Dr. Paul Beljan, PsyD, ABPdN, ABN
Dr. Paul Beljan is the past president of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology. He holds child and adult diplomate qualifications with the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology and the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology. Dr. Beljan completed two Post-Doctoral Fellowship programs in Pediatric Psychology and Pediatric Neuropsychology, and has completed coursework for his post doctoral master’s degree in psychopharmachology. Dr. Beljan’s professional focus is on Traumatic Brain Injury, Alcohol/Drug Related Neurodevelopmental Deficit (A/DRND), Gifted Intelligence, Learning Disorders, Trauma, and Attention and Executive Functioning Deficit diagnosis and interventions. Dr. Beljan co-wrote Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults.
Carolyn Carpeneti started two businesses in event planning and recruiting, and has enjoyed success and recognition in both. In 2014, Carolyn launched a third company that is by far her most ambitious and meaningful endeavor. CoPilot Systems provides a technology-based solution that helps students with weak executive function survive, compete academically and eventually thrive. A single mom of two, Carolyn resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Carolyn is proud to announce the launch of her new book TAKING FLIGHT, which details the incredible journey she and her son took when her son found himself flunking out of the college of his dreams just 8 weeks into his freshman year. Venturing deep into the silent epidemic of weak or delayed executive function and its impact on collegiate success, TAKING FLIGHT can be purchased from the EdRev bookseller on Level 3.
Stephanie Cole, MEd
Stephanie discovered her passion for working with students with learning differences through volunteer work at a hippotherapy center in northern New Jersey. Following her passion, Stephanie completed her undergraduate degree in special education with a focus on educational psychology. Upon completion of her degree, she worked as an educational consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio serving as the firm’s primary executive function coach and advocate. She has vast experience working with all ranges of learning needs and ages (young adults, included). Advancing her degree, Stephanie earned her master’s in education from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Stephanie joins Children’s Health Council as an Education and Executive Function Specialist.
Brock Eide, M.D., M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D.
Brock Eide, M.D., M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D., are internationally recognized authorities on dyslexia and learning differences. Together they wrote The Dyslexic Advantage and The Mislabeled Child, and founded the nonprofit organization Dyslexic Advantage. They live with their son in Edmonds, Washington.
Christine Elgersma, MFA
Before working at Common Sense, Christine helped cultivate and create ELA curriculum for a K-12 app, taught the youth of America as a high school teacher, a community college teacher, a tutor, and a special education instructional aide. Christine is also a writer, primarily of fiction and essays, and loves to read all manner of books from Stephen King to Anne Lamott. When she’s not putting on a spontaneous vaudeville show with her daughter, Christine loves to hike and listen to music, sometimes simultaneously.
Shelley Haven, ATP, RET
Shelley Haven has worked the past 29 years helping individuals with physical, sensory, and learning challenges to unlock their potential with technology. She specializes in matching students with tools appropriate to their needs, and is RESNA-certified as an Assistive Technology Professional and a Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist. Shelley currently works as an independent assistive technology consultant serving families, educators, and schools throughout the Bay Area with a focus on learning differences. She previously directed AT resources and services for Stanford University’s Office of Accessible Education and helped establish the Schwab Learning Center at Stanford for students with learning differences and ADHD.
Nina G is west coast’s only female stand up comedian who stutters and has learning disabilities. She is also a disability activist, storyteller, children’s book author and educator. She brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity, and equity.
When she isn’t performing at comedy clubs like the San Francisco Punchline or the Laugh Factory, she is playing colleges and presenting as a keynote speaker to children with disabilities and training professionals! Nina is part of the comedy troupe The Comedians with Disabilities Act, which brings laughter and awareness to audiences across the country.
She is the author of a children’s book titled, Once Upon An Accommodation: A Book About Learning Disabilities, that helps children and adults advocate for their rights as a person with a Disability. Nina’s one person show, Going Beyond Inspirational, which is a comical exploration about growing up with Learning and Speech Disabilities debuted in 2015 and was featured CBS San Francisco Local.
Lindsay E. Jones
Lindsay E. Jones is the vice president, chief policy & advocacy officer for the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). She leads a team that designs and implements NCLD’s legislative strategy in Washington, DC, aimed at advancing government policies that support the success of individuals with learning and attention issues in school, at work and in life. She also develops advocacy campaigns and works closely with NCLD’s grassroots network of committed parents. Before joining NCLD, Lindsay was the senior director for policy and advocacy at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), where she led CEC’s federal legislative advocacy and worked with dedicated educator advocates across the country. She was instrumental in developing and pushing forward many policies at CEC that supported classroom teachers in their work with children with disabilities and their families. Lindsay has a lifelong passion for education. She grew up in a family of advocates committed to working for individuals with disabilities. Prior to her national policy work, she was a partner with the law firm of Gust Rosenfeld in Phoenix. As a practicing attorney, she advised schools and families on special education compliance and litigation. Her practice included Office for Civil Rights investigations, state department of education complaints, IDEA and Section 504 due process hearings and litigation. She is admitted and has litigated before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the federal district courts and state and administrative courts in Arizona. Lindsay is a frequent speaker at professional conferences on issues of policy, advocacy and special education law. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Arizona, and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico.
Diana Black Kennedy
Diana Black Kennedy is a board certified educational therapist with a thriving private practice in San Anselmo, California. Her extensive teaching experience spans second grade through high school, rural, urban and suburban settings and public and private schools. She loves working with the whole range of neurodiverse students, including those with learning disabilities and those who are gifted and talented and twice exceptional. Diana holds a Certificate in Educational Therapy, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature. She presents across the country and internationally. She leads the Marin County AET Study Group, and is Social Media Chair and Marketing co-chair of AET and Board Chair/Secretary for Marin Educators in Private Practice (MEPP) and writes a blog about education at www.MindSparkLearning.com.
Anne-Marie Morey is a board-certified educational therapist. In her private practice in San Mateo, she teaches students with dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning disabilities. In addition, she has guest lectured for San Francisco State University, Notre Dame de Namur, and Learning Ally. You can find her writing at BayTreeBlog.com where she shares resources on topics such as executive function, dyslexia, and literacy.
Melody O’Neil, M.S. Ed
For the past ten years, Melody O’Neil has been the Associate Director of Admission at Landmark School in Beverly, MA. Melody came to Landmark in 1995 to teach oral expression, pragmatics and language-arts tutorials in the Expressive Language department at Landmark High School, after graduating from UMass, Amherst with a B.S. in Communication Disorders. In 2000, Melody received a M.S. Ed from Simmons College in Special Education, completed Lindamood Bell LiPS and Visualizing & Verbalizing training and began teaching the LiPS tutorials in the Early Literacy department. That same year Melody also became an Academic Case Manager. In addition, she has presented workshops on topics including understanding language-based learning disabilities and expressive and pragmatic language deficits to parents, teachers and other professionals as part of the Outreach Program. She also has a booklet published on Understanding Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders, as part of the Landmark Outreach booklet series.
Lyn Pollard is the parent advocacy manager for the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). She works as part of the NCLD’s DC-based Policy and Advocacy team to connect parents to resources and education to enhance their advocacy efforts for children with learning and attention issues. Lyn is mom to two amazing kids with learning and attention issues. She also discovered her own learning and attention issues as part of her advocacy journey on behalf of her kids. Prior to joining NCLD full time, Lyn was a parent blogger for the LD.org LD Insights blog and wrote the Out-of-the-Box advocacy series. She also served on the NCLD Parent Leader team. Lyn’s writing about parenting kids with learning and attention issues has appeared on Parents.com, Parenting.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog and other outlets. She serves on the advisory board for the upcoming Dyslexiaville website and also served on The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia film’s social media team. She has trained parents across the country on using social media for effective advocacy and speaks frequently on the topics of parent advocacy and parent involvement in collaborative efforts to create change for kids with learning and attention issues. Lyn’s background is in journalism, management consulting and marketing. She lives in Dallas.
Kelly Priest, M.S.
Kelly Priest, M.S. is a school counselor specializing in social learning, and a consultant for parents, therapists, and teachers of children with a variety of social learning challenges. She has a professional background in community mental health, plus 8 years of experience running highly regarded social learning groups in Santa Monica, CA, as well as a unique parent education course for parents of children on the autism spectrum, like herself.
Dr. Tony J. Simon, PhD
Dr. Simon is a pediatric cognitive neuroscientist. His research focuses on the interactions between neural, cognitive, affective and stress biology differences in young people with genetic disorders that produce learning difficulties, behavioral dysregulation and psychopathology. Dr. Simon has spent over a decade and a half investigating how dysfunction in specific neurocognitive processing systems, such as attention, and spatial or temporal processing generates cognitive impairments in thinking about space, time, numbers as was as real world challenges like math, using money and navigation. He has developed and is testing a digital neurotherapeutic intervention (in the form a video game) to minimize such disability. Dr. Simon’s current main project is a National Institute of Mental Health funded longitudinal study on risk and protective factors for psychosis proneness in chromosome 22q11.2 deletion (Velocardiofacial/DiGeorge) syndrome based on the interaction of neurocognitive and affective processing and stress reactivity. Besides experimental cognitive processing analyses, Dr. Simon uses cutting edge neuroimaging methods, such as resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Fiber Tracking as well as Event-Related Potential (ERP) components of electrophysiological studies in order to study the structure, function and connective patterns in the developing brain.
Laura Wingers, PsyD, NCSP
Dr. Laura Wingers is a clinical psychologist in private practice at Beljan Psychological Services in Scottsdale, Arizona. She specializes in supporting the development of self-regulation and executive function in children and adolescents. Her professional focus includes early childhood development, gifted intellect and developmental asynchrony, dyslexia and other learning differences, ADHD and executive function impairments, and anxiety and mood disorders. She is particularly passionate about identifying and serving highly gifted children in the early years, and working with children with developmental, social and behavioral needs and their families. Dr. Wingers provides training and consultation services for school districts and parent groups locally and nationally.