Twenty years ago, I was a social worker working with children and families, people unhoused and suffering from addiction. But at home I couldn’t help my own struggling children. Through my research into attachment and trauma, Heather Forbes, LCSW set me on a new path informed by neuroscience. Things improved but still parenting was incredibly difficult. Something was missing.
Needing strength for the rigorous work of parenting, I turned to the contemplative path. Prayer, meditation, art and movement created space in me. As curiosity about my own thoughts, emotions, and physical responses relaxed them, peace and joy increased.
My continual search to make sense of the chaos and confusion at home finally led me to Diane Malbin, MSW at FASCETS. Her pioneering work transformed my career and family; her book Trying Differently Rather Than Harder reframed behaviors—challenging and inspiring—as symptoms of brain function. She introduced me to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), deepening my understanding of neurodiversity. Curiosity about my children’s unique brain function and the why behind behaviors grew my compassion and effectiveness. Again, I experienced more peace, greater joy.
Along the way, I moved with my husband and three extraordinary, neurodivergent daughters to the edge of the Chihuahuan desert in west Texas. My new work unfolded: offering the FASCETS Neurobehavioral Model to parents and professionals and guiding contemplative practices. In 2021, I became a Program Director at FASCETS. Thanks to Zoom I now work locally and globally.
In Tinderbox: One Family's Story of Adoption, Neurodiversity, and Fierce Love, published by She Writes Press, I tell my story.