My non-verbal autistic son has been working with Lynn for about year. Previous therapists had given up on my son, some even blamed us as parents for his failure to make progress. They were unable to keep him focused for more than a few seconds, and were therefore unable to help him to grow. Lynn has had the most tremendous impact on not only my son’s speech production, but also his development across all areas. Lynn focuses on the whole child during her sessions, and through his work with her, my son has not only begun to talk, but has begun to become more engaged with people and the world. He is now able to move his body in new ways, follow verbal commands, and maintain joint attention for extended periods of time. He runs smiling from the car into the therapy center every time. He loves to work with Lynn. She is very in tune with him and has a deep connection, enabling her to develop and implement unique strategies based on his individual learning needs and style. For the first time, he able to stay engaged for lengthy periods of time. He often looks deeply into her eyes as they work. Lynn does not use a one size fits all approach. Not only does she use high interest and meaningful activities that he finds fun and engaging, but during his sessions with her, it is evident by the smile on his face, that he feels great pride in his accomplishments, and enjoys the creative activities embedded with concepts that can be generalized and applied everywhere, rather than disconnected, mundane, and repetitive tasks. Finally, someone provided my son with a sense of purpose. While others have routinely underestimated his potential because of his inability to communicate verbally, Lynn recognizes how great it is and consistently taps into it. Where others had thrown their arms up in the air and given up on him in the past, Lynn always maintained optimism and insisted that my son would talk. And she was right. Katie J. Parsippany, NJ
Of coarse, the main thing about Lin is that her impressive professionalism never manages to interfere with her creativity, warmth, sensitivity and skill. She brings so much energy and a wealth of talent to her work, you cannot help but to be caught up in the spirit of it - You want to learn how she does it. Our son Matthew has shown such remarkable improvement since he has worked with Lin. We cannot find enough ways to express our gratitude. Matthew's severe apraxia combined with many other challenges resulting from his autism, ever so slowly at first, but with greater and greater strength has yielded to Linnette's skillful coaching and patient encouragement. The depth of Linnette's sincerity and caring attention can't be overstated. We feel overwhelmingly fortunate to have found such a masterful therapist for our son. There are no words enough to express how thankful we are that we have found her.
Greg Pierce / Siobhan Cashman.
I rarely take the time to write reviews or testimonials, however there is an extraordinary reason for my input.
I have personally witnessed "UNIMAGINABLE" academic engagement and amazing social-emotional interactions that just are not common for children with moderate to severe autism at ITG.
Linnette Gonzalez a woman of exceptional talent and heart is truly changing lives for the better for children and families of kids with autism and apraxia.
I have worked in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years. Seeing children with moderate to severe autism sitting together and engaging with Linnette and her clinical team in physical and academia activities in a focused, comfortable and confident manner is simply beautiful, to see.
Great things are DEFINITELY happening at ITG in Parsippany.
K.C. Denville, NJ
About six years ago, I had been hearing some very intriguing things about the work a woman was doing with a number of children with special needs. Additionally, I had seen some videos a friend shared with me, of her previously non-verbal son and the progress he was making through the approach of a very special, very talented and very dedicated person.
That person’s name is Lynn Gonzalez. I was extremely impressed and intrigued by the videos I saw and more importantly, by my friend’s testimonials. Shortly thereafter, I contacted Lynn and asked her if she could see my daughter. My daughter, at that point in time, was struggling with a variety of things with relationship to communicative speech, socio-communicative speech, abstract thinking, differential thinking, moving from one level of thinking to the next and much more. Reading was also very challenging for her. I had a sense that Lynn’s multi dimensional, whole body, integrative approach would be beneficial for her…..Little did I know that I had just made one of the best decisions of my life when I asked Lynn to work with my daughter. The gradual approach and process that unfolded, helped to bring my child to where she is today. Lynn understands in her own unique and brilliant way, that we must set the foundation and then build each level of understanding….leaving no holes or gaps along the way… not rushing to move ahead until we are sure the child is ready. My daughter has achieved level after level of thinking in a natural manner. She is telling her own stories, writing them, reading them and answering questions about them. Her progress has been astounding.
Thank you Lynn, for your vision, your hard work and dedication and your belief in my child. Thank you for helping to open up areas of the mind and the world for her and for instilling in her an on- going sense of excitement, achievement and confidence. We are very grateful to you and we look forward to many more years of working together.
Since day one of working with Max we realized how special Lynn's practice is. Lynn is tuned into Max's strengths and challenges in a way I have rarely seen before. Lynn combines her understanding of the neurological and physiological challenges children with speech disorders face with her expertise in DIR to create an environment where Max feels supported, encouraged and safe to do what is most difficult for him- to attempt to communicate using speech. Lynn's loving and enthusiastic spirit never waivers and is even more present on Max's most difficult days. We value every minute he spends at ITG.
What more can we say.... Lynn Gonzalez has single handedly transformed the trajectory of our son's life......
At age 17, our son was content in an excellent, well respected school program specializing in children with autism. He was one of only two "non-verbal" children and we felt blessed to have him included. A few of his IEP goals at the time: 1) decrease transition time with group to under 3 minutes; 2) focus/ remain on task up to 5 minutes prior to reinforcer; 3) wait appropriately up to 3 minutes; 4) gradually fade hand over hand facilitation in life skills; 5) articulation of target word list; 6) increased proficiency with Proloquo on the ipad. All agreed the goals were appropriate. Afterall, he had severe autism, global dyspraxia, increased challenges with regulation & sensory integration. He also had no solid method of communication and any academic progress had come to a halt. We were being asked to shift our attention to "transition" and to finding a skill he could essentially perform into adult years; ie: shredding, sorting, recycling. This required we ponder the future and all we could see was a dead end.
Through a network of parents, we had heard about Lynn's center, ITG, and the amazing work that was being done there. ITG is 60 miles from home, but after an evaluation and some observation we were certain we had found a new beginning. Once again we had hope that our son could have the opportunity to live to his highest potential. Today, the possibilities seem endless. About those goals, NOW, at age 19, 1) he transitions effortlessly with peers and often leads the way; 2) he remains diligently on task 2hours+ with no need for reinforcer; 3) he waits appropriately across environments and situations; 4) he has increased independence with life skills as motor planning is being targeted and taught; 5) he is SPEAKING SENTENCES with minimal prompting; 6) he is emerging as an independent typer which will give him yet another method of response. With regard to academics: He is coming up with his own ideas to create a story! He is reading! For the first time he is beginning to write with a marker/pen! He is demonstrating his knowledge through completion of multiple choice quizzes! He enjoys being engaged in group activities with peers! He raises his hand, takes turns and thrives with a bit of competition! No doubt, as his systems are integrating, he is learning to learn!! Such huge gains, at this age, after years and years of therapy and the "best" schools, can only be attributed to Lynn's brilliance and to the program she has implemented, which keeps high expectations in balance with individual skill level.
At home, we continue to be in awe of the progress we see as skills generalize into everyday life. At first there were small things (that we knew were huge); ie: the way he balanced a cup on an uneven surface, we could hand him a straw with the paper still on, he didn't trip over or step on the dog sleeping in the hall, his response time and follow through to simple commands "please pick it up" or "pull in your chair." Eventually these glimpses of improvement expanded; ie: he was able to jump from the side into the pool, his body moved gracefully through the woods on a hiking trail, he began to vocalize requests asking us for "chicken" or "hot dogs" and even telling us to "get up" off of his bed. Even more recently, he engaged in a short game of basketball appropriately passing and shooting to score, he independently turned and waved good bye to family as we left a riding lesson. We even caught him moving a dresser off the wall as he persistently searched his room for a missing DVD. Through all of this growth, Lynn has been there, working tirelessly, to encourage our son to see for himself how much more he is capable of accomplishing. She has improved his quality of life one hundred fold and she has opened our eyes to just how trapped he has been in a body of fragmented systems that were unable to organize and express in a way we could understand. Today, thanks to her dedication, we can see the wheels turning as he realizes he can have a thought, initiate an activity and sustain the action required to complete. There is no other way to say it, he is learning to think for himself and he is living a new life!! So awesome!
Lynn Gonzalez is demonstrating to families and to all who work in this field that while we may not have reliable methods of assessing this population, of the most "complicated" kids with autism & apraxia, we can and MUST presume intellect, have high expectations and shoot for the stars. She, and her very brave clients, are on the cutting edge, proving, regardless of a diagnosis, it's never too late to grow through learning & experiences, it's never too late to form deeply connected relationships, and it's possible to live a life filled with laughter and joy.
Of course we still do not know what our son's adult life will look like, where he will work or how independent he will be, but at age 19, how many of us actually do?? What we CAN say is that he now HAS a life!! He is confident and curious; he is available for higher levels of learning and he is eager to try new activites; he has true friendships and his methods of communication are expanding every day. We will need to continue to foster a community of appropriate support for him, but we are excited for his future, rather than fearful he will always need to rely on Mom and Dad.
Thank you Lynn!! Your passion is infectious and your work, exceptional!! YOU are changing the narrative and we owe you the world!!
Hi, I am the mother of a beautiful 10 year old girl (Giulia) on the spectrum. Giulia has severe motor and oral dyspraxia and many sensory issues. She would be very social, but her motor and sensory issues have always prevented her to socialize with her peers in the way she would like to. I always believe that her cognition was very good, but once again her issues made it very difficult for her to demonstrate that she was very smart. So while growing up, she started to develop behaviors in day by day life and during therapy’s sessions and she started to have very poor self esteem. My husband and I felt desperate. Three years ago, I met Lynn Gonzalez and my daughter’s life and destiny has changed for ever since then. We finally started to see a light at the end of the tunnel after many dark years. Lynn immediately understood how smart Giulia was and how her issues where preventing her to demonstrate her intelligence and to fulfill her wish to socialize with her peer and especially with typical peers. She started right away to work with Giulia and her first goal was to give back Giulia her self esteem and build a relationship of trust with her. Giulia finally started to calm down and finally respond to therapies and my husband and I start living again… Today Giulia is attending a main stream school in Italy and Lynn has designed an amazing overall program for her which includes speech therapy (including oral motor), physical therapy, occupational therapy, sensory integration, augmentative/facilitated communication, cognitive/visual spatial and the academic curriculum. She has a unique interdisciplinary approach where the clinical goals and the academic curriculum are covered simultaneously. The speech/communication program is constantly infused in the by day life, in spontaneous play and interaction with her peers and with the adults. The whole program is embraced by D.I.R. principle and the cognitive and the academic program is founded on experienced based activities. Inclusion in the class and socialization with her peers is a key element of her program too. She is mentoring and supervising six therapists (including the special education teacher) who work with Giulia in the school and outside of the school and the main teacher for a real and an active inclusion of Giulia in the class. She is also mentoring my husband and I on day by day life with our daughter. Lynn is a phenomenal professional who has an extensive knowledge and experience in every field of the rehabilitation therapy who was able to gain our total trust very quickly since she was the only one who has ever managed to set up an overall program perfectly tailored for Giulia. She has build up a unique relationship with her and it feels wonderful and encouraging to be guided by a professional who we trust completely and who finally believes in our daughter as much we believe in her. Giulia had tremendous gains since we met Lynn. Before meeting Lynn we couldn’t see the light and the tough of Giulia’s future life appeared to be miserable. After we met Lynn, Giulia’s destiny started to change. Lynn light up the way to head out of the tunnel and Giulia horizons started to expand. Currently Giulia is a happy child totally integrated in a main stream school. Her future doesn’t seem miserable anymore; every day she has new gains which makes us to believe that her horizons will keep on expanding more and more.
Lynn Gonzalez and her LIN approach has had an immense impact on my son’s progress over the past five (5) years. Having severe apraxia/dyspraxia made it very difficult for him to communicate effectively and this would often result in great frustration for him. Her “whole body” approach has provided him with the ability to motor plan and function more effectively, thereby dramatically improving his capacity to communicate. His confidence has grown exponentially, and he is often delighted with himself when completing a difficult task, which he shows outwardly with a huge smile on his face or a hearty laugh. Lynn is a truly extraordinary individual. Her intense professionalism is second only to her compassion, infectious energy and absolute love for the children with whom she works. It can be seen and felt in everything she does. She has a unique ability to push the children (lovingly yet firmly) to achieve their goals and then to advance beyond them. The children absolutely admire and respect her, as do the parents. ITG IS OUTSTANDING!
My son, Tommy has had the pleasure of working with Lynn and reaping the benefits of her services for approximately two years now. Tommy is fifteen years old and has had scores of therapists throughout the years but no one has been able to break the barrier and motivate Tommy to engage in the type of critical complex thinking in the way that Lynn has accomplished. She is constantly pushing the envelope- demanding ( in a loving and supportive manner) that he verbalizehis thoughts and emotions even though it is neurologically very difficult for him to do so. Lynn sees our children's unlimited potential and does not settle for anything less.
My daughter has worked with Lynn on and off for some time now. When she stopped working with Lynn her behaviors and our lives spiraled downhill. For the better part of two years, she was aggressive, self-injurious and completely dysregulated. We couldn’t attend any family gatherings with her, or bring her anywhere outside of school and our home. Even then the destructive, aggressive behaviors were out of control. She was shredding her clothing, pulling her hair out it was scary because we never knew what tragic event came next. We needed to shave her head to stop her from pulling her hair out. If it grew a little she pulled it out. She was biting herself and lashing out at people a lot. It was so incredibly upsetting, our family felt helpless. Each day the phone rang I was waiting for another disaster. After she was asked to leave her two school programs for children with Autism we enrolled her in ITG. What can I say accept Lynn “gets it?” Her staff and she just are so in tune to what these children and young adults need with Apraxia and Autism.
Our daughter is 18 and began attending ITG everyday as a part of her full day since this summer. She is thriving, finally able to enjoy what she is doing and feels accomplished. She runs to the bus each day with a smile and returns home also smiling. She is happy and the most organized she’s been in her life. Lili can do things with our family that she hasn’t been able to in years, we do not feel like we are in constant crisis mode. We’ve been to family parties over the holidays and she was engaged, happy and content to be around people, lots of people. We’ve gone out to dinner, to hockey games and she is back to horseback riding. She is starting to formulate words and link them together. She is also able to attend to chores around the house and doing great with her riding lessons.
ITG has given us and Lili our lives back, we are eternally grateful for Lynn’s dedication to this population and our daughter. Thank you, Lynn, and all those at ITG!