Did you know Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are the fastest growing developmental disabilities in the world today, affecting 1 in 59 children?
It takes a team approach to deliver exceptional care to children with ASD. Nowhere is that more evident than at Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida.
As the clinical coordinator for Easterseals’ Autism Center of Excellence, Debbie Neller, OTR/L, has the privilege of meeting with families, conducting autism diagnostic testing, and presenting her findings to physicians.
“Every day I am able to discuss observations, situations and unusual findings with others on our team who have wisdom and knowledge I may not have,” Neller said. “I don’t have to look far to find resources for myself as well as for the families I interact with.”
As the mother of a special needs child, she understands the alternating emotions of fear and hope that many parents experience.
“I am inspired every day by the children we serve and their families who come with concerns, hopes and fears,” she said. “To be able to speak to their concerns, maybe even alleviate some, and connect on common ground is so fulfilling. Having ‘walked a mile in their shoes,’ it is the ultimate full circle to be able to offer guidance and help to families who may feel lost.”
Since she joined the Easterseals in 1995, Neller has gained confidence, a sense of purpose, and a drive to help these families. She has also found the uncommon element of pure joy in her work.
“I can make a difference,” she said. “On a professional level, I am stretched each and every day. Children are amazing in all they are, and no two are alike. Working together with these amazing children and their parents, the Easterseals team is able to provide quality and compassionate care.”
Easterseals’ Autism Center of Excellence is a recognized leader in providing early diagnosis, functional assessment and intervention treatments for children with ASD. Learn more about Easterseals at www.eastersealsnecfl.org.