One of my biggest inspirations to pursing a path in holistic healing is my sister, Olivia. She lives with cerebral palsy, a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination and other disabilities caused by damage to her brain shortly after birth. She was born ten weeks premature and weighed only 2lbs 3ozs. Two and half weeks after she was born she got a blood infection and became septic which went to her brain causing a lack of oxygen. For sixty two days while in the hospital I was only allowed to look at her through a window. She was the size of my hand, hooked up to ventilators, machines, and monitors in a tiny incubator, a sight I’ll never forget.
At nine months she was officially diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spastic dysplasia. At twenty two months she was diagnosed legally blind. At age five, gelastic seizures began and later she was diagnosed with quadriplegia, paralysis of all four limbs. Despite the challenges, Olivia's early childhood consisted of numerous therapies to help her develop and grow to her fullest potential. From hyperbaric oxygen therapy, hippotherapy, hydrotherapy, to vision and speech therapy, botox injections for muscle support, leg braces, walkers and wheelchairs, she's experienced it all.
As she grew into her teenage years, both hips dislocated due to spasticity. In hopes to alleviate some of the pain it caused, she endured multiple hip surgeries. The following year scoliosis started as a ten degree curvature and rotation, and due to her removed hip the curvature quickly progressed greater than hundred degrees. Due to the scoliosis she was diagnosed with restrictive lung disease and chronic respiratory failure with hypercapnia.
Her immune system is weak and her body aches daily but she’s a fighter and continues to inspire everyone she crosses paths with. She is a ray of light, full of hope, courage, strength, and love. Her wisdom and positive attitude are remarkable. She is beautiful, deeply inspiring, and sets an example for all. And while the disorder affects her physical body, it could never destroy the strength of her spirit and the eternal beauty of her soul. I feel truly blessed and immensely grateful to be on this journey with her.
Olivia helped illuminate a path on which I will spend the rest of my life. She inspired me to raise awareness in children on healthy eating and nutrition, exercise and fitness, and the benefits of yoga and conscious breathing; all which have played an integral part in her own health and well being. Through my personal experiences with Olivia and the specialized trainings at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Asanas for Special Needs Children, I’ve acquired valuable tools that I feel passionately about sharing with children of all ages and abilities.
Yoga teaches self-regulation, body awareness, balance, hand-eye coordination, focus, coping strategies, language and communication, strength and flexibility, self-confidence, motor skills, and social skills. A dedicated and intentional yoga practice that includes breathing techniques, behavioral guidelines, and physical postures in a fun and creative way can be incredibly valuable for children of all abilities.
Nutrition Education gives children and families the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices. Teaching children the importance of good nutrition from an early age will lay the foundation for a well-balanced, healthy life.
This one-on-one program supports children who have various special behavioral, physical and learning needs. Classes are tailored to support the unique needs of your child in the comfort of your own home.
The practice of yoga as a family is a fun and exciting way to spend time together, bond, develop better communication, and create a calm and peaceful home environment. Through family sessions you will learn simple yoga poses and breathing exercises in a step-by-step series.
*Kids In The Kitchen
This program is designed to teach children how to navigate through the food system to find real food that’s both enjoyable and nutritious, and to teach the difference between whole versus processed foods. Together we find ways to make mealtime enjoyable so that whole foods are associated with pleasure. This includes hands on activities custom tailored to your child’s needs and preferences.
Complimentary 1-Hour Discovery Session
During this session we will discuss your child's life situation, health status, and a custom tailored plan for your family.