May 28, 2018

The month of May 2018 is Better Hearing & Speech Awareness Month!  And since we have a speech therapy team here at High Hopes that is dedicated year-round to the ideals of better hearing and speech, we thought it might be a good idea for this month’s staff spotlight to put our Lead Speech Therapist Elizabeth Sestini center-stage. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Elizabeth and her husband Mark came to Tennessee almost exactly two years ago, in May of 2016.  In July of that year, Elizabeth began working here at High Hopes.  Stepping into the relatively novel position of lead therapist on the speech therapy team after a year and a half with us, Elizabeth continues to treat as both a speech and feeding therapist while taking on the additional responsibilities and duties of a lead. Find o...

May 25, 2018

In [Part 1] of this post, we took you on the first half of a journey shadowing speech therapy sessions, trying to get an idea of what a Day in Speech therapy might look like.  We summarized two sessions, one focused primarily on language and concept goals, another on functional use of an AAC device to communicate.

The rest of the day continued to surprise us, addressing even more speech pathology issues and providing an even deeper view of all that speech therapy can accomplish.  See what the rest of the day held in store below...

10:30 AM – Brandy Storck

When we arrived to observe Brandy’s session at 10:30, we were not the only ones there to observe.  The patient’s mother and home health nurse sat in on the session as well.  Brandy described how beneficial that can be, allowing her...

May 24, 2018

The month of May is Better Hearing & Speech month, and here at High Hopes we are always happy to celebrate our speech therapy program! Every week our clinic’s staff of just 9 therapists serves upwards of 196 patients in 231 speech therapy sessions. Each client is unique and comes with their own individualized needs and goals.  The complexities of speech and language are reflected in the many faces a speech therapy session can take on, and in the interest of spreading awareness about better hearing and speech, we want to take you on a journey through some of those complexities.  So we shadowed a few speech therapists and picked their brains to get an idea of what a Day in Speech Therapy might look like...

When exploring the different childcare/ preschool options, my husband, Matt, and I looked no further once we found High Hopes! Like many first-time parents, I was somewhat paranoid (and probably overly cautious) about the safety of my child. I wanted him in a place where I knew he would receive the best care possible! But, unlike many parents that come to High Hopes, my husband and I were not seeking a school for children with special needs. We were aware of the developmental programs offered by High Hopes. However, we just really loved the warm and friendly staff and teachers, the care and attention that each child receives (small class size), and the security. For our son RJ (now 5 years old) and our daughter Maggie-Jo (2 years old), High Hopes has been the only preschool they have...

April 19, 2018

Kids are weird. Aren't we all? However, when it comes to differences caused by damage to the brain, it seems we still operate more from fear or a lack of understanding, and many times, understanding only comes through a personal experience. Being the mother of a child with special needs has opened my eyes to ignorance and discrimination, but coincidentally it has also opened up a special pocket of the world that celebrates and shouts inclusion. The Dobsons' family story encompasses struggle and uncertainty, but also joy and community, and discusses the true meaning and impact of the word "inclusion..."

April 6, 2018

Sporting the largest community-built playground in the United States, the Crofts’ Historic Home available for seasonal tours, and several dynamic and interactive exhibits with a diverse population of animals, the Zoo continues to up the ante of its offerings.  Newer exhibits such as spider monkeys, the interactive Kangaroo Kickabout, and cassowary enclosures continue to be popular among Zoo-goers of all ages. Most recently, on March 15th, the Zoo cut the ribbon on a large addition featuring Andean bears. In the month of April, the Zoo will be offering several unique opportunities for family springtime fun, and that’s what we will highlight in this post.  Consider making plans to attend one or more of these awesome community events at the Nashville Zoo!

April 5, 2018

On Monday, April 2nd, people around the world celebrated Autism Awareness Day, and the entire month of April is Autism Awareness Month.  As autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder, with more than 3.5 million people diagnosed in the United States alone, we thought we’d shed some light on some of the facts, misconceptions, and varying degrees of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

How fast does your heart beat?  I can’t begin to explain how enormous that question is to me.  The words “heart” and “beat” put together are so powerfully magnificent.  Heartbeat- passion, vitality, warmth, health.  I have been listening to heartbeats for the last six years religiously.  The first time I really heard one that I paid attention to was during my first pregnancy with our now six-year-old boy. I imagined motherhood to be this lovely journey full of monograms and Pottery Barn nursery decorations.  I envisioned an altered vaccination schedule and never ever needing to pay for education.  I imagined I would drive a beautiful enormous SUV and retain my rocking Pilates body for the long haul.  And with one heartbeat everything changed. Read about Colleen's motherhood journ...

March 8, 2018

This morning, a darling little girl with Down syndrome, a student in our preschool, stood outside our administrative offices and told us all story after story.  Some of them involved dancing, some were action-packed, some were simply explanatory.  We didn’t understand most of the words that streamed from this animated little performer, but we knew what she was talking about, because: PERSONALITY. Increasingly visible in the media today, Down syndrome is quickly becoming one of the most instantly recognizable developmental diagnoses in the United States.  But how much do we really know about it? This post will help to answer some basic questions about Down syndrome.  The more we know, the more we can do to promote the welfare of the community of people affected by this syndrome.

February 22, 2018

Charlie’s first day of school just so happened to be the day I gave birth to his brother and sister. This was not planned. Nothing about any of my pregnancies or deliveries or mom-life really was. But ever since he turned two, High Hopes was part of the plan. It’s important as a parent of a child with special needs (or any human really) to build your tribe. You need your people. The ones you can rely on to help without question, to offer an ear without judgment, and who “get” your family and how it works. For us, outside of family, it’s High Hopes.

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Franklin, TN 37064   

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