In this episode of the TiLT Parenting Podcast, my guest is Cherina Williams, a pediatric speech and language pathologist based in the SF Bay Area, the host of the “I’ve Got this Kid” podcast, and a mom and homeschooler of two children.
Though her private practice focuses on speech and language issues in the birth to three population, Cherina has come to learn that parents want and need guidance on how to be an asset for their child’s growth and development. And that this work is just as important as the actual speech therapy she does with the child.
I wanted to bring Cherina on the podcast to talk about the broader lessons she’s learned in helping families navigate the early identification of neurodivergence. We talk about the importance of looking past the diagnosis, how to deal with negative behavior while also maintaining connection, and the ways she supports parents in maximizing their relationship with their child and with each other. This is one of those packed conversations with lots of great insights, and I love how Cherina’s passion for her work shines through. I hope you enjoy it!
About Cherina: Cherina Williams received her undergraduate degree at Clark Atlanta University in 2006 in Speech Communication. Upon completion of her degree, she worked in academia before enrolling in graduate school to pursue a master’s degree at the University of West Georgia in 2008. Throughout her tenure in graduate school, Cherina continued to establish herself as a pediatric speech and language pathologist, taking advantage of various externships in the Atlanta area.
Once she completed graduate school in 2011 Cherina worked at Children’s Hospital & Research Center, Oakland (now CHRCO & UCSF Benioff) in their outpatient clinic as a Pediatric Speech and Language Pathologist under the supervision of Robin Violette. In 2013, Cherina started a private practice, I Heart Speech Therapy, where she sub-specialized serving the birth to three population.
Understanding the unique needs of serving the birth to three population, Cherina learned the true value of finding the balance between educating parents, teaching parents how to generalize therapeutic goals, and creating effective avenues to ensure that client goals were being met. Cherina learned that parents wanted answers on how to be an asset for their child’s growth and development, so she began writing the most frequently asked questions to try and serve the broader audience.
It is Cherina’s ultimate goal to help families maximize their relationship with their child using play as a medium.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- What should parents do if they sense their toddler is developing differently and which sort of behaviors typically bring families to Cherina for support
- How Cherina initially supports and advises families so they don’t “awfulize” the fact that their child may be neurodivergent
- How can parents of toddlers who are differently wired can develop a strong relationship with them, including when the child’s behavior might be difficult or explosive
- How couples can build a solid foundation when they first discover their child is differently wired, so they can be better aligned in support of their child
- The most important things Cherina wants families in the initial stage of diagnosis with their child to know
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