Who We Are
We are a family of 4 living near Turner, Maine, and have had 10+ years of walking on roads that seem to have more bends in them than straight parts! One child was “home-grown”, while our second child was delivered to us through adoption. We know the unique challenges that parenting a child with a history of neglect and trauma brings, and have spent years trying to understand what our issues were. Then, after discovering what types of therapies were needed, we travelled from one place to another, just as many families like ours have done.
Our desire is to be part of a team that brings the specialized help these families need to more rural areas of Maine.
We are located 30 minutes from Augusta, Oxford, and Rumford, and 20 minutes from Auburn. We desire to provide support to those in this area by connecting them with experienced professionals who are trained to work with issues that are common with our children and families...a "One Stop" for it all. This will result in less time on the road and more time and energy focused on strengthening and supporting the families.
We live in the country, and discovered the benefits that working with miniature horses brought our child. Thus began a new direction for us, since we wanted other families to experience the same thing. We find that children especially relate to the fact that these animals have been rescued, which tend to open communication regarding a negative past history in a way that seems less threatening to them.
Our desire is to lighten other families’ loads as they travel this road. We have been there, and are still traveling it. There are answers, and there is hope. Although we know there are days we can't see it, we haven't come to the end at all! We look forward to meeting you at this bend in the road!
Tara Paradie, MSPT
I'm also the mother of four children, one of whom was adopted from Ethiopia. My passion is being a wife and mother, along with the short-term international mission where I assisted pediatric physical therapists.
My current practice is with students in a rural school system, and with the University of New England, as a pediatric teaching assistant for physical therapy graduate students.
I look forward to meeting you At a Bend in the Road!
Sally Michaud, MS, OTR/L
My name and official qualifications are Sally Michaud, MS, OTR/L (Occupational Therapist), and I am very excited to work At a Bend in the Road.
I am married and have an older son in college. For ten years I worked in geriatrics as an OT assistant, until 2005, when I also became a full-time foster parent of 2 boys, whose adoption was finalized in 2008. They are now 8 years and 10 years old. My 8 year old's traumatic brain injury motivated me to finish my degree, so I received a bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2010 and a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy in 2011.
I have been working at Gallant Therapy Services and a rural school district since my graduation. I am also involved in The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, which specializes in pediatric traumatic brain injury. My research has resulted in a lot of information about brain injury prevention, but for the most part, a lack of parental support.
It's difficult to express how happy I am to be a part of this team, dedicated to helping children with their physical and emotional needs.
Gallant Therapy Services
We welcome Gallant Therapy Services to meet with families At a Bend in the Road!
GTS offers pediatric occupational services out of our Augusta clinic. We specialize in assisting individuals with fine motor, gross motor, sensory integration, attention, self-regulation, and visual/perceptual issues. Our services also include Section 28 Childrens Services for individuals ages 15-20 and this program focuses on assisting these individuals learning adult roles/responsibilities. GTS also offers Community Support Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities through our Job Club and Explore programs.
Ronnie Lowell has worked in the field of Intellectual Disabilities and the Autism spectrum over the past 17 years professionally. She began working as an office manager for an occupational therapist for six years. While working there, she learned a great deal about motor development (oral, fine and gross), and sensory integration. Currently, Ronnie is self-employed as a Section 28 provider in the Oxford, Franklin, Kennebec and Androscoggin Counties serving 40+ families and clients. She was first introduced into the human service field 22 years ago when her son, Tyler, was diagnosed with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities and ADHD. Tyler is non-verbal and needs verbal and physical prompts for all of his ADL's. He also has PICA and Sensory issues. Ronnie has a special bond with her son and although he does not live with her, she spends a great deal of time with him and advocates for appropriate and adequate services for him. She has participated in Restorative Justice Practices through G.E.A.R. Parent Network, and Sue Smith and Sue Carr of the Dept. of Corrections. "Restorative Practice" is the philosophy that ensures meaningful communication, maintaining and restoring relationships. Ronnie is working towards her Bachelor Degree in Health and Human Services at the University of Maine at Augusta. She is also currently enrolled in the PATH International Riding Instructor Certification Program to become a certified instructor of therapeutic horsemanship. In October 2012, Ronnie and her fiancé completed foster care training, received their license, and are looking forward to receiving their first child/children. Together, they have four wonderful children ages 9, 11, 13 and 22.
At a Bend in the Road is a Center for Safe Families For Children in Maine.
Safe Families for Children strives to meet three objectives:
Hallmarks of a Safe Family Model: •Biological Parents maintain full custody •Volunteer families are extensively screened and supported •Six-week average length of stay (ranging from two days to a year) •Average age of child in SFFC care is 4.5 •Close working relationships between Safe Families, the local church, and the referring organization •Commitment to reunite the family as soon as possible
Southern & Central Maine: