therapy and received a certification as an Autism Specialist. I currently serve as the Program Specialist of the Day Program and provide behavior therapy and family therapy using Mindfulness Based Play Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Son-Rise techniques to serve individuals across the lifespan. Although I work with all individuals across the Autism spectrum, I specialize in connecting with individuals who are non-verbal. I help parents strengthen attachment to their children through child centered play. I earned a Certificate in Advanced Child Development from the Family Play Therapy Center in June 2017. I’ve learned throughout my years of experience that love and acceptance promote healing in any situation and in the face of even the most adverse of circumstances.
My passion for working with and helping intellectually disabled persons has been a part of me since my early teens, when I volunteered to help children with intellectual disabilities at Saint John of God in Deptford New Jersey. This passion is the motivation that has driven me to pursue my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I received a Bachelor’s of Science from Drexel University, a Master’s of Science in Marriage and family therapy from Capella University, I am a Certified Stephens Minister, certified autism specialist, behavioral specialist and I am currently training to become a Registered Play Therapist at The Family Play Therapy Center. I provide Mindfulness Based Play Family Therapy which connects families and promotes healing in a safe environment. I have over 15 years of experience counseling Teens, Children and Families with a specialty in Couples counseling and I regard working with my clients as a gift that has given me the opportunity to use the skills and insights that I have developed over the years and this gift is what makes my work rewarding and fulfilling. I feel it is important to give individuals a safe place to allow their voice to be heard as they grow and heal from the inside out.
In my role as Director of Waiver Services I am responsible for overseeing the day program and the supervision and training of staff and the safety and development of our clients. I provide communication and coordination with residential staff, supports coordinators and families to ensure that our clients’ receive the services they need in a timely manner and that they are always treated with dignity and respect.
I began my professional social work career in 2005 when I started to pursue my bachelors degree in social work from LaSalle University. During my time studying to be a social work professional, I had the opportunity to practice my skills working with older adults at a senior center, and also working with individuals who are blind or visually impaired. After graduation, I had the privilege of working as a support staff for children with cognitive differences; including individuals on the autism spectrum. In 2013, I went back to school to pursue my masters degree in social work at West Chester University. I was an intern at Spectra during this time. I worked with children, teens, adults, and families in need of professional social work support. Today, I am the program support specialist for community services as well as a psychotherapist. I have a passion for working with individuals who benefit from sand tray therapy, play therapy, and behavior therapy. I am honored to be a part of the Spectra community and the opportunity to serve our individuals and families on an ongoing basis.
I am Licesned Professional Counselor in PA and a board certified music therapist devoted to serving people who have special needs. In May of 1999, I graduated from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA, with a bachelors of science in music therapy and completed my clinical training at the University Hospitals of Cleveland in January 2001. I earned my Master's in Music Therapy (MMT) from Temple University in May of 2010, Currently, I am a Certified MARI® Practitioner and Certified Autism Specialist. I strive to use my talents and musical abilities to make a difference in lives of the people I serve. Fueled by this ambition, I formed a private practice in 2002 and later merged my practice with my business partner to form Spectra. To date, I established new creative arts therapy programs in settings such as hospitals, pediatric rehabilitation centers, senior homes, homeless shelters, clinics and schools. Also, I am an advocate for the advancement of quality programming for people who have disabilities. I find that I am able to influence this type of change through my clinical work, supervision, research, advocacy and training programs. It brings me great joy to serve my community in this way.
My professional career as a social worker began 20 years ago when I pursued a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. During my final year, I interned at the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council where I began my life-long role of advocating for persons with various intellectual and physical disabilities. I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Pennsylvania and former licensed social worker in New Jersey. I spent some of my first years after graduation serving as a Behavior Specialist with Wyomissing Behavior Analysts, Ltd. This opportunity to teach parenting skills set the stage for my passion for working with families. Recently, I obtained my Behavior Specialist license in Pennsylvania. 15 years ago, I began consulting with The Arc Gloucester in Gloucester, New Jersey providing individual social education/counseling to adults with physical and intellectual disabilities and later had families members diagnosed with Autism. I have over 150 continuing education credits in Autism and related topics and am currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders at Drexel University. In 2008, I received a Certificate in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research and a certificate in Sexuality Education for persons with Asperger Syndrome from the Penn Autism Network continuing education division. I earned Certificate in Advanced Child Development from the Family Play Therapy Center in June 2012. I have presented at many local, state and national disability and Autism conferences. I have a passion for working with families, and particularly with those who find it difficult to create or access the supports they need for individual and family success. I have experience working with all ages, from toddler to adult. I provide Mindfulness Based Play-Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Behavior Plans and Therapy and Life Coaching. I am the President of ASCEND: the Asperger and Autism Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and a member of National Association of Social Workers and Autism Society of America and Association Play Therapy.
Spectra Support Services, LLC
475 Lawrence Road, Broomall, PA 19008