About Heather

 
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I am an Occupational Therapist, a spouse, and a mom to three young boys.

My mission is to offer family-centred, attachment-based tools for families of infants and young children to thrive in nurturing and healthy environments.

I place great value on attachment theory and nurture-based parenting practices that support the biological, evolutionary, and developmental needs of infants and young children.

I envision making a difference to families by helping them focus on how they can improve their child's environment through nurturing parenting approaches,  and  healthy homes.

My core values are:

  • that parents know their children best and want what is best for their children
  • that connection, empathy, and relationships are the most effective ways to create change in our own families and to empower change in others
  • that parents are capable stewards of their child's health and well being. When they are helped to trust their judgement and instincts, and are given tools they can actually use, they can thrive as parents and can help their children thrive too.

 

Collaboration with parents. 

I consider myself a resource, not an expert.  Because you know your child best, and have your child's best interest in mind, my roles are to help you identify areas that are a struggle for your family, and provide you with information and strategies for making decisions that are in line with your values, instincts and goals.  Whether this means identifying areas of child development to focus on, making adjustments to parenting strategies, or changing the home environment, the vision is a peaceful family, a thriving child, and a parent who feels able to roll with the day to day challenges (most days, anyway).  Working together, we make a plan that fits your family and your goals. 

 

you, your child, your environment.

Families are complicated.  The roles we each have can change over time, our children are changing constantly, and each of these is affected by the environment we are in.  Understanding the impact that this all has on a family is important in setting up expectations and developing goals and plans to get where you want your family to go.

 

A  different way to connect

Parenting is not "nine to five", and neither am I.  By offering video and phone consultation, I can connect with families wherever you are and at times that are more convenient than face to face.  Whether we connect on a Saturday morning, or after the kids are in bed, and whether you are in Thunder Bay or Niagara Falls, we can work together in ways that work for you.

 

I look forward to talking with you.


A Bit More About Me:

I have been an Occupational Therapist (OT) for 17 years.

I was an OT/Infant Development Consultant with Peel Infant and Child Development Program in Ontario for eight years.  I felt privileged to be welcomed into people's homes, and into their unfiltered day to day lives.   

Before having children, I completed my Research Masters in Rehabilitation Science.  My research focused on family-centred care.

More recently, I coordinated the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic at McMaster Children's Hospital.  This fast-paced clinic environment honed my skills in assessing infants and in providing appropriate and manageable recommendations and resources to families. 

My husband and I are raising our three young boys.  We are honing our parenting skills in 'real time' and have come to appreciate that making mistakes is a great way to learn --for both parents and children!  We see that learning takes place best in an environment of genuine curiosity and openness.

I have a burgeoning interest in healthy home environments.  This reflects my appreciation that our indoor environments can contribute to good health and child development.  Evaluating and addressing environmental obstacles can improve parenting and child development. 

Parenting is an ever evolving skill that does not have an end point: it is never fully mastered, and yet, the basic principles of parenting and child development remain reassuringly consistent.  I would be happy to talk with you about whether I am the right person to meet your expectations for supporting your family's needs.


Professional Education, Certification, and courses (highlights)

Infant Sleep Educator (online course), Bebo Mia,  Toronto, Ontario (in progress).

Basic Principles of Healthy Homes (online course), Healthy Housing Solutions Inc., Maryland, U.S.A. (2017).

Neufeld Institute, Making Sense of Anxiety (November 2014) (online course).

Neufeld Institute, Making Sense of Discipline (September 2013) (online course).

Neufeld Institute, Making Sense of Preschoolers (April 2013) (online course).

M.Sc. (Rehabilitation Science), McMaster University (2008).

Certificate of Infant Mental Health, York University (2003).

B.H.Sc. (OT), McMaster University (2000). 

B.Sc.(Human Kinetics), University of Guelph, (1998).