Meet-a-Mom | Zeina Kaddoum Founder of HUG Center | Birmingham Bloomfield Hills Moms

Meet Zeina Kaddoum, Ph.D, Founder of HUG Center. The HUG Center is a heart-led project committed to providing specialized, home-based therapeutic programs for every child, with a special focus on those who are neurodivergent. They offer home-based ABA therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Art Therapy, each designed to align with each child’s unique needs and strengths. When she’s not taking care of our kids and helping them grow, you can find her with her two kids Andres and Kyla. Thank you for sharing. 

How many children do you have and what are their names and ages? I’m a proud mom to two wonderful kids: Andrew, who’s 7, and Kyla is 5.

Where do your kids go to school? Andrew and Kyla attend the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. Sacred Heart is a wonderful community that emphasizes evidence-based education, respects the dignity of each child, and mirrors the values we believe in at HUG Center.

Tell us more about the HUG Center. HUG Center is a heart-led project committed to providing specialized, home-based therapeutic programs for every child, with a special focus on those who are neurodivergent. We offer home-based ABA therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Art Therapy, each designed to align with each child’s unique needs and strengths.  

At HUG Center, we emphasize bringing a variety of personalized therapies into the natural and familiar setting of each child’s home. This strategy ensures that our specialized care is not only tailored to the unique needs of each child but is also delivered in an environment where they feel most at ease and secure, enhancing the effectiveness and comfort of the therapeutic experience. 

I like to think of ourselves at HUG Center as more than a service provider; we are partners in children’s developmental journey, using the most progressive and evidence-based behavioral strategies. Our aim is to nurture each child’s abilities and support their journey towards a fulfilling and self-directed life.

Tell us more about you. What’s your background? Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, I moved to Lebanon at 9 years old, experiencing a significant cultural shift that allowed me to stretch my comfort zone, meet incredible friends and become fluent in three languages. 

After a decade in Lebanon, I returned to Canada and pursued higher education, obtaining a PhD in Population Health. Over the past 12 years, I have been teaching at the university level in the fields of health sciences, disability studies, and gender relations, a role I continue to hold with passion. My career, deeply rooted in my commitment to the well-being of vulnerable groups, social justice, and equity, reflects my dedication to making a meaningful impact in the lives of neurodivergent children. 

In 2016, I made Michigan my home, where I currently reside with my family, grateful for the life and community we’ve built here. 

I am an introvert who loves public speaking, iykyk! In college, I developed a passion for baking, a flame I need to reignite. I strongly believe in the power of setting intentions, often manifesting almost anything I focus—or must I say hyperfocus—on. Outside of my professional life, my interests include tennis, fashion, and travel.

Our children are so important to us moms. What was your mission for starting Hug Center? My personal experiences with ADHD fueled my passion to create a supportive space for those facing similar challenges. HUG Center is a culmination of this vision, providing early intervention and comprehensive support for children with ADHD, autism, and other developmental conditions. As someone who is neurodivergent, I deeply resonate with these children and am committed to empowering them to lead fulfilling lives. 

Recognizing the high need for compassionate, child-centered, and collaborative approaches to therapy, we at HUG Center prioritize respecting and honoring the dignity of these little humans. Our methods are designed to not just address their developmental needs but to also acknowledge their individuality and inherent worth, ensuring that each child is seen, heard, and valued in their journey to growth and self-discovery. 

With the prevalent issue of long waitlists for testing and therapies for autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, we understand the critical importance of timely intervention. Therefore, we strive to make our services as accessible and efficient as possible, because no child should have to wait too long to receive the support and care they need.

What offerings can a mom expect and why should one consider the Hug Center? At HUG Center, we specialize in providing a comprehensive suite of home-based therapies, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Occupational, Speech, and Art therapies. Our approach is designed to foster holistic development in children, seamlessly integrating physical, mental, and behavioral health into a cohesive therapeutic experience.

Our philosophy, as I often emphasize, centers around the principle that ‘one size fits one.’ This guiding tenet is at the heart of everything we do. We are dedicated to providing individualized care that is both informed by the latest behavioral research and tailored to each child’s unique strengths and interests. Our goal is not just to address the challenges each child faces, but to empower them with the skills they need to thrive in various settings – at home, in school, and within their communities.

Tell us a fun fact about you? I have ADHD and a PhD. I got my PhD in Population Health from the University of Ottawa before the age of 30, which I hope inspires others to believe that anything is possible, even with a neurodevelopmental condition or disability.

What made you decide to raise your family here? Michigan is a fantastic place for families, and my decision to move here was influenced by my husband’s professional opportunities. It has proven to be a great environment for both my professional flexibility and family life.

What’s your favorite family activity to do in the summer? We love visiting water parks in the summer. My children enjoy the thrill, and it’s a great way for us to bond and have fun together. We also like to travel and explore new places, always after adding new adventures to our family memories. And for a yummy summer treat to cool off, Dad and the kids are especially fond of Clark’s Ice Cream.

What do you do to balance your own life and motherhood? What do you do for “me” time? I prioritize my personal well-being with regular fitness routines, including Orange Theory sessions four to five times a week as well as playing tennis. I enjoy listening to podcasts on personal development and children’s growth, and I find solace in quiet moments alone to recharge.

Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood? I’m immensely grateful to our au pairs. Their dedication and cultural contributions have been invaluable to our family, making my journey through parenthood both manageable and enriching.


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Phone: (248) 312-9535



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