2 minutes, 24 seconds • February 22, 2024

Career Defining Clients


Oh, Esther Esther.

In our careers, certain clients emerge as catalysts, shaping our paths in ways we never imagined. Then there are those who impact us as profoundly as our own children. Esther was the latter for me. My journey with her at Yaldeinu, while running the boys’ class, was nothing short of transformative.

Property destruction, as per our behavior plan, wasn’t just about ripped papers. It was a veritable rain of Xerox copies, fragments of my student’s program books, and broken shelves. But there I was a codependent, over-performing, people pleaser, just finding my footing in adulthood, powering through. I knew deep down there had to be a better way. That very realization probably propelled me toward my BCBA, circa 2011.

Now, my class was all boys. So how did Esther find her way to me? Haviva Kranz, Yaldeinu speech therapist (the best) suggested to Bluma, Yaldeinu Director, that before telling Esther’s parents that their child was no longer suitable in Yaldeinu School, they should try placing her in my class. It was a swift decision, born out of crisis. Esther became my challenge, with the understanding that she might have to leave regardless, so if things didn’t pan out – no hard feelings.

Picture Esther: an oversized tween adorned with huge hot pink bows and glittered striped socks. A fashion statement was hard to miss and though not quite my taste, I had to commend her effort. She was a walking, talking juxtaposition of a teenage dream theme mixed with the most potent cocktail of estrogen. And then, cue the sanitary pads.

Around Esther, my brain felt like it was in overdrive.

On Esther’s first day, I cleared my class and dedicated myself to her – 1000%. She yearned to return to her old class, to her old friends. The irony wasn’t lost on me – how the grass always seems greener when change looms large.

Thank goodness I had just immersed myself in “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk,” because that book was my lifesaver, my guide on day one with Esther. I drew literally word for word, problem-solving strategies from that book. And that was my breakthrough. We journeyed from disturbed expressions to lopsided smiles, and then, to those laugh-out-loud twinkles of joy in her eyes. My year with Esther was perhaps some of my best work, where the clinician in me, with a distinct point of view and a proven concept, truly evolved.

Esther became a part of me. The time I spent with her left an indelible mark on my clinical work. It’s a beautiful thing, really – when the clients you work with end up working for you, shaping your practice and perspective.

My takeaways, you probably want to get a hold of that book “How to Talk“.

And of course, if you really want to get good at your craft-embrace those defining experiences and clients.

Your child deserves

Your child's journey starts here — and
goes farther than
you can imagine.

Ready to get started?

Take the Quiz

Or give us a call at Haim HQ 855-511-HAIM (4246)