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Meet Nikki Magliaro of Puzzle Pieces in Quincy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Magliaro.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As long as I can remember, I have always been interested in pursuing a profession which allowed me to make a substantial social impact by helping families in a meaningful and lasting fashion. Additionally, I wanted to do this in a way that allowed me to harness my creative abilities. I spent my time as a graduate and undergraduate student building towards this goal and I’m proud to say that with Puzzle Pieces, I have realized that goal.

After graduating from Albion College in Michigan, as a double major in both Biology and Psychology I moved east to Boston, where I earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and an Early Intervention Certificate from Northeastern University. It was my goal to pursue licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). I was incredibly fortunate to begin my career working on child centered research projects at both Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston. It was during my time here that I was able to learn how to work on a team to achieve a higher goal. I had incredible mentors at these institutions which provided me with invaluable skills that really helped lay a foundation for my later success.

Prior to my work at Puzzle Pieces, LLC, I had the opportunity to work directly with families in an Early Intervention (EI) setting. During this time I got first hand experiencing working in the south shore community delivering home based intervention to families with children under the age of three. It was during my work in EI that I met my business partner, Megan Selchan. We shared the common goal of wanting to best support children and families impacted by developmental challenges. In the EI setting we were delivering wonderful family-centered intervention, but once the child turned three they graduated from the program and families were left unsupported and often unprepared for their journey with their child’s individual differences in the public school system. Megan had also seen that concern, and had started a private practice with the goal of continuing to provide support services to these families. During the time Megan and I had become close friends with a shared goal, and she invited me to join her as a partner at Puzzle Pieces, LLC.

I truly believe that education is a lifelong endeavor and I’ve had the opportunity to pursue my passions not only professionally, but through training and continued learning. After graduating from Northeastern I began to look for more education and training around supporting families with children on the autism spectrum. I was finding behavior based models more commonly used in therapeutic and educational settings were falling short of acknowledging the beautiful individual differences all children have and failing to recognize the power in the relationship a therapist could build with a child. It was then that I found the DIRFloortme® model that is an intervention used to promote an individual’s development through respectful, playful, joyful and an engaging play based process. It uses the power of relationships and human connection to promote engagement, communication, positive behaviors and thinking. In 2016 I received my certification as an Expert DIRFloortime® Training Leader and I incorporate this into my work with children and their families as well as in trainings, consultations and continuing education curriculum I develop, Recently I began teaching online DIRFloortime® courses through the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning which trains professionals and parents internationally in this model.

Today Puzzle Pieces, LLC, founded in 2011 has grown from Megan and myself sharing a one room office to a multi-displinary practice that employees twelve masters level clinicians providing over 450 hours out-patient services per month. We have been able to support over 200 families providing behavioral health, speech and language, and occupational therapy. In addition, Puzzle Pieces provides social skills and other small topic based groups, consultation and training to community partners including several private child care centers. We’ve come so far and we’ve definitely have plenty of room to continue to grow.

Has it been a smooth road?
It certainly hasn’t been easy, but I have a strong belief that everything happens for a reason and with hard work and perseverance life will guide you in the right direction, and that has proven true for Puzzle Pieces, My business partner, Megan, and I always joke that growing our practice has been a 100% learning curve… that we get everything wrong before we get it right. Our formal training was as licensed mental health counselors, but we find ourselves having to wear many hats. This might look like learning to design a website or learning legal proceedings for being a business that has employees. Acquiring these skills that has made us stronger, but we still continue to struggle with that learning curve every once in a while.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Puzzle Pieces – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Puzzle Pieces, LLC was founded in 2011 as a response to the growing need for a unique approach to outpatient services for children and families. We provide individual and family behavioral health therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and small group based intervention such as social skill or speech and language groups. We also provide a range of community outreach services including topic based talks for parents and consultation and training for early childhood professionals in our community.

Our clinicians specialize in anxiety disorders, articulation disorders, ADHD, adjustment disorders, autism spectrum disorders, behavioral concerns, communication delays, developmental delays, coping skills, family relationships, self-esteem, self-regulation, sensory processing, social skills and stress management.

Puzzle Pieces prides itself on maintaining the highest standard in clinical practice by employing only Masters Level clinical professionals with specified experience for the populations that we serve. The community culture of our practice further emphasizes our family-centered model of intervention by partnering with families to best support their individual needs. This is what we feel really sets us apart from other outpatient therapy practices and we are incredibly proud of maintaining this family centered culture as we have grown.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Where do I start! I moved to Boston right after I finished college and I feel like I really became who I am as an adult here during a time where the city was constantly changing and developing. I currently live with my husband and our little dog in South Boston. I love that there are opportunities for night life while also being close to green outdoor space.

What I find most frustrating about our city is the lack of socioeconomic and cultural diversity as Boston has begun to develop and grow. I have dedicated my career to working with children and families, many of whom struggle to afford to live in Boston with the soaring cost of living.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1266 Furnace Brook Parkway, Suite 100B
    Quincy, MA 02169
  • Website: www.puzzlepiecesmass.com
  • Phone: 617-433-7699
  • Email: info@puzzlepiecesmass.com
  • Instagram: puzzlepiecesllc
  • Facebook: puzzlepiecesmass

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