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PATHWAYS for NeuroEducational Development

Who We Are - Meet Sylvia

Sylvia Funk
Neurodevelopmentalist, Samonas Sound Therapist

Learning has always been and continues to be my passion whether in the school setting, at home, or at work. I have always set high academic standards for myself during my high school years and in post secondary situations. This has resulted in a number of academic awards throughout my school career. During these times I have watched many of my peers struggle to maintain passing marks or simply drop out as the work load became too intense. At those times I gave little thought as to why learning was such a challenge for them. In fact, if asked, I would not have been able to explain what the learning process really was or why it was easier for some people while others struggled.

As learning was an integral part of my life I had always assumed my children would aspire academically. I presumed learning would be easy for them and school would not present any unnecessary challenges. I imagined our home-life as being peaceful with just the occasional bump along the way. Our children would be for the most part obedient and have many friends. Now looking back on these expectations I realize that this would have been difficult for most families to attain especially for a family with a "learning challenged child."

I am the mother of two beautiful children. Our daughter, who is the younger, is your rather typical teenager. She is doing well socially, emotionally and academically. Our first-born, a son, was inquisitive but unique in many of his mannerisms. School proved a tremendous challenge for him not just with its academic requirements but with social and physical demands as well. The constant stimulation often left him overwhelmed and immensely frustrated. Meeting our son's high emotional and academic needs soon overshadowed our family life. Having worked as a Registered Nurse I was familiar with the medical system and used it in an attempt to assist our son. We traveled to a number of professionals and received numerous labels depending on the symptoms displayed.

By the time he reached junior high he was considered to be severely afflicted with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and possible Sensory Integration Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Bilateral Integration Disorder and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. These labels did little to unravel the mystery of how our son responded to his world. He occasionally presented as a bright child but things seemed very overwhelming for him. As a life long student I researched many avenues, read many books, attended workshops, and support groups looking for that all elusive "cure" for our child.

Midway through his seventh year in school a friend directed us to a Neurodevelopmentalist who had assisted a number of children in overcoming similar issues. It was here that we began to unravel the mysteries of our son's problems and gained a greater appreciation for the efforts that he was expending to simply maintain some semblance of order in his world. As I had always believed in him and his ability to succeed I was not surprised to learn that he was indeed a very intelligent child with great potential.

My background in nursing served me well in understanding the concepts that Neurodevelopment was based upon. As we saw our child progress in all areas of his life, and as our lives got profoundly easier, my intense desire to learn more about Neurodevelopment took over. By this time I had completed a course in Business Administration and I was beginning to envision ways that I could combine my previous educational experience with Neurodevelopment. In 2002 I began my Neurodevelopmental training process with the Hope Centre for NeuroEducational Development, completing the first stage in 2004 to become a Level 1 Neurodevelopmentalist. I continue to advance my training in this field as well as other related areas such as Samonas Sound Therapy.

Following this learning period I worked for The Hope Centre for NeuroEducational Development where my duties included evaluations, program teaching, providing family support, presenting seminars and providing information on the Neurodevelopmental concept. I then had the opportunity to partner with Shelly Bartsch and together we birthed, PATHWAYS for NeuroEducational Development in 2005.

Our desire is to disseminate knowledge to both families and professionals allowing many more people the opportunity to benefit from the Neurodevelopmental approach. PATHWAYS for NeuroEducational Development is associated with ICAN, which is an organization that has its base in the United States. You can learn more about ICAN by visiting their website. As a member of ICAN part of my responsibility is to continually expand on my education to better assist our clients and to maintain integrity in the field of Neurodevelopment.

At PATHWAYS for NeuroEducational Development we are proud to be a part of this growing field. With its beginnings dating back to the 1940's, Neurodevelopment continues to prove its effectiveness and continues to be an ever-evolving concept with growing popularity.

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May 19th, 2024