Small, strong, unique and determined are just a few words Hinsdale's Christina Scalise-Morrissey uses to describe a hummingbird. She said those same words accurately describe the children who turn to Hummingbird Pediatric Therapies for help to overcome all sorts of obstacles and meet all kinds of goals.

Founder and CEO Scalise-Morrissey and her teams provide a host of services to children from newborns through pre-teen, including speech, occupational, physical and feeding therapy and a host of tools to help children overcome all sorts of physical, emotional, mental and developmental challenges.

"In this area, we offer the most comprehensive services for children," said Scalise-Morrissey, who began her private practice nearly 30 years ago and opened her first brick-and-mortar space above the Steinway Piano Gallery in downtown Hinsdale. She's since outgrown that space, expanding to two locations in Woodridge and Westmont. Together, the two locations have about 60 employees, many of whom hold master's degrees or doctorates in their field of expertise, she said.

Scalise-Morrissey said she was on her way to a career in finance when, as a junior at Northern Illinois University, she fell in love with speech therapy.

"There was no looking back," said Scalise-Morrissey, who still remembers the phone call she made to her parents, telling them she would be switching majors and pursuing a master's degree. Scalise-Morrissey earned that degree at St. Xavier in Chicago.

Today, Scalise-Morrissey specializes in speech therapy and infant feeding. Other team members have other specialties, some of which are quite specific and unique, allowing children to receive multiple services all in one place.

"It relieves stress for parents," she said, and saves them from having to drive from place to place for their child's services. It also can be a comfort for a child to come to a familiar place for their various therapy needs.

While some children need minor help with a single issue, others require more intensive, multi-faceted help, Scalise-Morrissey said.

"The younger we can get the children and engage them in consistent therapy, we know that therapy works," she said.

Hummingbird offers a free, online interactive tool at, to help parents determine whether a child might benefit from services.

The Hummingbird Academy is an extension of Hummingbird Therapies. Scalise-Morrissey describes it as a one-of-a-kind therapeutic enrichment program that uses play to provide therapy and education to children in small groups.

Hummingbird Academy offers programs year-round. Parents and children can learn more at an open house set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Westmont location, 750 Pasquinelli Drive, No. 204. Families should register for the event at the website listed above.

"The academy has really grown," said Scalise-Morrissey, who said Hummingbird Therapies also has room to grow. It soon will offer even more children and families the help they're looking for in even more locations.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean