Specialties and Certifications
Neurodiverse Parenting Specialist
Neurodiverse Couples Specialist
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Certificate in Emotionally Focused Therapy
Has experience in multiple neurodiverse relationships, family (father ADHD, brother ASD), children, and partner
Mother of neurodiverse boy/girl 16-year-old twins
NT/ND co-parenting experience
Former careers in the arts, arts education, and non-profit administration
Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy
Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology
I was raised in the Chicago area in a working-class family that believed in bootstraps and quietly bearing life’s trials. Therapy was for other people, viewed with a mixture of skepticism and opposition.
As the only girl out of four children and the first person in my family to go to college, I always felt a bit different. I received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, then an M.A, New York University, eventually leaving a Ph.D. program at NYU to pursue a career in theater and film.
During this time, I found myself questioning the beliefs I held about therapy, especially when I had post-partum depression after the birth of my twins, and then when my son and daughter experienced challenges due to neurodiversity and the strain our children’s needs brought to my marriage.
Life experience shapes us in many ways. For me, it made for an indirect path to finding my calling. This journey has reinforced my deeply-held belief that being able to reach out to others is an under-recognized strength, I have a profound appreciation for how difficult it can be to seek out help.
Main Areas of Focus
I know of nobody who is purely autistic or purely neurotypical. Even God had some autistic moments, which is why the planets all spin”
– Jerry Newport. Your Life is Not a Label
Diversity is the one thing we all have in common, and neurodiversity is part of what makes the mosaic of humanity so rich.
Our goal is NOT to help the neurodiverse “fit into” the neurotypical world. While a square peg can probably be forced into a round hole, that might only work by damaging or changing the peg. Instead, we seek to build upon the strengths and strategies that each person brings when creating attachments with those around them.
We honor each person’s uniqueness by creating a respectful, nonjudgmental space that will allow a safe place for growth and connection to flourish, both inside and outside the therapeutic experience.
Parenting Neurodiverse Children
For a moment imagine what it is like for a child to have one adult after another bending down and speaking to them with impatience, frustration, and annoyance in their faces and voices. Imagine how overwhelming this is for a child who already experiences heightened sensory and emotional sensitivity.
Children with neurodiversity, and especially ADHD often feel they are not good at doing things, or not “good,” and letting their parents down. Your positive and loving relationship with your child is what matters most. Feeling safe and understood will help your child build resilience.
Bridging the generation gap can be challenging for parents and children whose brains work in similar ways, it can be even more tricky when it feels like you are speaking different languages through the filter of neurodiversity. Julie works with the family as a team supporting the needs and concerns of parents while honoring each child’s singular experience.
Julie encourages connections through validation and communication, including behavior as a form of communication.
Have you always felt you or your partner saw the world a little differently, but it was only when your child was assessed for neurodiversity that this difference started to come into focus? For many, their child’s journey is integral in understanding more about difficulties they, themselves, have experienced.
Or have you long known that you were parenting through the lens of ADHD, or ASD and now you are seeking more understanding and skills to connect with your neurodiverse or neurotypical children?
With the miraculous addition of a child, your family underwent a metamorphosis. It can become a challenge to nurture the original union even while partners are trying to pull together during these wonderful transitions. Life’s demands, including the demands of parenting, can take their toll on how a couple connects physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
For individuals who differ in their neurodiversity, this difference may require more focused attention to build and maintain connection. Showing up for each other means honoring each partner and family member’s strengths and needs. In therapy, you will work with Julie to identify goals and patterns of interaction and work collaboratively to create new communication patterns that grow from a place of open-heartedness and connection.
Sharing a parenting relationship is among the most enduring experiences in life. Even after the dissolution of a marriage, connection through children remains. When one co-parent is neurodivergent there may be additional communication and executive function challenges that further complicate this delicate relationship.