I am writing to share with you my personal experiences with Hope Fernicola while she was treating my son (age 2 ½ years at the time of treatment). My son has a diagnosis of Verbal Apraxia and Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I was led to Hope by my Neuro-developmental Pediatrician at Morristown Memorial Hospital. At that time, the Neuro-developmental Pediatrician recommended speech therapy with an emphasis on oral-motor and PROMPT therapy and encouraged me to contact TEAM HOPE.
Upon meeting Hope in a consultation, Hope truly listened to all my concerns and advised on how she could help from a speech therapy standpoint. She also informed me of other professionals that may help me put the pieces together in regards to specific issues I was seeing with my son. She seemed to take great interest in what the other professionals (i.e, sleep specialist, allergist, holistic RN, LPN) had to say about my son and often would keep up-to-date with me through emails. Thus, she was interested in the holistic picture of my son!
Overall, Hope is very knowledgeable and passionate about her field of expertise. She was constantly engaging in activities / continuing education courses to enhance her skills. Being a pediatric occupational therapist, I highly respect the degree of dedication that Hope has to her profession and the children she works with. From a professional standpoint, Hope was always extremely prompt to address matters that arose and would extent herself beyond my son's treatment time to help me with matters regarding insurance coverage and dealing with my son's public pre-school (pre-school disabled).
Hope always went above and beyond to customize her approach to meet my son's needs when necessary. For example, she recognized that my son, due to sensory issues, had difficulty sitting and focusing to complete oral motor exercises. Thus, Hope recommended a speech and occupational therapy co-treatment which ended up being a very beneficial treatment approach for my son.
My son stopped going to Hope in August 2009. He had made nice gains with Hope and was starting speech therapy in his public pre-school disabled program. Thus, Hope provided me with a thorough discharge plan and suggestions for the school speech therapist. Although, my son stopped going to Hope, I often was able to contact Hope for professional opinions in regards to my son's progress and his speech therapy program at school. Hope continues to respond to my concerns and questions to this very day. She has been an asset to have as a professional contact as I deal with my son's journey.
My wish to anyone reading this letter, is that you find the therapy services that best fit your child's specific needs. As a parent and a therapist, I want to share with you that there are a lot of therapists out there that are "just doing a job". Be aware of this and assure that you find a therapist that has the knowledge, skill, and dedication like that of Hope Fernicola. I know the journey may be frustrating and confusing but finding the correct services for your child is worth it!
I hope that this letter helps you on your journey with your child.