Expert Interview

Special Ed Teaching and Social Work with Haley Alperin

Watch now to learn from Haley Alperin, a special education instructor and direct support professional, on her experiences with working with children with special needs. Alperin’s hope to help children through her work has guided her as she navigated many career paths from working at Nickelodeon (to increase diverse representation in the media), to teaching, to social work. As a special education teacher, Alperin worked within underprivileged communities and discussed the influence of socioeconomic disparities on access to resources and educational opportunities. After teaching, her focus has shifted to social work as she is currently obtaining her Masters of Social Work and will begin working at Child Mind Institute in September 2021.   With her strength-based approach in teaching and social work, Alperin helps her students to build transitional and life skills as building blocks for success in their future. To learn more about disparities in education, nature versus nurture in […]

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Clinical Psychology with Dr. Lauren Riordan

puzzle pieces with brain in lightbulb

Watch now to learn from Dr. Riordan, PhD, a clinical psychologist, founder, and co-director of the Waverly Group for pediatric therapy and assessments. Through psycho-educational evaluations, Dr. Riordan works with children to better understand how they think and learn best. With her evaluations, Dr. Riordan can assess a child’s strengths and weakness and provide a diagnosis which serves as a foundation for treatment plans. Dr. Riordan’s work also extends into education as her evaluations are utilized in forming Individualized Education Plans and accommodations for students so they can thrive in a school setting. With her years’ of experience, Dr. Riordan provides insight into diagnosing different disorders, as well as the increase in mental health and social development issues in the past year due to Covid-19. To learn more about the diagnosis process, non-verbal learning disorder, and the effects of the pandemic on mental health, watch the video linked below!

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Applied Behavior Analysis with Dr. Peri Seshens

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Watch now to learn about the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), from Dr. Peri Seshens, PsyD, BCBA, LBA. She is the owner of Bridge Kids, a company that provides behavior therapy to children with autism and other related disorders in New York. Through evaluations and collecting data, Dr. Seshens and her team gain a well-rounded understanding of the children they work with to improve their life, social, executive function, and education skills. From her unique experiences working in Vietnam to her passion of working with children, Dr. Seshens provides a fascinating insight into the world of therapy and understanding behavior. To learn more about evaluations, the importance of early intervention, autism spectrum disorder, and ABA, watch the video linked below!

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Aquatic Physical Therapy

Watch now to learn about the field of aquatic physical therapy from Ailene Tisser, the cofounder of Swim Angelfish. Her company works towards raising awareness for the need of adaptive swim lessons designed to help children with autism, sensory and motor coordination, trauma, anxiety, and more. Through aquatic therapy, children can better process sensory information, promoting independence and growth both in and out of the water. Learn from Ms. Tisser about how aquatic therapy is a unique approach that utilizes properties of the water to build the skills of children with disabilities, helping them in their everyday lives.

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Get to Know Friendship Circle

Speaking as a member of the Friendship Circle organization, Lenore Fogel discusses the beginnings of Friendship Circle, the programs it provides, and its greater impact on the community. Friendship Circle is an organization that pairs children with special needs with teen volunteers in a variety of programs that deepen connections and foster friendships. By bringing people together, Friendship Circle provides support for families, gives opportunities to teens, benefits children with special needs, and unites the community. In this interview, you will learn about the different programs provided by Friendship Circle, including Friends at Home and Children’s Circle, as well as volunteer training and social events. Learn more about Friendship Circle at

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Special Education

Watch now to learn more from Robbi Mintz, a special education teacher, about the importance of individualized learning and support in schools. Special education is crucial in the lives of children with physical and mental disabilities, ensuring they have access to welcoming and encouraging learning environments. Equipped with fine tuned skills and strategies, special education teachers support their students through challenges and celebrate their accomplishments. Learn more specific accommodations, integration into general education, changes over time in this field, and the future of special education.

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Autism from a father’s perspective

autism puzzle piece picture

Watch now to learn from Jay Spindel, a father with two children with autism spectrum disorder. In this interview, you will gain deep insight on the process of understanding autism spectrum disorder from Mr. Spindel. Early intervention, diagnosis, therapy teams, and personalized educations are all topics that Mr. Spindel discusses regarding the challenges families face due to autism. Moreover, you will learn about the triumphs and strengths of children with autism, including their unique passions and common misconceptions of the disorder. As autism grows increasingly prevalent nowadays, it is important for everyone to gain awareness, have knowledge beyond stereotypes, and truly understand how autism impacts those who have it, as well as their loved ones.

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Pediatric Occupational Therapy

multi-colored toy blocks

Watch now to learn more from Sandy Reis-Cooper, a pediatric occupational therapist who has been working with children for over twenty years. Occupational therapy is an amazing way for people with physical and mental disabilities to develop social skills, strengthen executive functions skills, and build independence, through specific activities. Learn more about reasons for seeking occupational therapy, the process of evaluations, specific techniques that are used, and long term benefits of occupational therapy.

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Interview with Special Education and Disability Law Attorney

gavel, auction, hammer

Watch now to learn more from Attorney Lawrence Berliner Special education and disability law is a crucial aspect of education for children with special needs. By advocating on behalf of families and children, Attorney Berliner helps protect their right to a free and appropriate education, with necessary accommodations and supports. Learn more about the process of building a case, basic laws commonly applied to special education, developing an Individualized Education Plan, the history of disability law, and more.

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