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Michelle attended Purdue for her bachelor’s in Developmental Psychology and Calumet College of St. Joseph for her master’s in teaching. She has 21 years of experience working with children and families. She was previously a First Steps Service Coordinator before transitioning to working directly with children as a Developmental Specialist. She is also a fourth-grade teacher, which allows her to incorporate preschool readiness activities with her therapy sessions. She has experience working with children who have developmental delays, speech and language delays, Downs Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and sensory processing disorders. She enjoys working with children because it is gratifying to see their growth as they progress toward their developmental milestones. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in developmental psychology from Purdue University, a master’s degree in teaching from Calumet College of St. Joseph, M.B.A., and she is currently working toward her Ph.D. in developmental psychology.

Personally, her twins went through the First Steps program. Her daughter graduated from the program and her son transitioned into the Westlake Early Childhood program. Her experience in First Steps as a parent, service coordinator and developmental therapist allows for a well-rounded perspective of how the system works so she can best support the needs of every child. Michelle’s fun fact is that three of her children all share the same birthday!

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Michelle Hendrix Cruz no mask