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My Journey to Spectrum of Light

Updated: Feb 12

In 2004, armed with a child and youth worker diploma, my vision was clear - running social skills groups, counseling, and being the beloved CYW everyone admires. Little did I know that my path would eventually lead to me launching Spectrum of Light Support Services. 

 

Starting out my journey as a CYW, I worked at a group-living treatment center with dual diagnosed teens. I learned a lot during that time. Not only did I learn about working with complex psychiatric disorders, but I also learned a lot about myself as a professional.  

 

Fast forward a couple of years, I found myself supporting students in a school setting with developmental challenges. Feeling ill-equipped, I delved into research, questions, and observations. I began to see each unique kiddo as more than their disability. They were bringing joy, strength, and purpose into my life. Supporting their challenging behaviors became a transformative journey of self-awareness and learning. I had to learn to look beyond the behviour and was expected to be able to support everyone’s safety while still maintaining calm within the classroom.   

 

Once I had more experience under my belt, I started working within a capacity-building role at the school board. During this time, I received training as a CPI Instructor. This experience as well as my knowledge of ABA marked a turning point. I was always taught that all behavior is communication. But now, I could actually understand it. Each grab, yell, launch, bite, hair pull or hit, was a form of communication, not just random actions. 

For the next few years, I continued to support classroom teams in working with complex students. Even the most challenging students became favorites. Witnessing small gains brought joy, and helping others implement supportive strategies felt like I was making a difference. 

 

After 10 years in this role I changed my path and began working in social services. During this time I got training in Cognitive Behviour Therapy, Dialectic Behviour Therapy and I also became a certified life coach. I quickly recognized the struggles of parents and caregivers. Feeling lost and overwhelmed, they lacked support not just within the system, but at home too.  


For quite some time I wanted to launch my own support service, but wasn’t quite sure which direction I wanted to go in. I even had a name picked out – Spectrum of Light. To me, Spectrum of Light signifies that developmental disabilities don’t manifest the same way for everyone. Some folks experience more complex needs than others, often having co-morbid diagnoses.

Nonetheless, they all bring light into the world and are all an important part of our community. 

 

My work in the social services world helped me recognize a need in the system. Spectrum of Light Support Services stemmed from a gap—limited programs for parents and caregivers. Burnout and mental health needs are often unaddressed and caregiver supports are severely lacking.

 

Along the journey of creating Spectrum of Light, I became a parent of a neurodivergent child. My son's ADHD and LD diagnosis hit differently, reminding me that even with knowledge, being a parent to a neurodivergent child is a distinct challenge. Taking a deep breath, I drew on my expertise to navigate this new journey.

 

Spectrum of Light Support Services isn't just about offering skills and expertise; it's about bringing personal experience and passion to the table. Supporting neurodiverse individuals has become a core part of my identity and purpose. 

 

I hope to be able to help others and offer a beacon of support and understanding in the complex journey of caring for neurodivergent individuals. 



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