Wishing you peace, love, and joyful kids in 2020!

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

Happy (almost) New Year and welcome to the blog for my new business, In-Motional Development, LLC! First, let me introduce myself. I'm Jessica Hawkins, a working mom living in suburban Maryland. Like most of you, I wear so many hats these days, I'm starting to lose track. But the great thing is that, although I have a lot on my plate (much of it self-imposed), I feel that now, more than ever, I am evolving to discover and define exactly who I am. I am putting the puzzle pieces of my life experiences together to create the whole picture.

And that is exactly how my business started- by putting the pieces of my life and career together to develop a holistic system of prevention, intervention, and coaching to help families develop and reach their full potential. First and foremost, I am a mom of three (ages 2, 4.5, and 7) who is far from perfect and facing the same challenges as most of my clients. My kids are no different than yours- we have a variety of temperaments, strengths, and challenges in our home and each child is continuously growing and changing. They keep my husband, Matt, and I forever on our toes. Lucky for me (and Matt), the universe has given me several key pieces to make sense of the great puzzle of early childhood and how to parent the tiny tyrants who turn our worlds upside down.

The first piece begins with my career as a speech-language pathologist with 12 years experience in the public schools, private practice, and early intervention system treating a plethora of delays and disorders. This aspect of my career has given me opportunities to work with a variety of populations including developmental delays, feeding/oral motor disorders, Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, language-based literacy disorders, processing disorders, medically fragile children, articulation/phonological disorders, processing disorders, ADHD, and anxiety-based language disorders. I love treating little ones; however, I have found that my work as an SLP is not nearly as successful as it could (and should) be if parents and caregivers are not key partners in my intervention with their children AND if the social-emotional foundation for development is not solidly established. So, how do we do that?

The next piece of the puzzle is my training in the SEFEL/Pyramid Model to promote social-emotional competence of infants and young children and in becoming an effective coach to parents and caregivers. This has been a pivotal piece in my puzzle of effective intervention because it is truly the key in dealing with the challenging behavior that all of our children test us with every day. The stability of this pyramid is dependent upon it's work force (yes, that's you!). When parents, teachers, and care providers are not functioning optimally, we aren't able to provide the nurturing and responsive relationships or create the high quality and supportive environments that our children need to develop in a positive direction. Therefore, one branch of my business begins at at ground zero, providing coaching in mindful parenting (which includes self-care) to support parents in their own development as they get to know this new, and challenging job of raising human beings. Just like you, I'm navigating this world of parenthood and using mindfulness tools to improve my own self-care and parenting. If I am not my best self, how can I get annoyed with my kids for not being their best selves? As we work our way up the pyramid, I'm able to utilize my expertise in speech and language therapy and behavioral intervention to provide individualized supports based on each child and their family's needs. Some of my greatest satisfaction has come from coaching parents through the nitty gritty of infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood (feeding issues, self-regulation challenges, tantrums, sleep difficulties, potty training, you name it). I provide plenty of strategies and some personal anecdotes (because, let's face it- I'm in the trenches), but use truly effective coaching practices to support them as they empower themselves to face the challenges that come with being the caregiver of a young child.

The last piece of my puzzle fell into my lap, by chance, when I attended a local continuing education course for Talk Yoga™. Little did I know that this would be the piece that would tie it all together for me. This revolutionary curriculum of combining the benefits of yoga with speech and language therapy was a way to work with parents and children of all ages and to promote social-emotional development WHILE treating speech and language disorders. This gave me the motivation to discover what else was out there (because, why stop at just one solution??) and seek out further education in mindfulness as a treatment tool, for both parents/caregivers and children. I also dug in to the world of growth mindset and positive thinking and came out confident and empowered enough to piece it all together and start my own business!

I can't say that I ever imagined myself as an entrepreneur, but my research and experience has completely impacted me in knowing that I have the tools within me to create a vision and accomplish my dreams (oh yeah, I've also gotten some awesome confidence building and business mindset tools as a Beautycounter consultant...more on my passion for clean living later). I've also learned that I can do this on my own timeline, without judgement, and while still being present for myself and my family. I KNOW these tools work and I WANT to share them with you and your families! I hope you will continue to follow In-Motional Development, LLC, watch it grow, and try out some of my services!

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