Our Child development contributors

Curious Neuron aims to bring together specialists in fields related to all aspects of child development and to provide you with important information that you can apply at home with your children. 

 

Learning and the Brain

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Cindy Hovington. Founder of Curious Neuron

Montreal, Canada.

Cindy Hovington holds a doctoral degree in neuroscience from McGill University. Her studies focused on emotions and memory in people with psychosis. During her studies at the Douglas Mental Health Institute in Montreal, she had the pleasure of becoming one of the coordinators of an award winning science outreach program called BrainReach. This sparked her interest in education which motivated her to pursue her postdoctoral fellowship in science education. She started Curious Neuron in 2013 with the hopes of merging neuroscience and learning to inform parents and teachers. 

Specialities: Neuroscience, play-based learning, mental health, cognition.


Saskia

Toronto, Canada.

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Saskia is a knowledge translation specialist; her expertise is in making research evidence accessible and applicable to health and education. She is currently at the Ontario Brain Institute where she works with scientists and patients to bridge the gap between neuroscience research and patient care. Saskia is passionate about connecting neuroscience and education and has experience in both fields, including clinical neuroimaging research at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and program and curriculum development for students with dyslexia at NoticeAbility. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Mind, Brain and Education from Harvard University.


Counselling and Psychology

Bianca

Montreal, Canada.

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Bianca holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master’s of Educational Counselling. She is a member of the Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d'orientation du Québec
Bianca has over 10 years experience working with children and youth with various learning difficulties. She started her career as an integration aid implementing ABA therapy (Applied Behavioural Analysis) with young children on the autism spectrum, in daycare and home settings. She has experience working with children on social skills, emotional and behavioural regulation and helping with sensory processing.

Bianca has worked as a guidance counsellor working with adolescents and young adults. She has experience helping students to work through feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, motivation, low self-esteem, and family and peer conflict.  


 

Lourdes (lulu)

Montreal, Canada.

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Lulu is a licensed psychologist from the University of Havana. For seven years, She enjoyed working with children at the Cuban Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, teasing apart different cognitive and emotional alterations. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at McGill University, searching for the underlying causes of childhood disorders like ADHD and ASD.

Specialties: Neuroscience, ADHD, ASD, cognition.

 

Dr. Elizabeth Quon

Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Dr. Elizabeth Quon is a clinical psychologist working in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received her PhD from Concordia University in 2014 and completed her pre-doctoral residency at Sick Kids Hospital. Dr. Quon works at the IWK Health Centre mental health program with children and adolescents and their families presenting with various mental health concerns, including anxiety, mood issues, behavioural concerns, sleep problems, and eating disorders. Her treatment approach is primarily cognitive-behavioural, with integration of mindfulness and emotion-focused strategies. Dr. Quon's research interests include socioeconomic inequalities in child health, eating disorders and obesity, and sleep problems in children and adolescents. Dr. Quon is the mother of two young boys. She enjoys reading, baking, and spending time outdoors with her family.


Research

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Bailey

Oklahoma, USA

Bailey is finishing up a Masters of Science in Family Studies and Child Development at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she also received her Bachelors degree. She has a background in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders as well as other developmental disabilities. Due to a background in Applied Behavior Analysis, Bailey specializes in functional communication training, inclusive classroom environments, positive guidance and behavior management strategies. Currently, Bailey works with Early Childhood educators, training them on how to set up and manage educational environments that promote learning and development through play. She has also presented original research over the course of the last two years on topics such as: playground accessibility and parental attitudes towards early learning programming.


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Alexandria

Montreal, Canada.

Alexandria is a graduate student in the Child Studies department at Concordia University. She has a background in psychology with a specialization in second language speech disfluencies. Currently, her goal is to understand how parents and teachers can use play as a means to develop language skills in children of various abilities. 

 


Elsa

Montreal, Canada

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I'm a research professional with a Master's degree in Neuroscience. I specialized in memory studies, in particular, memory associated brain activities and their relations to the genetic risk factors of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Through my studies in Neuroscience, I have worked with youth diagnosed with learning disabilities. My main duty was to coach the adolescents toward greater autonomy and academic success, through clinical observations and the implementation of various coping strategies pertaining to ADHD, dyslexia and anxiety disorders. My curiosity about the human condition started with my pursuit of studies in French Literature and gradually grew into a thirst for a systematic understanding of human behaviours. I believe in the profound connection between literature and human emotions. Since November 2017, I have begun to explore the power of writing and non-discriminative listening to foster greater personal growth and prevent mental health deterioration. At Curious Neuron, I am excited to promote knowledge about memory formation, advocate for reflective writing, and to share my experiences working with youth diagnosed with learning disabilities.  


 

early childhood educatION

and play Specialists

I-yatah

Montreal, Canada

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I-yatah is an Early Childhood educator and Owner of
Kidtabulous Mobile Childcare, which provides onsite childcare for any event. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Concordia University. She has worked with children for many years as an educator, animator, and English Second Language teacher. She has been working as an early childhood educator for over 10 years, during which she has become an expert nose wiper, hug-giver, shoe lace-tyer, ‘use-your- words’ repeater, and creative-educational- activities designer among many other things . When she is not working with kids, you can find her relaxing at home with family, probably watching a good movie.


Sarah

Vancouver, Canada

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Sarah is an Upper Elementary Montessori Teacher, and has been teaching in a public Montessori school since 2006.  Sarah has her 0-3 AMI Montessori Assistant Certification and 6-12 AMS Montessori Teacher Certification.  Last year, she completed a Professional Organization course and started working with families to create a "Prepared Environment" for their children using Montessori principles and philosophy (@the_prepared_environment).  Her daughter, Layla, is her inspiration for minimizing at home and working on setting up a space that is organized and child-friendly. (Click here to see Sarah’s articles for children ages 6+)


Meghan

Illinois, USA

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Meghan is the creator of New Trick Kids, a resource for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-5. She holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with specialization in language arts and social science. Meghan also holds her TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification and would love to someday teach abroad. Meghan has a wide variety of teaching experience (fun fact- she’s taught every grade except 4th), but the littlest learners hold a special place in her heart. As a mother to a sweet toddler, she enjoys blending her passion for teaching and curriculum development into her new job as a Mom.


Zara

Melbourne, Australia

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Zara is a Primary School Teacher and mother of two. She taught for 8 years before having her children and now is a full time play-at-home-mum. Whilst teaching, she was lucky enough to gain experience with all primary aged students. Now that she is at home, she is enjoying combining her passion for learning and play with her role as a mother. She has a holistic approach to teaching and learning and believes that attention needs to  be paid to a child’s physical, personal, social, emotional and spiritual well-being as well as cognitive aspects of learning.


Sarah

Virginia, USA

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Hi! My name is Sarah Wallace. I’m a military wife and mom of two young children. I am fortunate enough to stay at home with my children and we spend our days exploring nature, baking, reading, doing activities and playing. Before becoming a stay at home mom of two, I was an early childhood educator for 10 years. Recently I have developed a preschool directed shop featuring activities that promote creativity and learning using mostly natural materials. I am passionate about and committed to fostering over-all health, happiness and success of children, focusing particularly on these early years of development. You can follow me on Instagram @poppyspreschool


PAediatric Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy

Allison Mell and Maryann Deutsch

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Allison Mell, PT, DPT and Maryann Deutsch, MS, OT/L, cofounded Tots On Target to help bridge the gap between parents, teachers, and child development therapists. Through informative social media posts filled with activities and educational videos, they hope to empower others to help all tots stay on target! To contact Allison and Maryann, email info@totsontarget.com and follow their Tots On Target Facebook and Instagram pages to continue learning more!


Kristia (Paediatric OT)

Cyprus

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Kristia is paediatric Occupational Therapist (OT), working mainly with kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is a private practitioner and the owner of a private clinic in Limassol town in Cyprus which includes a multidisciplinary team with 4 OTs, 3 Speech Therapists, psychologist, art therapist, special educator and child psychiatrist. Our team is focusing on working with kids with developmental disorders/ delays or difficulties. We are a child and family center oriented applying approaches that include family as a part of the team. She is currently a Ph.D. student starting her thesis which will focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has been working as a paediatric OT since January 2001.

 

speech language pathologist's

Stefanie

Montreal, Canada.

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Stefanie, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, graduated from the University of Toronto in 2016, and has since been gaining valuable experience in the assessment, treatment and management of communication disorders in the pediatric population. Stefanie has a true appreciation for the value of communication and she continuously strives to provide individuals with the opportunity to reach their maximum potential. She is passionate about advocating for her clients and her goal is to provide the best quality of care through assessment, treatment, and patient/family education.

While Stefanie’s specialty is in treating children with limitations in social communication, she possesses a skill set to assess and treat various speech and language disorders such as motor speech disorders, voice disorders, language based learning disabilities, and dyslexia/dysgraphia and has worked with special populations including ASD, Down Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay, Fragile X Syndrome and more. Moreover, Stefanie continues to enhance her knowledge by attending workshops, training and seminars related to her field of practice,  and by keeping up to date with current evidence-based research.   

·      Member of l’Ordre des orthophonistes et audiologistes du Québec since 2016

·      Member of Speech-Language & Audiology Canada since 2016

·      Certified in Hanen: More Than Words

·      Certified in PROMPT

·      Additional training in Social Thinking, Voice Disorders, Literacy and more


nutrition

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Tamara

Montreal, Canada.

Tamara has been a registered dietitian with the Order of Professional Dietitians of Quebec (OPDQ)  and has a doctorate degree in Nutritional Science from McGill University. For seven years at McGill University, she enjoyed working with children with obesity and their families, helping them change their lifestyle behaviours in order to achieve healthy body weights. Tamara enjoys the challenges that come with children and nutrition and as a mother of two young boys, understands how frustrating dinner time can be.  

Tamara is the R. Howard Webster Foundation Scientist in Nutrition and Lifestyle at the PERFORM Centre at Concordia University, where she is establishing a research program that examines lifestyle practices as they relate to healthy body weights. She hopes to create studies that will support individuals, including children and adolescents in achieving healthy lifestyle changes.

Specialties: nutrition, children’s eating behaviours, children with obesity or overweight


Perinatal Care and sleep consultation

Laury

Montreal, Canada.

My name is Laury Peroff. I am a proud mom of three adult children and I have worked in community services for over 25 years. I am a doula but I am much more! I have worked with families helping with organizational skills, development and stimulation in young children, cooking and nutrition, introducing solids, prenatal for groups or private and of course breastfeeding help.

I am certified by CAA and work with the police departments in different cities so that your children are safe in their car seats. We do multiple clinics a year and I am happy to check your installation always for free. If you have any questions about buying the right seat or installing it properly please contact me.

I have grief training and have had the honor of accompanying families in difficult times.  I am a member of the Dietary Dispensary of Montreal, Ligue La Leche, 4korners resource center and Alternative Naissance.   

I love to teach! And I love to learn! When I was working in the resource center, I put together a program for 2-8 month old babies and a second stage course for 8-14 month olds. I have many experiments that can be done using household items and even the moms and dads loved the stuff!


Lesley Everest

Montreal, Canada.

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Lesley Everest has been accompanying families through the intimate transitions of birth, early parenting, and loss for twenty-five years.  As a mother of four and a long-time birth/postpartum doula, she brings tremendous experience and knowledge to her role of offering information, comfort, and emotional support to all expressions of birth and parenthood.  Lesley Everest provides insightful support for extraordinary transformation.

Nourishing the healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual beginnings of Family is Lesley’s passion. Her educational background includes professional training in many different forms of massage/bodywork, human bonding and infant sleep, psychosynthesis psychotherapy,, non-sectarian ministry, maternal mental health support, as well as transformational coaching.  Her greatest teachers have been Birth, living with and healing from invasive cancer, and Motherhood.

Birth and early parenting in modern times can be isolating, lacking in the resources vulnerable parents-to-be/new parents need in order to experience themselves as worthy and whole.  Lesley volunteers many hours of her time creating and facilitating spaces community can gather safely within, believing in the nourishment good connection provides.

Lesley is the founder of MotherWit Doula Care agencies in Montreal and Ottawa as well as MotherWit Doula Training.  A sought after speaker and writer, Lesley is frequently invited to speak on topics in childbirth and parent support around North America.


DISCLAIMER: The advice offered by our Curious Neuron Contributors is intended for informational purposes only. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately specialist in person. The opinions or views expressed by our Curious Neuron Contributors are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. Curious Neuron and its contributors, are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions. Thank you.
— Cindy Hovington, Ph.D. and the Curious Neuron Team