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.
Toni Saunders is a education Advocate, who has been instrumental in helping minority and native American students achieve in the public schools. She also has completed a Masters degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Toni Saunders provides knowledgeable and research based representation at team meetings, mediations, and in court for: special education, discipline, suspension, exclusion, and expulsion hearings; as well as during juvenile court proceedings.
Shereen Al Nowais is the founder of the Taleem Training and Skills Center, founded the center after speaking with James Paicopolos on the phone from the United Arab Emirates. NELDC.org is now working together with the Taleem Center to help students in the United Arab Emirates to achieve academic excellence. At a young age Shereen's son was a smart, happy and active boy, when it came to school however, he was rather reclusive and sad. Every day she personally struggled sharing in the turmoil of seeing her son frustrated and discouraged, of herself feeling helpless and alone in this challenge. Why can't he understand this? Why can't my child read properly? What do I do? I was searching, trying to find someone, somewhere, just something... to grasp onto that was able to help my little child. She is now happy to see that confidence in his eyes, extremely proud as his mother to see him leave to University, to see him grow and become the young outgoing man that he is today.The next step for her was a clear. The choice was to help others find their path, in the United Arab Emirates, to teach parents and families how to support and help their children, and here lay the beginning of her new and exciting journey in learning. The Taleem Centre is that journey. Mohamed Fazal Is the newest member of our staff and is heading up our educational software develoment team. He is presently working on several assessment and learning platforms projects. According to Fazal, the fundamental act of using a computer to learn is quite different but can be-- much more personal, intimate, nuanced -- than, say, the process of shopping for a text book. Learning is an investment of time and pride; it holds a mirror up to our minds.
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 child's learning style and educational needs.
Deb Del Dotto has been an educator for over 30 years with experience in direct service, administration, and consultation in regular and special education environments. She has devoted her career to her students and their needs as her priority with the goal of helping all students to reach their potential. She has worked in both urban and suburban settings including elementary, middle, secondary and college levels. Her administrative background includes work as an assistant principal, principal, director of an alternative high school, and assistant director of special education. She has worked with children ages 3-22 across all disability categories. Ms. Del Dotto holds an undergraduate degree in Education from Temple University, M.A.T. in Teaching from the University of Massachusetts, M.B.A. in Business from Clark University, and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Endicott College. She is certified as a teacher, school principal, K-8, 5-8, 9-12, director of special education, and superintendent. Ms. Del Dotto has extensive knowledge of curriculum, assessment, IEP development and accommodations for students with Language and Learning Disabilities, Moderate to Severe Intellectual Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Disorders.
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.
Dr. Moshen Elhaddad provides care to children and adolescent in all areas of growth and development including ADHD and Autism and neurological disorders. He provides special consultations to children with academic and school difficulties. He has been insrumental in providing alternative solutions to ADHD in collaboration and founding of the New England Learning and Diagnostic Center. Dr. Victor Pedro is a multi-lingual Board Certified practicing Chiropractic Neurologist who specialized in the treatment of Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorders. He is the President and Director of the Infinite Potential Program in Cranston, Rhode Island. Dr. Pedro has pioneered the development of a scientific research-based therapy called Cortical Integrative Therapy, which has been implemented at his clinic for several years and historically in the public school system with students diagnosed with ADHD and learning disabilities. Dr. Pedro graduated in 1981 from the University of Vermont and in 1985 he received his doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine from New York Chiropractic College. His postdoctoral studies focused on Neurology with a Residency at N.Y.C.C. In 1987 and in 1992, he received his Diplomate Degree from the American College of Chiropractic Neurology followed by a Fellowship Award by The Carrick Institute. His interest in learning difficulties lead him to specialize in Learning Disabilities at the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies from which he received a certificate in the Treatment of Learning Disabilities in 2001. He is the recipient of several awards including the QiEn es QiEn in Medical Care and in 1988 a Citation from the State of Rhode Island for his care and dedication to the people of Rhode Island. In addition to a successful practice, Dr. Pedro has lectured extensively in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and has also served as an Associate Professor at the University of Bridgeport Chiropractic College. Dr. Pedro is a member of several professional organizations including The American Chiropractic Association, the Rhode Island Chiropractic Society since 1986 and the Portuguese American Physicians Health Association (PAPHA).
Dr. Pedro's ongoing research is focused primarily on the use and effectiveness of alternative treatments with school-age students diagnosed with Attention Deficit disorders and Learning Disabilities. He is the principal investigator of a research team that completed the Kuss Study at a public school in Fall River Massachusetts. His work was incorporated into the 2003 Fall River, Massachusetts Strategic Improvement Plan. The Kuss Study is a historic first and was submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Education for further implemetation.
Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair Jr.) Dr. Khazan is one of the original four who took part in the Woolworth sit-ins and a Greensboro native. His father, Ezell Alexander Blair, Sr. was a Greensboro educator. He graduated from Dudley High School in 1959 and received a B.S. in sociology from North Carolina A&T State University in 1963. While a student at A&T, Khazan was president of the junior class, the student government association, the campus NAACP and the Greensboro Congress for Racial Equality. He attended law school Howard University for almost a year. In 1965, Khazan moved to New Bedford, Mass. He worked as a teacher and counselor for the developmentally disabled. He became a member of the New England Islamic Center in 1968 and took on his present name. He married the former Lorraine France George of New Bedford. They have three children, one of whom graduated from N.C.A&T. In 1994, Khazan received an honorary doctorate from N.C.A&T State University for his role in the civil rights movement. Discussing the Greensboro sit-in at Mount Wachusett Community College (Mass.) in 2007, Khazan said, "I didn't do this for profit. I did it for love of God, and country, and for those who weren't yet born." Dr. Khazan has been a strong advocate for Children.
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