Thom Board of Directors Hears Presentations from 2019 Fazzio Scholars

2019 Fazzio Scholars pictured from left to right: Jacqueline Herrera, Thom Charles River; Erin Andrew, Thom Springfield Infant Toddler Services; Amy Azzaro, Thom Boston Metro

On May 21, 2019, Thom’s Board of Directors heard presentations from some of the 2019 Fazzio Scholars.  The scholars were invited to the meeting to share details about attendance at learning opportunities which the board funded.

Erin Andrew, a speech language pathologist from Thom Springfield Infant Toddler Services, is in the process of becoming a certified therapist in the Early Start Denver Model, an evidence-based intervention model specifically developed for very young children with autism.  The model is play-based and combines behavioral and developmental principles into an integrated approach for working with children.  Intervention is implemented in natural settings by trained therapists as well as by parents within play and daily routines. The ESDM aims to reduce the symptoms of autism and target all developmental areas.  Erin is working with the leadership team at the Springfield location to strategize the best way to incorporate the model into practice.

Amy Azzaro is a physical therapist working at our Thom Boston Metro program and discussed the Pediatric Vestibular Rehabilitation course she attended and how it is influencing her work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Because hearing loss affects balance and motor skills, Amy wanted to increase her knowledge base and skill set in working with this particular population.  In collaboration with other specialists at her site who work with children with hearing loss, Amy would like to create a multidisciplinary team to work closely with this population.

Jacqueline Herrera, a tri-lingual developmental specialist from the Thom Charles River location in Waltham, shared her experience of becoming a facilitator of the Abriendo Puertas curriculum, an evidence-based parent leadership training program for Latino parents with children ages 0-5.  With a high population of Latino families enrolled at the Waltham site, there is a need to provide services in a culturally sensitive manner and providing a parent group based on the Abriendo Puertas curriculum is one way to meet that need.  The first group to go through the 10-week program recently graduated and Jacqueline is looking to quickly build on the success of that group by offering another.

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