James Paicopolos founded the New England Learning and Development as a result of his witnessing many children in the school where he worked, as a school psychologist being prescribed ADHD medications, with little or no effect on their school performance or behavior. He was also worried about if he were to have to medicate one of his own sons, because he had consistently noticed tics, hand tremors and a flat affect from children who were taking stimulant medications in the school district that he was employed. In 2003, at a team meeting the special education liaison was commending a parent for making sure that her son took his ADHD medication in the morning and that his behavior has markedly improved. The mother retorted that she had stopped giving her son his medication because he was starting to look like a concentration camp survivor. In another instance, a third grade boy was on the highest dose of ADHD medication that can be administrated. This boy's behavior in class, according to the classroom teacher was highly disruptive to the point that she could not teach the other students. After a consult with mom, myself and the pediatrician, the boy was taken off all medications to establish a base line, and the results were remarkable. He be became a model student after his behavior plan was modified and the school bullying that he was experiencing was addressed.
Gloria Paicopolos is credentialed as a special education teacher, with a specialization in emotional behavioral disorders. Gloria is presently developing tutorial reading programs for children who have been diagnosed with a reading disability or dyslexia. Gloria attended the University of Massachusetts and Bridgewater State University. She is now working toward her PHD in school psychology.
Susan M. Brefach is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified school psychologist who has worked with children and families for over 30 years. Her professional experience has included work in children's hospitals, mental health clinics, public schools, and (for the past 20 years) private practice. Her work has focused on children with learning disabilities, developmental disorders, emotional and behavioral difficulties, dyslexia, non-verbal learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, anxiety and school phobia, medical issues and autism spectrum disorders. Because she believes that even the best evaluation is of limited value without effective follow-up, she works with parents and schools to put in place the best programs and specialized instruction so children can make effective progress. She is dedicated to being an advocate for each child she sees, and providing an independent, objective, and comprehensive picture of that childâ€™s learning style and educational needs.
Dr. Lee Ann Hoff, is the author of Psychiatric and Mental Health Essentials as well as numerous other books assists with the design and implementations of our programs. She has expressed concerns about the overuse of psychotropic medications in children and how children are often used as guinea pigs when it comes to these medications. In the 1970s, Dr. Hoff pioneered in the development of community mental health centers and specialized crisis services in the USA. She has developed and taught courses in the U.S. and Canada in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing; Social, Cultural, and Policy Issues in Health Care; Community Mental Health; Crisis Theory and Practice; Anthropology of Health; Women's Health; Theory, Role, Research, and Contemporary Issues in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs and in university departments of psychology, anthropology, sociology and women's studies. She has conducted numerous continuing education courses and workshops on crisis, violence, and suicide prevention nationally and internationally for health and mental health professionals, police officers, paraprofessional and peer counselors, and the general public. Dr. Hoff's presentations of research and education projects have been at national and international conferences in nursing, women's health, anthropology, public health, psychiatry, suicidology,and victimology. Acknowledging her work in initiating and developing national standards for crisis programs, and for spearheading the certification program for individual crisis workers, the American Association of Suicidology bestowed on her its first national service award in 1985. In 2000 Dr. Hoff received an Honorary Recognition Award from the American Nurses Association, recognizing her pioneering work on violence issues.Major publications include the award-winning book, People in Crisis: Clinical and Diversity Perspectives. 6th Ed. (2009, Routledge, NY); Battered Women As Survivors (1990, Routledge, London). Currently, Dr. Hoff is Research Consultant at the University of Massachusetts Lowell; Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences; and Visiting Professor at the Institute for Applied Psychology ISPA, and Advisory Board Member of the Research Unit on Psychology and Health recognized by the National Foundation for Science and Technology. Dr. Hoff is a member of several professional organizations and is active in peace and anti-violence movements.