How Occupational Therapist Louisa Changed the Lives of Bella & J.R.

March 14, 2016
The DeSimone family of Rye, New York shares how Louisa, their German Occupational Therapist and Professional Au Pair has helped their young children thrive.

We are a family of four with two working parents and two toddlers, Belle (4) and JR (3).  It is no easy task caring for two toddlers who are only one year apart.  It often feels like twins.  Lots of activity, and lots of learning all of the time.  Because we have had some special needs in our household, we also must help our daughter Belle learn how to find words, and how to express with words what is in our hearts and heads, especially when we want to play with friends in a group.  Sometimes that is difficult and Louisa works hard to help learn patience and the tools to get better with our speech and OT challenges.

Louisa came into our family in April and we have seen tremendous growth in both children since she arrived.  Over the years we have had many babysitters and nannies.  We also meet families all of the time who tell us about their childcare.  In Louisa we have found the incredible combination of authenticity, kindness, and respect for structure and cleanliness and attention to detail.  We are so happy to have her in our lives.

Regarding authenticity, she truly is doing what she loves most.  Teaching our children to love one another, to share, to embody proper behavior like cleaning up, saying “please” and “thank you” and also overcoming our challenges.  When she works with Belle, you can tell that Louisa is personally pursuing her passion for pediatric development and occupational therapy.  Louisa loves to share with me the progress she has seen in Belle and often will text me or call me or FaceTime me with such excitement to share what Belle did on the playground.  “Belle approached a new girl today and tried to hug her, and she even grabbed her hand and asked her to come play!”  This sounds like a very basic description of a toddler’s playtime, but for us it illustrates major progress in her social development and for Louisa it is a joyful event.  

Our son J.R. is not classified as “special needs,” but he is a high-energy 3 year old boy and we have had to teach him how to “play nice” and learn how to be kind to some of his classmates.  Because Louisa goes the extra mile without being asked, she set up a playdate proactively with one of the boys who was feeling left out socially in the class. She taught JR to be kind to him and to be inclusive, and the teacher even called me to tell me that JR’s behavior was illustrating leadership in the classroom, and that he was “sticking up” for the boy in front of the others.  Louisa went out of her way to care and to help impact JR’s ability to be kind, to lead, to stand up for right and wrong and she helped him at a young age learn a bit about compassion.   This goes way beyond showing up and drop off and pickup and carting them around to activities.

We know that you have so many wonderful Au Pairs, and certainly so many families with more severe challenges, but Louisa has helped us tremendously both as an Au Pair for childcare but also as a core central part of our daughter Belle’s social development (she receives three different therapies each week, and goes to four different classes beyond this therapy and her daily school, every week).  Belle has really made progress since Louisa joined our family, and Belle has made this progress at no expense to our son, JR, who has continued to learn and grow so much with Louisa’s love and care.

Thank you for sending her to us!!!!  

 

What would you like to say about Louisa? - "I love Louisa" (Belle, age 4)

What is your favorite thing about Louisa? "Hugging" (J.R., age 3)