Madeline Chadehumbe, M.D., joined Eden Autism’s Board of Trustees in 2016. She is a neurologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and has expertise in clinical management of children and adults with the diagnosis of autism. She is Board Certified in Neurology with special qualifications in Child Neurology and Board Certified in Headache Medicine.
The commitment of Eden’s families and staff left a strong first impression on Madeline. “It was the devotion of the staff that caught my eye. As I started to get more involved I started to see the passion not only from the staff, but from the families as well. I saw patients coming in with their parents and Eden staff who gave such detailed observations and feedback about the patient, and that’s really key to having success for these participants.”
During her time at Eden, Madeline has developed a deep relationship with some of the participants, direct support staff, and their families, which has helped her better understand the challenges and complexity of having and caring for a participant with autism
“I have learned so much and can admit that none of this even gets acknowledged or discussed during our medical training,” she said. “In medical training, you don’t ever discuss what happens to children with autism as they age out of school. Eden really has opened my mind to thinking about that, and as a clinician, I can try to facilitate this discussion so they’re thinking beyond just right now.”
Madeline’s admiration for Eden’s direct support staff has only grown since the beginning of the pandemic. She is incredibly proud of the residential staff in particular for how they’ve handled the challenges associated with the coronavirus.
“The staff made such amazing, courageous, and selfless efforts amidst this pandemic,” she said. “I have been so in awe of everyone, all the way from the CEO down to every single direct care staff, who have really gone above and beyond and sacrificially made sure the participants are not only safe but had a great quality of life.”
Earlier this year, Madeline worked with Eden parent Dr. Gina Del Giudice-Asch to create a video presentation about the COVID-19 vaccines. The video, which explained the science behind the vaccines and their benefits, was shared with Eden’s staff to help answer questions and dispel myths surrounding the vaccines.
Through her work on the Board of Trustees, Madeline hopes to increase the diversity within the organization and contribute to Eden’s legacy. She truly embraces Eden’s mission to improve the lives of individuals one person at a time, one family at a time, and one community at a time.
Madeline has every intention to remain involved at Eden even after her Board term ends. One of her goals is to help inform more people from the greater Princeton area about Eden’s work.
“Eden doesn’t just take care of our participants, they understand that the family also needs support,” she said. “When you have a child with autism, the need doesn’t stop there. The family that takes care of that child, they need a support system. And Eden has become even more than that support system — they become family.”
Madeline is incredibly humbled by the families’ commitment and investment in the participants and the organization. “This is an organization that has a permanent footprint in my life and my loved ones,” she said.