Child development family stories

Well Child

Falling asleep on his own – Rachael’s story

Abe noticeably improved again after today’s session! He was able to calm himself and just relax in his exersaucer while I was making dinner tonight- that never happens! Normally fussing escalates, but tonight he fussed for maybe 30 seconds and then popped his nuk in and just patiently watched me.

My husband came home and Abe smiled and waved at him and kept sitting contentedly. Tim’s exact words were, “Did he have a session today? He’s so relaxed! Maybe you should go more often!” 

He’s so relaxed now!      

Bedtime went much better too! Only about 30 minutes to get him to sleep and he’s still sleeping soundly a few hours later.

Next day update:  I just wanted to share with you the results from Abe’s season yesterday! 

Abe was able to put himself back to sleep TWICE last night. He’s never done that even once before! He didn’t cry, just talked to himself for a minute and went back to sleep! 

Went to bed easily

He was so happy all day, even with only a 40 min nap in the car on the way home. He didn’t ask for his nuk the rest of the day. He was the happiest guy, playing and laughing all day. He went to bed so easily at bedtime. He woke up only once for milk at 5am, then back to sleep until 9am! I actually got to sleep in my own bed for once!          

Today he has been so happy, cooperative, and patient. Peaceful nap. We’re moving into his normally fussy time and he still is in just the best mood! Thank you so much for yet another great session!   🙂  We’re so thankful for all you’ve done to help us!

Developmental delay

No longer a passive observer  – Meghan’s story    

Sean was very low tone, mostly sitting in his mama’s lap with overall delays in movement, social interaction and speech.  Sean wasn’t able to lift his head up or to sit on his own.  He  showed little interest in toys.

Crawling & language take off

After a series of sessions in developmental movement and craniosacral therapy, including a home program, Sean’s tone began to brighten.  He began to reach for toys, to develop strength and to move around the room.  With his increasing ability to go for it, Sean’s language started coming in, and then took off in grand leaps.   

Now I know what hands-on and movement activities will help Sean continue developing his strength, agility and ability to take hold of his world.   


Learning new parenting skills – Mary M-W’s story

I was referred to Catherine by another practitioner.  She listened and interacted sensitively and perceptively to my concerns and observations about my son.  I had a gut feeling that we were “almost there but something was still missing” in addressing his needs, and she has been able to take him to a new level of wellness.                

When my son first saw Catherine, he was 10 months old.  I wondered what treatment might look like for one so young and active.  He certainly wasn’t going to lie still on a table!  But, her treatment room was set up for kids to play with many developmentally appropriate toys. 

Catherine is not only a wonderful practitioner but also a great teacher.  She is very skilled at explaining how the body works, what she is doing and why.  I so appreciate the way she always sends me home with suggestions and new skills for furthering my child’s wellness on my own… be it exercises, massage techniques, or ways of adapting my home to make a more developmentally appropriate space.

Mary M-W

Looking at our faces more – Nicole’s story

We have had developmental concerns about our son Joren for nearly a year. We were referred to Mamabebe a few months ago and have felt encouraged, empowered and educated through our partnership with Catherine. We have seen huge gains since we began working with her!     

Joren was more interested in objects than in people. Now he is looking at our faces consistently when we use toys to draw his attention to our facial features. Previously when working with Joren on his social skills, we were told to remove all toys from the room to get him to be more interactive with us. Catherine taught us techniques to use toys to help Joren engage our faces. It’s working better to start with his interest and draw him to us.

Although just starting to pull up, Joren had started going up stairs, but wouldn’t safely go down. Catherine gave us many ideas of how to position and move slowly down. Now Joren is having fun at the playground going on slides with confidence! We are so grateful for the practical steps the home program has offered us!

– Nicole

Profound Challenge

High risks for delays – Anna’s story

Due to complications during my pregnancy, my son Henry was born with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction), resulting in a very low birth weight, and risks for developmental delays. I sought out Catherine for support and guidance in helping Henry reach his full potential during his first year.

Movements wake up neural paths

As a yoga instructor, I connected immediately with Catherine’s use of movement. She showed me how to work with his natural movement patterns and reflexes in order to ‘wake up’ neurological pathways; pathways that are always present, but benefit greatly from the gentle, fun activities and exercises Catherine showed us.                

Now flourishing

Henry has flourished since we began seeing Catherine on a regular basis. He recently began crawling, just days after Catherine gave us activities directed towards crawling on all fours. He is now a movement fiend: pulling to stand and crawling up the stairs — God help us!

I am happy to say that after all our difficulties during Henry’s first weeks and months, I no longer have worries about his physical development. I learn so much about Henry and about child development each time we go to see Catherine. Our family is blessed to have found her.   

– Anna

A developmental journey with Down syndrome – Carson’s mama

Carson was born with Down syndrome. During his first year he struggled with breastfeeding and experienced some motor skill delays. We started seeing Catherine when Carson was 3 months old and for the last year she has provided craniosacral and orofacial therapy; breastfeeding support; and developmental movement therapy. Catherine’s love of children and their families plus her commitment to helping them thrive has been consistently evident from our first interaction.

Gaining a deeper understanding of development

Carson has had the opportunity to receive various therapies from a variety of providers, which has given me the context to realize Catherine’s level of expertise in the areas of motor skills, brain development, and breastfeeding is unsurpassed. She consistently adds more thorough knowledge and applicable therapies to Carson’s routine than we receive from his other providers. As part of her services Catherine has taught me important tips for Carson’s continued neurological and physical development.

Prompts to help baby breastfeed

Catherine has provided many great resources for breastfeeding issues in addition to craniosacral and orofacial therapies. She has also taught me about the importance of breastfeeding to protect the digestive tract from damage, as well as to help build neurological connections in the brain. Even though I had extensive prior breastfeeding experience, Catherine has taught me several informative, helpful things in this area including all the prompts that aid a baby to breastfeed. All these things have reinforced my commitment to continue breastfeeding. After a very slow start, Carson is now breastfeeding full time!

Movement to build brain connections

Catherine’s developmental movement therapy has been beneficial in a number of ways. Catherine has taught me how important movement is to brain development. Even though I knew tummy time was important, she emphasized how critical it was for all the future developmental stages, which caused me to give Carson a lot more of this essential play time. She has provided therapy and instruction for aiding bilateral pushing through Carson’s legs during belly crawling, which builds brain connections between the right and left brain and provides the foundation for hands and knees crawling. She has also given me numerous other tips on position and play activities to aid in balanced movement and development. Catherine has taught me the importance of bare feet for Carson when feasible to allow full neurological stimulation and development. She has showed me how to do lower back releases to help with constipation, which have greatly helped Carson’s comfort on several occasions. In addition, Catherine has shown me how to elicit foot reflexes to aid in arch development.

During each session with Catherine I feel she addresses the immediate developmental concerns in a thorough, gentle and caring way, while always keeping the underlying neurological development process in mind and building the foundation for future development and growth. Carson has thrived under Catherine’s care and I strongly believe we have received the best support possible to also maximize his future potential.

– Carson’s Grateful Mama

Rebuilding from traumatic injury – Matt & Jamie Nupen’s story

After our daughter’s traumatic birth, which resulted in a brain injury, I was very concerned about both physical and emotional damages it caused to her.       

While we were in NICU I happened across an article that Catherine wrote. It focused on birth trauma and ways that Catherine helps children process the trauma to ease the negative effects. I knew we wanted to see her.                      

I was amazed to see the changes in my daughter as Catherine worked on her. She taught us and provided videos of our sessions so we could bring the work home. – Matt Nupen

Our child overcomes fear   

One of the most amazing sessions for me was working specifically on my daughter’s trauma. It had been a vaginal birth but with the help of a vacuum. Since her birth, my daughter had been very fearful of things involving her head – washing hair, shirts going over the head, etc.        

Catherine moved her through the stages of birth and had my husband and me “receive her” as we should have been able to. After this session, we saw a big difference in our daughter’s ability to tolerate every day activities like the ones listed above.

When Catherine worked on our daughter’s palette, our daughter’s gag reflexes became less pronounced and further back in her mouth. – Jamie Nupen

Trust in development      

Our daughter’s prognosis was so grim after birth. The doctors didn’t think she would recognize us or be able to eat or possibly even breathe on her own. Fortunately they were wrong and Catherine gave us a positive outlook on our daughter’s development.

Our daughter is two and crawls with ease. She is very nearly walking. She understands speech and has a few words. She makes up games and is very social.                   

We believe that Catherine helped her to become the inquisitive and able little being she is today. Catherine was patient and understanding when working with our daughter.  She taught her how to move her body in the way she wants and how to gain balance. The care, understanding, and patience shown by Catherine made our daughter and us feel safe.

— Nupen family

Leaps & bounds – Jolie Joy’s story

At 11 months old, after working with developmental movement therapy, her mom reported: 

Three weeks ago Shelby started making progress by leaps and bounds, when she sat up for the first time from lying down. A few days later she was army crawling and just last week, a few days before she turned one, she started crawling on all fours. She is a brand new little girl. She has so much self-confidence now and is so proud of herself.  Thanks for all your help.  We have been working with her a lot on the things that you showed us.

Update: You would never know

At around 14 months Shelby was diagnosed with central hypotonia and global development delays. At the time her neurologist didn’t know if she would ever walk and, if she did, predicted that she would probably not play sports.     

We sought therapy early (PT, OT and speech).  Shelby took her first steps a week before she turned 2 and by the end of kindergarten “graduated” from all forms of therapy.   

Thriving with early integrative intervention

Leighton and Shelby are now 8 and are doing great.  Today you would never know she has “issues”. Today she is excelling at school (gets invited to enrichment classes for students accelerated in learning and scores high on tests) and has been involved in various sports. 

I really think she is doing so well thanks to your development guidance when she was an infant and all the early therapeutic interventions we did.

Leighton is also doing great and has been involved in gifted and talented programs. He loves to write his own comic books and draw.   – Jolie Joy, mother of twins