Michelle specializes in working with children with neurological and behavior differences and their families. People generally regard her as “neurotypical,” which means that she has a style of functioning that falls within conventional social standards.
It is Michelle’s belief that brain differences are a normal part of our diversity as a species, not conditions that need to be cured. She embraces the concept of neurodiversity, which is aptly described by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN):
Neurodiversity means that no two brains are exactly the same. Every person has things they are good at and things they need help with, and there is no such thing as a “normal” brain. The neurodiversity movement says that people with brain-based disabilities (like autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, or mental health disabilities) should be accepted and included in society just like neurotypical people (people without brain-based disabilities). https://autisticadvocacy.org/about-asan/position-statements/
Expectations to conform and mismatches between the environment and the person can overwhelm the ability of neurodivergent people to cope. Michelle supports healthy growth and development and helps children and families to heal from overwhelming experiences. She focuses on increasing nervous system regulation, and educating parents about supporting their children’s regulation.
Michelle is one of a limited number of mental health professionals in the U.S. with expertise in working with children who fit the PDA profile of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).