As a high school student, Michelle Cahill Kimball worked her first job at Chattanooga’s Orange Grove Center – and it was there that she quickly realized how much she enjoyed working with people who have developmental disabilities. Years later, when Siskin Children’s Institute opened its Developmental Pediatric Center, Kimball’s career goals were reached. “My role at Siskin focuses on diagnosing, treating, and supporting children with developmental disabilities – such as autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, among others,” Kimball explains. “I love being able to work through the diagnostic process with the families to determine the child’s strengths and challenges and to develop the treatment plan that works the best for them as a whole.”
“I love being able to work with children – they are so positive, determined, happy, and resilient.”
1. What do you love most about your profession?
I love being able to help children and their families. Making a difference in their lives, as well as providing information and support to them, is very important to me.
2. What is your best advice for patients?
My advice is for the parents – do not be afraid to ask questions. The more you ask, the more we can determine where you are in the process of learning about your child, how to help them, and what support and information you need.
3. What’s the key to making a great first impression?
A smile, warmth, and being happy to see the other person – those things come out in a person’s tone of voice and set the stage for the interaction.
4. What would you consider to be your main strengths?
I like to problem-solve with the families to see what solutions may benefit them as they care for their children. I always seek the positive aspect and find opportunities in the midst of the difficulties.
5. What is your philosophy when it comes to the care for your patients?
Each child and family has their own unique needs, so I work to meet the child and family where they are and work together with them, their therapists, and their educators to be able to provide as much support as we can to help them have their best outcomes.
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