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Parents, Educators, Professionals, Adults, & Students14+
Life in High School and Beyond Virtual Conference
Friday, May 20, 2022 8:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
text or call 732-645-2738
8:45-9:00 Welcome & Instructions
9:00-9:45 Session A
Room 1: Positive Psychology Strategies and Tools to Reconnect to Your Child/Corn (E; E)
Be the parent you want to be. In this workshop, we will learn research-backed principles of applied positive psychology to understand new ways to increase positivity overall, strengthen relationships, and decrease dysregulation. Attendees will learn how to change perspective, listen differently, tap into compassion, choose to respond rather than react, and create opportunities for collaborative problem-solving. Participants will leave with strategies and tools to change the dynamic of the relationship with their children, and increase connection, communication, and calm at home.
Room 2: Special Education 101: Legalities and Practicalities/Meltzer (M-HS; E)
Attorney Andrew Meltzer will discuss the structure of the IDEA, who is eligible, and how to go about securing an appropriate educational program for your newly diagnosed or changing child. Andrew will also discuss the legal remedies available to families if they disagree with the programming for their child.
Room 3: NAMI New Jersey: Ending the Silence/Koenig (E; E)
NAMI Ending the Silence is an engaging presentation that helps audience members learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions and what steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental health condition. The presentation includes two leaders: one who shares an informative presentation and a young adult with a mental health condition who shares their journey of recovery. Audience members can ask questions and gain understanding of an often-misunderstood topic.
Room 4: Pandemic to ENDEMIC: Putting Community Back in Community-Based Instruction/Shanahan
(M-PS; F, Ed, O)
This presentation will bring a back-to-basics approach in CBI and how to restore transition programming from a long pandemic and virtual world to re-building in person relationships with local organizations. Attendees will gain a fresh, renewed outlook in supporting the employment needs of students with disabilities. This will include proactive instructional strategies, various types of assessments, and how to safely re-enter the community.
Room 5: The Roadmap to College for Students Who Learn Differently/Estrada (HS-PS; E)
This workshop will cover the differences between high school and post-secondary for students who learn differently, how to pick the college that best matches students’ needs, and ways to successfully manage the transition.
Room 6: Financial Strategies for Families with a Child with Special Needs/Pedersen, Friedson (E; E)
The Allied Wealth Partners Special Needs Division was established to serve the unique estate planning and financial considerations of families with a child with special needs.
10:00-10:45 Session B
Room 1: Transition Ready: The ultimate ‘selfies’ to take to college /Hebert (HS-A;E)
This session will discuss the differences between high school and college and the need to prepare for the differences, not just academically but socially and emotionally. Knowing what to expect, preparing for the changes and reflecting on a student’s skills of self-awareness, self-advocacy and more ‘selfies’ will be the focus of this workshop.
Room 2: Proven Techniques to Increase Learning, Manage Attention and Gain understanding of Executive
Functions – Part 1/Elrom (M-HS; E)
Throughout the workshop, it will be highlighted how ADHD and Executive Function challenges impact learning and behavior. A basic understanding of Executive Functions will be presented and tips, tools, and strategies to support our students in and out of the classroom will be shared. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of the impact of communication, connection, and empathy as the foundational work.
Room 3: Transitioning to the College Setting with Appropriate Accommodations/Meltzer (HS-A; E)
Attorney Andrew Meltzer will discuss the legal requirements of post-secondary institutions to provide reasonable accommodations to students with a disabling condition. Participants will learn what is considered reasonable accommodation and the process of putting services into place.
Room 4: Letting Go to Foster Independence-How to Support without Enabling/Taylor-Klaus (M-HS; F)
Want more independent older teens and young adults? Whether living at home or on their own, are you supporting them more than you think you should, or worried for their future? This workshop will provide clear, actionable strategies to use immediately. Learn techniques to improve relationships, help your kids take ownership of their lives, and strengthen communication without power struggles. Take this important step to create trust and connection with your young adults…forever.
Room 5: How to Apply to Colleges with an IEP/Tellier, Rotter, Wyers (HS-PS; F, S)
This workshop will focus on a step-by-step process on how to get high school students who have IEP’s into college and then how to get them the support that they need.
Room 6: Building a Best Fit College List for Your Neurodiverse Student/McGaw, Royal (HS-A; E)
As neurodiverse students consider attending college, their idea of where they want to go may not be their best-fit college. This presentation will offer research-based information and personal experience about the differences in college disability support services that must be considered when building the college list and the questions to ask when visiting colleges.
11:00-11:45 Session C
Room 1: Practical Strategies for Supporting Student Mental Health & Resilience/Moore (M-HS; E)
How do you help students bounce back from what they have been through? From trauma, isolation, and poverty, to mental health challenges, our students have faced many obstacles over the last two years. Come see a formula to help you guide students move forward through the challenges that destroy motivation and make it difficult to find success.
Room 2: Proven Techniques to Increase Learning, Manage Attention and Gain understanding of Executive Functions – Part 2/Elrom (M-HS; E) See Session B Room 2 for description
Room 3: The College Search for Students with Learning Differences/Weil (HS; E)
This workshop will analyze the selection, application and transition to college for students with learning differences. Main topics covered: evaluating post-secondary support programs, making informed decisions, preparing students and parents for a successful transition, legal considerations, determining college readiness, and resources available.
Room 4: Adult Learning Disability Assessments 101/Cianci (HS-A; F, PS, A)
This workshop will cover everything you need to know about navigating the assessment process for an adult and how it’s different from a younger child’s assessment. The following questions will be answered: What is a learning disability assessment? What are the different assessment options? How do you choose the assessment that best meets your needs? What types of tests are typically used and for what purpose? How do you find someone to conduct the assessment for you? What should you look for in an evaluator? How can an assessment be used to further you/your learning needs in higher education and/or be beneficial in the workplace? Typically, who pays for the assessment? Common pitfalls and next steps after the assessment is complete will also be discussed.
Room 5: Supporting Youth Voice in the IEP: A Path to Success/Monaco (HS; E)
Strong advocacy skills are essential in a successful transition from school to adult life. This workshop will discuss ways to develop self-advocacy skills and support youth voice in the IEP process and beyond.
Room 6: Assistive Technologies to Facilitate Reading and Writing Skills/Shepardson (M-PS; E)
Text to Speech, Speech to Text, and Word Prediction are powerful tools that facilitate the writing and reading process. Discover how to activate these tools and teach your students how to leverage them to facilitate work completion.
12:00-12:45 Session D
Room 1: Learning After Graduation: Day Program & Academy for Continuing Education/Morris-Marano (PS-A; E)
Your loved one’s potential is limitless, and their access to education should be, too! In this presentation we will share information about continuing education and day program at Community Access Unlimited.
Room 2: Preparing Now….for Life After High School-Part 1/Dendy (M-HS; F, E, O)
This session provides parents and teachers strategies to prepare middle and high school students for a successful future. Researchers tell us our students often are unprepared for life after high school plus are more likely to drop out of college. In addition, our students may flounder because they are less likely to have identified a career path. Strategies to strengthen key skills will be discussed: compensatory strategies to address executive skills deficits, career exploration, independent living and study skills, and assessment of readiness for college.
Room 3: Interagency Collaboration and Pre-Employment Transition Services/Freeman, Atin-Shark,
Scott (M-HS; F, Ed)
This session will explore how the New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education, the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), and the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) are working together to promote the use of specific services for all students with disabilities to prepare them for
competitive integrated employment
. The services that will be discussed include
Pre-Employment Transition Services
(Pre-ETS), traditional vocational rehabilitation services, and vocational rehabilitation transition services.
Room 4: The College Disability Support Office: Everything You Need to Know/Sullivan, Yost (HS-PS; E)
This presentation provides a practical and easy to understand explanation of how a college disability support office assists students. No more confusing language! This presentation will share a wealth of information including: an overview of the accommodation request process, examples of typical accommodations, documentation required, common barriers for new students and how to navigate professors who don’t provide these supports. Examples will be given from both large and small colleges/universities.
Top 10 College Admissions Myths: The LD Edition/Endlich, Swenson (HS; F, S)
Will disclosing my diagnosis impact my chances of being admitted? Will a 504 plan in high school carry over to college? In this lively, interactive discussion, we’ll cover some of the most common misconceptions around college admissions and services, especially for students with learning differences. Your questions are welcomed!
Room 6: Executive Function, Metacognition & Technology: Promoting Success for ALL Students/Kincaid (E)
This session will explore the important role that executive function plays in successful learning across all stages of a student’s development as well as systematic approaches to applying executive function strategies to common academic tasks. This session will also focus on the importance of metacognition and methods for integrating opportunities for self-reflection into executive function strategy instruction. The presentation will include lesson plans, strategy worksheets, handouts, and other materials from the SMARTS Executive Function curriculum.
1:00-1:45 Session E
Room 1: Neurodiverse Adulting 101/Winston (HS-A; E)
What does it take for someone with Autism or a learning difference to thrive as an adult? What is necessary to live on your own and thrive in college or a career? Hear from a professional with almost a decade of experience and a personal story of accomplishing goals despite having a diagnosis of a learning difference herself.
Room 2: Preparing Now….for Life After High School-Part 2/Dendy (M-HS; F, E, O)
See Room D2 for description
Room 3: Transition Services: Who Pays for What and How to Enforce It-Part 1/Disability Rights NJ (HS-A; E)
A two-part presentation that begins with detailing the rights available to students and adults to develop effective transitional services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Workforce Innovative and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as provided by school districts and vocational rehabilitation agencies. The second part will address dispute resolutions and the appeals process to enforce transition rights against the school district and/or DVRS.
Room 4: Mindful Parenting: Learn to Respond Rather than React/Bandy (M-HS; F)
Parenting a child with ADHD and learning disabilities brings its rewards and challenges. Supporting your child requires knowledge, patience, wisdom, perspective, humor and perseverance. This workshop will explore specific ways you can practice pausing to respond intentionally to your child. You will gain new perspectives to guide your child managing Executive Function weaknesses. By slowing down, being attentive and interacting in new ways, you can foster and preserve your relationship with your child.
Room 5: Cultivating Independence After High School/Franklin (HS-A; E)
As teens transition into adulthood, they face complex challenges that we often expect them to handle on their own. But even well-equipped teens can have trouble fulfilling responsibilities, navigating relationships, exercising good judgment, and charting a course to a happy future. Teens with language-based learning difficulties tend to experience more difficulty in these areas. This workshop will offer strategies to for parents and young adults to cultivate independence after high school.
Room 6: Preparing for Life beyond High School: Tech Tools for Independence Part 1/Janowski, Marotta (HS-A;E)
Preparing for transitions beyond high school and confused by all the technology options? Unsure of where and how to begin? We will provide participants with a variety of technology tools, resources and strategies which promote independence. Technology tools support executive functions, research, study skills, note-taking and time management skills and provide reading supports for learners who struggle with reading fluently and with automaticity.
1:45- 2:00 Break
2:00-2:45 Session F
Room 1: Owning Your Emotions: Social-Emotional Support for Adults with LD-Part 1/Grigg Mason, McGaw,
Samaniego, Teach (PS-A; F, S)
This workshop will present the strategies needed to cope with the many social-emotional issues which stem from interference from a diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disability and any comorbidities. Strategies include building strong self-esteem, learning social interactions, and the ability to self-advocate as well as regulate emotions.
Room 2: Planning Before High School Graduation/Ford (M-A; E)
This presentation is an overview of transition and what to do before a student, with IDD, graduates from high school. We will discuss what a good transition plan looks like, what to do if your child isn’t ready to graduate, goals, guardianship, SSI, and the many resources available to help you through the process.
Room 3: Transition Services: Who Pays for What & How to Enforce It-Part 2/Disability Rights NJ
(HS-A; E) See Session E Room 3 for description
Room 4: Supporting High Schoolers’ Executive Functions while Preparing for College/Sperrazza, Haller
This presentation will discuss strategies for students struggling in areas of executive dysfunction as it relates to the transition from high school to college. We will talk about what executive dysfunction looks like in real-life, how and when to intervene (e.g., seeking out a neuropsychological evaluation, requesting accommodations, executive function coaching), and strategies for fostering motivation and independence in students during this time. Participants will be provided with relevant resources (e.g., recommended books and websites).
Room 5: Recovering from the Pandemic for Teens and Children with ADHD-Part 1/Hughes (HS-PS; E)
During the pandemic many children and young people with ADHD had their lives disrupted and delayed. There were lots of challenges – struggling with online classes, isolation from friends, and anxiety about the future. Others found new ways to move ahead. This workshop will address helping our children and teens get their lives back on track by addressing the trauma they experienced and providing the supports to help them thrive.
Room 6: Preparing for Life beyond High School: Tech Tools for Independence Part 2/Janowski, Marotta
(HS-A; E) See Session F Workshop 6 for description
3:00-3:45 Session G
Room 1: Owning Your Emotions: Social-Emotional Support for Adults with LD-Part 2/Grigg Mason, McGaw,
Samaniego, Teach (PS-A; F, S) See Session F Room 1 for description
Room 2: Adult Learning Disability Assessments 101/De Santis-Moniaci (HS-A; F, PS, A)
This workshop will cover everything you need to know about navigating the assessment process for an adult and how it’s different from a younger child’s assessment. The following questions will be answered: What is a learning disability assessment? What is the difference between a psychoeducational evaluation and a full neuropsychological assessment? Which is the right fit for your needs? What types of tests are typically used and for what purpose? How do you find someone to conduct the assessment for you? What should you look for in an evaluator? How can an assessment be used to further you/your learning needs in higher education? Typically, who pays for the assessment? Common pitfalls and next steps after the assessment is complete will also be discussed.
Room 3: Solving for X: Math Disabilities and Executive Functioning/Murphy (M-HS; F, E, S)
This workshop will focus on a discussion of math learning disabilities as well as the role of executive functioning in mathematics. Attention will be paid to the different classifications of math learning disabilities and how these issues may present in the classroom. A review of common intervention strategies will also be discussed.
Room 4: Innovative Employment for People with Autism-A Model for Others/Rothman (PS-A; F, E, O)
HAAPE is a nonprofit foundation that provides training programs and meaningful employment opportunities for people on the spectrum (80-90% unemployed!). We will discuss our 5 training programs (Software/Quality Testing; Avionics Repair; Supply Chain Management; Document Management and Drone Piloting), our employment initiatives, our work to create autism friendly cities and businesses, as well as our unique concept of social licensing. Visit us at
Room 5: Recovering from the Pandemic for Teens and Children with ADHD-Part 2/Hughes (HS-PS; E)
See Session F Room 5
Room 6: Succeeding with Learning Disabilities & Other Related Disorders: The Student Perspective/STAMPNJ
Delivered by a group of middle school, high school, and college students, this interactive workshop allows attendees to experience what it feels like to have a language-based learning disability and other related disorders. The students explore their experiences growing up with a learning disability, including accommodations, assistive technology, self-
advocacy and personal stories.
3:45 Complete Feedback Form to get a Certificates of Attendance for up to 5.25 PDUs
Professional Development Units (NJ Provider Id #568) emailed immediately to you
*** Some changes may occur to workshops due to speaker changes or cancellations.
LDANJ and ATAC do not endorse or recommend any method, treatment, or product; evaluation or remedial center, program, or persons for children and adults with learning disabilities. They do however, endeavor to inform, believing that you have the right to know what is available to assist those who have a learning disability to reach their full potential.
was employed by the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), in early 2007, as an Employment Service Specialist. She received her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2013. During her 15 years at CBVI, she has held various positions including VR College Counselor, VR Transition Counselor, and now Supervisor of CBVI’s Statewide Transition and Deaf/Blind Services. She is continually involved in the planning a facilitation of CBVI’s Pre-ETS and Transition Programs.
is a Registered Nurse and ADHD Coach and Educator. As a middle school nurse, she developed a program supporting students with ADHD. She is a Certified Life Coach and earned a Masters of Arts in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy. She facilitates Mindful Parenting Groups to allow parents to learn the skills to respond rather than react. Judy is energized, passionate, and honored to work with individuals, families and schools navigating an ADHD diagnosis.
has over 35 years of experience in public education as a Special Education teacher and Learning Disability Teacher Consultant with over 10 years as an independent consultant. She is one of the founders and Executive Director of the Princeton Center for Educational Assessments (PCEA), a non-profit organization supporting families and schools. PCEA provides comprehensive assessment services, structured literacy tutoring and transition services. PCEA serves all ages, from pre-school, school age, college students and adults.
is an ADHD, executive function, and positive psychology coach. She has a private practice and facilitates parent support groups for ADDA and CHADD. With a strengths-based approach, she addresses challenging behavior by focusing on understanding the child’s ADHD experience, compassion, the gifts of ADHD, and the primary importance of the parent-child connection as a solid foundation for self-esteem and self-worth. She graduated from Bucknell University and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She was trained by the Wholebeing Institute and the ADHD Parent Coach Academy.
Chris A. Zeigler Dendy
is a popular author, educator, & school psychologist with 40+ years’ experience, plus mother of children with ADHD, LD & executive function deficits. She has authored five books, including her latest,
Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD..Ready or not!
In 2014, she received CHADD’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, she was inducted into CHADD’s Hall of Fame. She was the lead author for CHADD’s ADHD Educator’s Manual and Teacher-to-Teacher training program.
Dr. Deborah De Santis-Moniaci
is a NYS Licensed Psychologist who offers neuropsychological assessment services for children, teens, and adults in her private practice. She attended Long Island University for her doctoral studies before going on to her clinical internship at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. For more than a decade, Dr. D shared time between running a neuropsychological assessment service at an area hospital where she trained medical and doctoral students and offering her services in private practice. She is invested in advocating for the right of her clients and educating families on their rights.
Disability Rights NJ
is New Jersey’s designated Protection and Advocacy Agency under federal law. We advance the human civil, and legal rights of persons with disabilities and promote their self-determination, independent, productivity, and integration into all facets of community life.
is an ADHD and Executive Function coach with more than 19 years working with children and parents. In her New York and New Jersey-based practices (which includes workshops, individual and group sessions), Andrea emphasizes the use of empathy and understanding to help parents develop effective strategies for addressing their children’s challenging behaviors. She also works with independent schools, using a strengths-based approach to help students develop their executive function skills. In her Calm and Connected@ workshop series. Andrea earned her Master’s degree in Education from NYU and received her ADHD coach training through the ADD Coach Academy. She is the co-founder of CreADDive Solutions, often presents at the Hallowell Center NYC, and facilitates ADDA and CHADD parent support groups.
, Ph.D., founder of
Top College Consultants
®, helps students with learning differences transition to college. An experienced clinical psychologist, Dr. Endlich is on the Learning Differences/Neurodiversity Committee of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and co-manages a 1,600-member Facebook group,
Parents of College Bound Students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD and ASD
. He presents nationally at conferences and has been interviewed by
, College Confidential and
U.S. News & World Report
lives in New Jersey with her two kids. Her son has ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder and just went off to Concordia University this past fall! She knows a lot about what the college transition process looks like for families. She is honored to work with families each day and to be a part of their success story!
is the Director of The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute. Lisa’s vision for the Family Institute has resulted in the program becoming the “Go To Place” for information for families caring for a loved one with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Lisa has made it her life’s work to help families find the necessary information needed to navigate through the system. She does this by talking with families, listening to what their needs are and connecting them to the help they need. Prior to her role as Director of the Institute, Lisa worked as a Navigator for The Arc of New Jersey’s Planning for Adult Life Program which helps students with I/DD transition out of their educational entitlement and into the adult world. Before joining The Arc, Lisa taught for 17 years in both the classroom and as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher in New York. She obtained a Master of Science in Special Education and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Wagner College.
, PhD, BCET, is the author of
Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities
. He holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Reading and Learning Disabilities, a PhD from UCLA in Education, and he is a Board-Certified Educational Therapist. Daniel has over 30 years of experience in education as an educational therapist, teacher, administrator, and educational consultant. Daniel is the founder and clinical director of Franklin Educational Services.
, M.Ed., is the CSPD Coordinator at the NJDOE, Office of Special Education, where he provides training and assistance to families and educators to improve educational services. Bill’s work focuses on transition from school to adult life for students with disabilities. Prior to the NJDOE, Bill was a teacher, case manager, and school administrator where he assisted students with disabilities to be successfully employed and fully engaged in all aspects of life upon graduation.
is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). In addition to holding his FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations, Barry is a licensed broker of life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. As a member of Allied Wealth Partner’s Special Needs Division, Barry understands the challenges and joys that special needs families face. He works with his clients to ensure that their loved one with special needs can be provided the care that they require throughout their lifetime. He does this by helping his clients build a team of professionals with special needs planning expertise – people who understand fiduciary requirements, government benefits and tax laws. Since every special needs family situation is unique, he develops individualized customized solutions for his clients that he considers “Exceptional plans for extraordinary people”.
Laurel Grigg Mason
is the Director of Bartlett Labs, part of the SALT Center at The University of Arizona. She oversees data management and assessment within the department and collaborates with researchers around the word on projects that explore students with learning differences in college. Prior to this role, she worked directly with students and peer tutors. Her doctoral work in Higher Education focuses on college access and success for disabled students.
is a clinical psychology student completing a year-long practicum training in neuropsychological assessment. Leora evaluates toddlers through adults and provides executive function coaching. Her interests relate to the overlap of difficulties in neuropsychological domains (e.g., executive function, attention, social communication) and other areas of functioning (e.g., mood, anxiety, emotion regulation, eating behavior). She is passionate about providing practical skills and tools to better people’s lives, and values an interdisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment.
is the Campus Director of the Regional Center for Learning Disabilities on the Florham campus. Dr. Hebert has been a professor of undergraduate and graduate Psychology for 18 years including teaching adjunct classes for the FDU Psychology program. She taught courses in learning and memory, child and adolescent development, testing and assessment, and counseling theory. In addition, she spent many years as a psychotherapist conducting clinical work with individuals of all ages. For the past eight years Dr. Hebert has taught a summer seminar for educators on the social and emotional needs of students with learning differences. She presents at conferences on the transitional needs of students with learning disabilities entering college and has been published in the journal,
Improve with Metacognition
on topics related to metacognition and learning.
, PhD is the former CEO of CHADD, author of Launching into Adulthood with ADHD with Chris Dendy, and the mother of a successful son with ADHD and learning disabilities. Two of her accomplishments at CHADD were the Parent to Parent and Teacher to Teacher training programs. In her retirement, she is working with students with disabilities at Howard Community College and training faculty to better serve students with ADHD and learning disabilities.
is the President and owner of EdTech Solutions, Inc. in Reading, MA, established in 2002. She is passionate about supporting educators in their efforts to ensure all learners have access to the inclusive strategies, tools, and resources they need for success, independence, and empowerment. She presents both locally and nationally about assistive, inclusive, and educational technologies and is a co-author of the book, Inclusive Learning 365, published by ISTE in 2021.
, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of the Institutes for Learning and Development (ILD) and the Director of Outreach and Training for ILD and ResearchILD in Lexington, MA. She coordinates and facilitates outside professional development for private and public schools, and consults with parents and teachers. She is also an experienced Educational Specialist who provides individual educational therapy to high school and college, as well as adults, with learning and attentional issues. During her career, she has worked with all levels of educators from paraprofessionals to superintendents in public and private schools, and was formerly the Director of Special Education at a bilingual charter school in Lawrence, MA for three years. Donna holds certification in Moderate Special Needs from Boston College, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Supervisor/Director Certification from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She is a contributing author to a ResearchILD book entitled,
Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom.
is the Signature Program Assistant at The National Alliance on Mental Illness of NJ (NAMI NJ). He is a MSW candidate at Rutgers University. He has recently graduated from the University of Delaware with his bachelor’s degree in Human Services. Mitchell is constantly expanding the signature and homegrown programs at NAMI NJ by recruiting, training, and educating new presenters and educators. He is also working to expand on the Multicultural programs by using cultural humility and working with diverse cultures through outreach and partnering with community members throughout the state. Mitchell plans to finish his master’s degree in order to continue pursuing a career in the Social Work field.
is the Director of the Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center at DRNJ and the 2017 ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator. Mike is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional with over 30 years experience. Mike is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey where he teaches courses for Masters level educators in Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning. Mike serves on both the CAST Accessible Educational Materials and Center on Inclusive Technology and Education Systems (CITES) Advisory Boards. Mike is one of the co-authors of the ISTE book Inclusive Learning 365: Edtech Strategies for Every Day of the Year. For details visit
is an Independent Educational Consultant with LaunchPad Consulting Group located in Dallas, TX. Their services include using a strength-based approach to coaching students to help uncover their best-fit college and career endeavors. Beth specializes in working with LD, ADHD, and Autism spectrum students. She has a certificate in College Admission Counseling from UC Riverside, is a past President of LDA of America and LDA TX, and member of IECA, ADDA, and TACAC.
is a special education attorney and advocate. Mr. Meltzer knows on a deeply personal level the challenges families of children with special needs encounter; he was a classified student who conquered his learning differences and strives to help special needs students attain the success in school and life of which they are capable. His unique personal and professional experiences in special education law makes him a natural and effective advocate for his clients.
has been working with families, in the area of special education advocacy, for over 15 years. Dawn is currently a Project Director for the
grant, which helps families, youth/young adults with disabilities and professionals understand the adult system in New Jersey. Dawn is also a senior Parent/Professional Staff Trainer at SPAN Parent Advocacy Network. SPAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate and empower families as well as to inform and involve professionals and other individuals interested in the healthy development and educational rights of children. Dawn has conducted trainings educating parents youth/young adults and professionals on such topics related to special education, transition to adult life, self-advocacy and supported decision-making.
, LCSW, is a social worker, author, and advocate for youth. He wrote The Resilience Breakthrough, and created the WhyTry Program. WhyTry is a proven model based on his experiences with learning disabilities, and is used by over 30k organizations, reaching over 2 million kids.
is Director of Educational Services at Community Access Unlimited.
, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist with a specialization in the assessment of neurodevelopmental and neuro-medical disorders. Her training in school psychology provides her with expertise in collaborating and consulting with educators and other professionals to develop comprehensive, individualized educational and treatment plans. Her areas of specialty include Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), specific learning disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), concussion, epilepsy, stroke, and developmental disabilities.
is a member of Allied Wealth Partners Special Needs Division. Earl works directly with families creating financial strategies for their children with special needs as well as education parents on protecting their financial resources for family members receiving government benefits. “Caring for a family member with special needs can at times seem to leave little time for anything else. That is why I help families create personalized strategies that help ensure their loved ones get the care they need in the future. Not a one size fits all strategy, but individualized, customized solutions.” says Earl. Earl understands the unique challenges and joys that daily life brings for families with special needs. He also understands that special needs extend beyond the everyday……to long-term financial strategies.
is President/Chairperson and cofounder of HAAPE, an all-volunteer, IRS 501c3 foundation whereby over 98% of funds are allocated to programs. He has extensive nonprofit experience including Vice Chairman of the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention (FISP). He was President of the Lawrence Group LLC, consultants to the Life Sciences Industry, Managing Partner for Life Sciences Consulting for Ernst & Young and Program Director at IBM. He has a PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry.
Dr. Kathleen Rotter
has over forty years of experience in special education, having served as a teacher, multi-disciplinary team member, Director of Special Services, and college professor. A professor emeritus, she is now a private consultant. Dr. Rotter has delivered hundreds of workshops at the national and state level and is known for her humor as well as her background knowledge.
is an Independent Educational Consultant and founder of Royal College Consulting based in southern California. For the past 12 years, Janice has provided comprehensive college planning and advising while always keeping in mind the unique needs of each student. Our goal is to help find the right college, university, or program for the student. Janice has a certificate from UC Riverside in College Admission Counseling and is a member of LDA, IECA, and WACAC.
, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. She currently works in private practice and at the University of Arizona SALT Center where she oversees clinical and wellness services, including the supervision of doctoral psychology interns. A former instructor in the areas of multicultural counseling and educational psychology, she provides training and consultation to the staff on mental health and other issues that students with learning challenges often face, and is a leader in state and local psychological organizations.
, MSW, LSW, is the Program Planning and Development Specialist of Youth Services at DVRS. Toni is the statewide transition coordinator and lead for Pre-Employment Transition Services. A 2012 graduate of Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work, Toni started her career at DVRS as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and then was the Lead Transition Counselor in the Burlington County local office assisting individuals with disabilities to obtain and maintain competitive integrated employment.
, MS Ed., Monmouth University, is parent of two self-advocates and special education teacher with extensive background in transition services. She has implemented CBI through service learning projects, work-based experiences, mobility training, social skills, volunteerism, person centered planning, and collaboration with nonprofit organizations. A NJEA HIPP Grant Recipient (2017) and State Special Education Advisory Council member, she has a post graduate certificate in Transition Studies, Seton Hall University and is a doctoral student at Rowan University.
is a Reading and Educational Specialist with an M.S. Ed. in Language and Literacy and an Ed. S. in Assistive Technology. She is a seasoned teacher and a credentialed K-12 Reading Specialist. She is a published author, an advocate for students with disabilities and their families, and is also a professional speaker on Dyslexia, language-based disabilities, and assistive technology throughout the country. Equity and access for all, especially regarding access to research-based reading instruction and assistive technology services, are at the forefront of the work she does.
Dr. Cristina Sperrazza
is an early career pediatric neuropsychologist with experience in evaluating toddlers through young adults. Her clinical interests include neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly autism, ADHD, and specific learning disorders, as well as common comorbidities, such as executive dysfunction, anxiety, depression, and disruptive behaviors. Dr. Sperrazza has worked in research and clinical settings across NYC, NJ, and PA. Her experience has emphasized the importance of an interdisciplinary, collaborative team approach to effectively help families.
, M.S, has spent 20 years in higher education including 10 years at Thames Academy as Director of New Student Experience and Parent Programming. Jennifer is author of 2 books including the
Sharing the Transition to College Workbook
filled with 80 skill building activities and real-world scenarios to prepare students for college. She is also founder of
Fast Forward College Coaching
and works with high school and college students with learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety and autism. She offers parent consultation, college learning support comparisons, 1:1 student support and college readiness presentations for high schools.
, BA, BS has over a decade of national and international experience as a youth advocate and educator, including five years as a Post-Secondary Counselor for Fusion Academy. She received her Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension, and earned a BA in English and BS in Communication Disorders with a Minor in Music from Brigham Young University. After graduation, Ms. Swenson worked with children and adults with learning differences in clinics and schools.
, MCC, CPCC, is the mom of three young adults who were complex as children. She co-founded the first global coaching organization for parenting complex kids (originally ImpactADHD®, now ImpactParents.com), teaching the Impact Model, a collaborative problem-solving method for fostering independence. Elaine is co-author of
Parenting ADHD Now! Easy Intervention Strategies to Empower Kids with ADHD
, and author of
The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, Anxiety and More
Joan K. Teach
, Ph.D. has been a special educator working with the LD/ADHD population for over 50 years and has lectured in 22 countries and over 25 states. As the former Director of Lullwater School, she investigated techniques that increase success and survival for individuals. She currently facilitates support groups for parents, adults and women with LD/ADHD. Nationally she has served on the AIGE, CHADD, & LDA Boards, and is involved with CHADD GA, LDA GA. Her passion is to make a change in individuals’ lives to facilitate a richer and fuller life.
, M.S., has been working with students who have special needs for 20 years. She received her LDT/C certificate from TCNJ and worked as the Assistant Director of the TCNJ Literacy Advancement Project and was also part of the adjunct faculty at TCNJ teaching reading and special education courses. She is currently serving as a board member of the newly created non-profit Princeton Center for Educational Assessments, located in Princeton, New Jersey. Heather is also currently enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado working towards her Ph.D. in Special Education.
counsels neurotypical and neurodiverse students transitioning to college since 2007. Her firm, Weil College Advising, specializes in post-secondary options for students with language-based disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. She was previously the Director of College Programs at Yonkers Partners in Education, and later Dean of High School Initiatives at the State University of New York. In both organizations she was responsible for college transition, persistence, and completion. Ms. Weil is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). She was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has lived in New York since 1994. She is the parent of five sons.
is the clinical and curriculum advisor of a post-secondary education program, for neuro-diverse young adults, called Transitions. She has worked with the program for seven years working with students from across the United States and the globe. She is a licensed master’s level social worker and she currently a social work doctoral candidate at SUNY University at Albany. Her research is on the employment outcomes for young adults with learning differences.
, M. Ed, has helped hundreds of students with IEPs make a successful transition to college. In her thirty- two years in education, Leslie has worked as a special education teacher, Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant, and Supervisor of Special Education programs. She has led numerous professional development workshops and is consideredan expert in topics related to school-based considerations for students with transplants. She is a co-author in “What Every Parent Needs to Know About Transplant” (UNOS, 2018) and, most recently presented at the National level for Transplant Families on the transition from High School to College. She is a lifelong advocate for students with learning challenges and is dedicated to helping students find a path to reach their goals!
is a 2021 graduate from Eastern Connecticut State University, where she majored in Psychology. While at Eastern, Lauren was an intern at the university’s office of accessibility as a Student Success Coach. She assisted with accommodation requests, campus outreach events, and general student inquiries.
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