What is it about the magic of each child’s developmental life that has drawn me to make it my career? I marvel at the way children seem to transform right before our eyes and this becomes a constant reminder to me that I too am always in the process of changing. The unique way each child absorbs the world, and so becomes the world, shows me my own kinship with all life. In effect, every child I care for becomes my precious teacher, and in so doing, humbles me, enhances my life and brings me spiritual enrichment.
As a developmental pediatrician, the skills I have cultivated over the past 20 years allow me to carefully examine the places where a child may be struggling and find opportunities to unleash the creative powers of nature. When we label a developmental disorder such as ADHD or Autism, it is but a snapshot of a moment in time. What children have taught me is that there is no end to the potential for change. There is no doubt that the earlier we notice where a child’s path is becoming distorted, the easier it is to promote healthy development. Nature teaches in cycles and we are repeatedly given opportunities to learn its lessons. By adapting the holistic perspective inherent in Chinese medicine, I’ve created The Five Phase Cycle of Childhood, which I have found extremely practical in helping parents understand how to help their children most effectively at each stage of life.
We exist on a continuum in continual dialogue with our circumstances. Recognizing those forces of our circumstances that range from nutrition to family, friends, technology and school, it is possible to reshape your children’s developmental path in a way that allows them to manifest their greatest gifts. Each time I hold a newborn in my hands, I am reminded that we are all born with rich potential but helpless and completely dependent on others. For parents and practitioners, this realization has the power to open our hearts to compassion. It is only when compassion is combined with skill that truly effective ways are discovered to help each child find the freedom to transform his or her particular adaptive style. The real joy in working with families is that together we get a glimpse of the power and mystery of our own human development.