About The Mama

 

Hello!

I’m Cindy Hooks, the Chew Chew Mama.

I am a hard-working mom that has been blessed with two beautiful baby boys. Motherhood far exceeds my expectations…I love it…even on the days when I am tired from being up in the middle of the night (or all night long) or when i’m cleaning up the same mess for the 100th time. It really is the greatest gift of all. It is the busiest job of my life, but the giggles, the smiles, and being given the gift of watching my boys explore their world is pure magic!

In this blog I share about the things that I am MOST passionate about in life beyond my family: Speech and Language Development, Pediatric Feeding and Food Allergy Awareness as we navigate, with a new set of eyes, through life with our sweet son’s peanut allergy.

What does Chew Chew Mama do?

I am a medical Speech Language Pathologist that specializes in Pediatric Dysphagia (Feeding & Swallowing disorders of Children).  I love using my clinical education to help babies and children learn to eat successfully through their mouths instead of through tubes in there tiny bellies.  And when I not helping kids swallow and “chew” at work…I am usually at home pushing a “choo, choo” with my own babies.  And that’s how I became the Chew Chew Mama.

As a medical Speech Language Pathologist, i’ve provided evaluative and therapeutic services in both the acute care and out patient settings.  My acute care experience includes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where i’ve treated conditions related to pediatric feeding and dysphagia due to prematurity, cardiac surgery, craniofacial disorders, cancer, trauma, non-accidental trauma, traumatic brain injuries and neurological disorders and syndromes.

My out-patient experience includes treating patients with pediatric dysphagia, including Neonatal Intensive Care Unit graduates, failure to thrive infants, facilitation of transition from PEG (feeding tube in a wee ones belly) to oral feeding, as well as, behavioral feeding therapy.  In addition to dysphagia, I have also provided services to help patients with a variety of communication disorders including autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, resonance disorders associated with cleft palate (repaired and unrepaired), auditory processing disorder, voice disorders, implementation of AAC devices and therapy, apraxia and oral motor disorders, as well as, children with language and/or articulation delay.

I love what I do and love sharing information that can help parents facilitate successful feeding and speech and language development.  This blog will share some “tricks of the trade” that parents of typically developing children can use at home.

The information that I share on this blog is not intended as medical advice or to replace the treatment or recommendations of your doctor or other health professional.  If you suspect an allergy, talk with your pediatrician and/or allergist immediately.  If you suspect a delay in your child’s speech or language or are struggling with feeding at home, talk with your pediatrician and ask for a referral for a Speech Language/Feeding Evaluation.

Chew Chew Mama’s Education includes:

Bachelors Degree in Psychology, Stony Brook University, New York
Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology with a concentration in pediatric dysphagia (feeding/swallowing disorders) University of South Florida, Tampa
Certified Lactation Counselor, Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding
Certified Instructor of Infant Massage, IAIM
Certified in Beckman Oral Motor Therapy
Hanen Certified Speech Language Pathologist, 2008
Fragile Infant Feeding Institute Attendant, 2009

I love getting questions and love hearing from readers, so be sure to say hello to let me know you’ve stopped by!

Thanks so much for visiting!

Cindy

 

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