Welcome To The Board – Dr. Amaris Sánchez-Larragoity
Welcome To The Board – Dr. Amaris Sánchez-Larragoity

Amaris Sánchez-Larragoity, PsyD is a licensed psychologist, specialized in counseling psychology, and oriented towards positive and goal-directed therapeutic approaches. For the last 16 years she has been a strong support professional in the non-profit and community centered industry focusing on managing rare disease, advancing public health in times of crisis, and designing adaptive recreation programs. Dr. Sánchez-Larragoity recently launched AprenSer, an educational resource, directed to action, person-centered, and aimed at the achievement of goals for Spanish speaking families living with rare disease. She is a skilled consultant and experienced bilingual speaker on topics related to self-advocacy, identity development and formation, healthcare transitions, accessible education, and subjective quality of life. She currently works as a school psychologist at Puerto Rico’s Department of Education. Amaris insists she’s solar powered and the sound of beach waves, Pax (a toy poodle), Piola (a shitzu mix), and dark chocolate are all she needs to recharge.

She joined the Child Neurology Foundation’s Board in October 2021.

We asked Dr. Sánchez-Larragoity a few questions about her career and her interest in working with CNF for our latest “Getting To Know CNF” post.

Why did you get into the child neurology field? 

It has always been about the positive aspects of psychology for me; potential, motivation, goals, resiliency. Working with people diagnosed with rare diseases throughout the process of identifying as someone with a disability and not disabled  is my greatest passion. Child neurology specifically was more of a right place/right time kind of thing, disabilities that stem from neurological disorders are particularly complicated and are not always apparent at first glance and that is a blessing and a challenge at once, riddled with unexplored and unknown potential, right at the center of my comfort zone.  

What is your specialty/sub-specialty area? 

Degree Specialty: Psychology/Counseling Psychology 

Experiential Specialty: Positive Psychology/Rare Disease Management & Identity Formation 

Why did you want to join CNF’s BOD? 

CNF’s mission and vision mirror all that I believe in professionally and personally; potential and collaboration. Everything is possible and nothing works on its own; an organization that is focused on medical diagnosis but recognizes the importance of collaborative work with non-medical areas is a dream come true. More so if they make it a point to include members from non medical fields in their board of directors.  

What inspires you/provides you hope about the future of the child neurology field? 

Again, potential and collaboration. Understanding that a medical diagnosis becomes part of a patient’s opportunities and experiences and that not all diagnoses are evident at first glance is at the center of everything I work on.  

What inspires you/provides hope when you think about children who are living with a neurologic condition?  

Sometimes you have to believe to be able to see and not just “see to believe.”  Treating neurologic disorders as a whole and addressing them as part of a “lifestyle,” from innovation in treatments to day to day care needs to adaptive recreation, a better quality of life is possible; prognosis focused on life experiences and not on a living timeline.  

Tell us about a hobby or something most wouldn’t know about you. 

If being a sport spectator were a sport I’d be an athlete. I love sports, all sports, I wouldn’t miss a game or event if I could. However, I love watching them, not doing them, not even for fun or a little while. (LOL – it’s funny ‘cause it’s true!) BUT I have participated and finished in two main marathons, all 26.2 miles of them, at NYC and Chicago, and if you saw me you wouldn’t even imagine it.  

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