Why I’m Here…

         I guess you could say I came into the world of child development through the “back door.”

         I started out my career in nursing with working in emergency, fulfilled with the opportunity to work both “in the air” as a helicopter flight nurse, and “at sea” as a cruise ship nurse.  Working for CalSTAR,  I entered the world of pediatrics, and focused my career in that direction. I  had the opportunity to teach pediatrics to both nursing and paramedic students.

          Then came the world of parenthood, with the birth of my daughter Chelsea now 24, followed by my identical twin sons Cameron and Matthew (21 years old).  My twin pregnancy was complicated by Twin-to-Twin Transfusion syndrome, and my twins were born at 32 weeks gestation.  My life took a “new path” as we realized that Cameron had cerebral palsy, and was visually impaired. I had entered the world of disability and special needs. I had to look at child development in a whole new light, and build new hopes, dreams and values as they related to me, my children, my family and my community.  The most important of which were inclusion and belonging.

           Over fifteen years ago, I had the opportunity to join the world of early intervention, when I accepted the position of Coordinator for the Early Start Program. I jumped at the chance to go back to school and earn my MA and credential in Early Childhood Special Education. I currently work as an Infant/Toddler Teacher,  providing service coordination and infant development services to families with a child 0-3 who has a developmental delay(s) or disability. I am fortunate to spend most of my time doing home visits, providing encouragement, coaching, strategies, and hope to families and caregivers.

           Instructing in the ECE Dept. at Cabrillo brought me back to the world of adult learning, and the diverse student population that the field of child development attracts. As I teach, I learn, and want to know more and more. Five years ago, I completed an Infant-Parent Mental Health Postgraduate Certification Program fellowship, where I have had the opportunity to take this quest for knowledge to a new level, and currently I have returned to Napa for a Reflective Supervision, Consultation and Facilitation Academy.  How we support families to love and understand their unique child is critical, and we in early childhood education and pediatrics have an important role to advocate for children and families in our community, state, nation, and the world!

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10/31/16 I am thrilled to announce I am now working with WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies, with the Map to Inclusion and Belonging !



2 responses to “Why I’m Here…

  1. What a beautiful family! Dana is a shinning example of living life to the fullest! I have gained so much knowledge In the classes I have taken from her. What a rich resource for children, and families!

  2. Oh I reallly enjoyed the photos, they show me your life and work, and your happiness!
    Congratulations for your family living. The family is the best we have.

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