When I first heard about Main Street, I felt incredibly touched by everything it stands for. I have been involved in the special needs community in many capacities over the years – first and foremost, as a mom. Like so many others I navigated the world of early intervention, followed by chasing one symptom after the next, yet trying to balance promoting change with acceptance.

During those early years, I volunteered with Cure Autism Now, followed by working for Autism Speaks. During my time with Autism Speaks, I had the opportunity to get to know many families. Sitting with them in their triumphs, struggles, joy and pain inspired me to get involved in a deeper way.

During this time, I decided to pursue a career in counseling and built a group practice called The Counseling Center of Maryland which provides individual, couple, family and group therapy. Our practice places an emphasis on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which is the treatment that helps individuals regulate their emotions, the PEERs model, which is the evidence-based treatment for social skills, and other treatment modalities that specifically benefit individuals with special needs and their families.

We work with many adults and have made great strides in meeting goals and making life-changing improvements. We have also found that the majority of our clients who have special needs struggle with loneliness and feelings of isolation.

Main Street is bringing to our area the fundamental piece that has been missing for so many individuals for so long – community. It will be so much more than a residential development. The ongoing activities, all of which will be inclusive to all, will provide a way to help our clients have a sense of connection and belonging. My family and I look forward to being a part of the community.