“Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle.” – Ian Maclaren
You wouldn’t know it from her success as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and business owner, but Megan Steiner has been fighting a hard battle since she suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2014.
“I was on I-24, and it was a hit-and-run drunk driver who hit me in my vehicle, and I lost control,” Megan said. “It spun out and slammed into a concrete barrier.”
Megan started having seizures and the former triathlete suddenly had difficulty completing even the simplest tasks, like talking and reading. She spent two years of rehab getting her cognitive abilities back and was even able to finish her master’s degree at Lipscomb University.
“I learned how resilient I was,” Megan said. “It gives me such an incredible viewpoint on working with my children because now I have an invisible disability.”
Megan endured another struggle two years after her car accident.
“We found out that she had Down syndrome while I was pregnant, and not only that, her kidneys were not filtering,” Megan said. “At around 19 weeks I lost my pregnancy, and that was incredibly difficult. It was like punch, after punch, after punch. There are two choices in life, you can either let it bring you down, or you can just keep going through it.”
She did more than that. In 2016, Megan and her business partner Andrea started Peace by Piece ABA Therapy & Behavioral Services, working in families’ homes. Then out of a tiny 16 x 20-foot room.
“We just moved into our newest space, so that’s been really exciting for us as two women business owners to grow in that capacity,” Megan said.
Megan works with children of all ages and conditions, including those with autism, ADHD, and mental health concerns.
“The kids are just in her heart,” said Jen Cowell, whose daughter Zoe attends therapy with Megan. “She talks to them like regular people. You know, a lot of people don’t really see kids as people and especially special needs kids.”
Zoe has non-verbal austim. They waited a year to get in with Megan. Jen said the advancements she’s seen with Zoe have been more than worth the wait.
“She’s changed Zoe’s life, which means she’s changed our family’s life,” Jen said. “We’re so lucky that we found her.”
Megan hasn’t just changed the Cowell’s lives.
“She has done so much for us. Truthfully, our lives have changed dramatically since she’s come into the picture,” said Julie Bauer, whose son attends therapy with Megan. “You really can’t know until you’ve been through it as a family, and you have a child with differences, and you really don’t have anyone at bat for you. She’s come in and she’s picked up all the pieces.”
Julie’s son is 14. She said they’ve worked with many therapists over the years, but Megan’s approach is more personalized.
“She has really been able to change him and other people haven’t,” Julie said. “She, with our family, has given us peace. She’s also given us hope for him to have a typical life, which we didn’t have before.”
“When my kids make progress, and their parents come to me and say things like, ‘my child has made more improvements in six months with you than they have anywhere else,’ it re-inspires my commitment and solidifies that what I’m doing is the right thing,” Megan said.
Megan’s love for children and her ability to connect with them and help them grow is truly, remarkable.