Bright & Quirky Child Summit

Help bright kids thrive, even with learning, social and/or emotional challenges

Expert Bios

Browse our amazing line up of master educators and psychologists helping bright & quirky kids around the world.

Susan Baum, PhD

Director, Bridges 2e Center for Research & Professional Development

Susan Baum, PhD, directs the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy. Susan is widely published in the field of gifted education including her seminal book (in its 3rd edition), To be gifted and learning disabled. Her expertise in twice exceptionality earned her many awards including the Weinfield Group’s, Lifetime Achievement Award, Connecticut Association for Gifted’s Friend of the Gifted Award, and Distinguish Professional Alumni Award from the UCONN School of Education.

Book: To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength-Based Strategies for Helping Twice-Exceptional Students With LD, ADHD



Marc A. Brackett, PhD

Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
Professor, Yale Child Study Center

Marc A. Brackett, PhD, is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a Professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University. He is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by nearly 2,000 pre-K through high schools across the United States and in other countries. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Book: Permission To Feel


Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

NY Times Bestselling Author (Whole-Brain Child, No Drama Discipline) and Founder/Executive Director at The Center for Connection

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist and the Founder/Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice, and of The Play Strong Institute, a center devoted to the study, research, and practice of play therapy through a neurodevelopment lens.

Book: The Power of Showing Up

Mona Delahooke, PhD

Child Psychologist and Author

Mona Delahooke, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience caring for children and their families. She is a senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting families of neurodiverse children, adolescents and adults. She is the author of Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges (PESI, 2019), and Social and Emotional Development in Early Intervention: A Skills Guide for Working with Children (PESI, 2017). Her popular blog, at covers a range of topics useful for caregivers and childhood providers.

Book: Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children's Behavioral Challenges



Michael Delman, MEd

CEO and Founder, Beyond BookSmart

Michael Delman is an Author, school founder, and award-winning educator and is a pioneer and leader in the area of Executive Function coaching. He has served as CEO and founder of Beyond BookSmart, the nation’s largest Executive Function coaching company, since 2006. He has been featured in The Times of London, CBS Boston affiliate WBZ TV, and dozens of media outlets across the country. In 2018, he published his first book Your Kid’s Gonna Be Okay: Building the Executive Function Skills Your Child Needs in the Age of Attention.

Book: Your Kid's Gonna Be Okay

Ross Greene, PhD

Clinical Child Psychologist, Founder, Collaborative & Proactive Solutions Model

Ross W. Greene, PhD, is the originator of the innovative, evidence-based approach called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), as described in his influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. He is also the developer and executive producer of the documentary film The Kids We Lose, released in 2018. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and is now Founding Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance. He is adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Greene has worked with several thousand behaviorally challenging kids and their families, and he and his colleagues have overseen implementation and evaluation of the CPS model in hundreds of schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities, with dramatic effect: significant reductions in discipline referrals, detentions, suspensions, and use of restraint procedures and solitary confinement. Dr. Greene lectures throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine.

Book: The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children



LeDerick Horne

Speaker, Advocate, Author and Poet

Labeled with a learning disability in third grade, LeDerick Horne defies any and all labels. He’s a dynamic spoken-word poet. A tireless advocate for all people with disabilities. An inspiring motivational speaker. A bridge-builder between learners and leaders across the U.S. and around the world who serves as a role model for all races, genders, and generations. The grandson of one of New Jersey’s most prominent civil rights leaders, LeDerick uses his gift for spoken-word poetry as the gateway to larger discussions on equal opportunity, pride, self-determination and hope for people with disabilities. His workshops, keynote speeches, and performances reach thousands of students, teachers, legislators, policy makers, business leaders, and service providers each year. He regularly addresses an array of academic, government, social, and business groups, including appearances at the White House, the United Nations, Harvard University, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and the State Departments of Education across the US. His work addresses the challenges of all disabilities, uniting the efforts of diverse groups in order to achieve substantive, systemic change.

Book: Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success


Jack Horner

Presidential Fellow, Chapman University

Jack Horner is a severely dyslexic, dinosaur paleontologist! He attended the University of Montana for 7 years without receiving a degree. He has since received two honorary doctorates of science and a plethora of awards including a MacArthur Fellowship. Jack was a research scientist and Regent’s Professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana for 34 years. He has published more than 300 papers, and a dozen books. His research has been featured on numerous TV programs including 60 Minutes. He has given two TED talks that combined have 6 million views. He was the technical advisor for all of the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies. At Chapman Jack teaches his honors students and dyslexic mentorees to challenge their preconceived ideas in order to have a competitive edge in future endeavors.

Book: How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution

Scott Barry Kaufman

Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD

Humanistic Psychologist

Scott Barry Kaufman is a humanistic psychologist interested in using psychological science to help all kinds of minds live a creative, fulfilling, and meaningful life. Kaufman has over 60 scientific publications on intelligence, creativity, personality, and well-being. In addition to writing the column Beautiful Minds for Scientific American, he also hosts The Psychology Podcast, which was named by Business Insider a podcast that “will change how you think about human behavior.” Kaufman is author and/or editor of 9 books, including Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties, Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (with Carolyn Gregoire), Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, and most recently, Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization.

Book: Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization

Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz, LMFT

Founder/LMFT, Bright & Quirky

Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, LMFT is the founder of Bright & Quirky, licensed marriage and family therapist, and mom of two twice exceptional teen boys.

She and the Bright & Quirky team are fueling a global movement to ease the struggle for uniquely wired kids, to help them self-actualize into confident, capable adults.

She earned her BA at Middlebury College and her Master’s degree in child, couple and family counseling at Antioch University.



George McCloskey, PhD

Professor, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)

George McCloskey, PhD, is a professor of school psychology at PCOM in Philadelphia. Dr. McCloskey has amassed 35 years of experience in test development, teaching, research and assessment and intervention work with a wide range of clients and has developed a comprehensive model of executive capacities that can be used to assess strengths and deficits and guide efforts to foster growth and intervene with difficulties.

Book: The Day Frankie Left His Frontal Lobes at Home, Laurie & George McCloskey (Available 4/1/2020)


Sanford Newmark, MD

Clinical Professor University of California San Francisco
Head Pediatric Integrative Neurodevelopmental Program
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Sanford Newmark, MD, is a clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California and Director of Clinical Services at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He is also the head of the Pediatric Integrative Neurodevelopmental Program at the Osher Center, specializing in the treatment of Autism, ADHD and other developmental or chronic childhood conditions. He also has a long-standing interest and expertise in nutrition and its impact on childhood development and general health. He combines conventional medicine with nutrition, behavior management and various complementary modalities. Dr. Newmark has lectured widely on both autism and ADHD and has authored 3 chapters in Integrative Medicine textbooks. He has written a book entitled ADHD Without Drugs, a Guide to the Natural Care of Children with ADHD. His UCTV talk on ADHD has had over 4.6 million views.

Book: ADHD Without Drugs: A Guide to the natural Care of Children with ADHD


Monica G. Osgood

Executive Director, Celebrate the Children/Profectum Foundation

Monica Osgood has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families for over 30 years. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Celebrate the Children (CTC) School in Denville, NJ. Monica is also the Executive Director and a Founding member of the Profectum Foundation. At Profectum she collaborated with other Profectum Faculty to publish The Profectum Parent Toolbox, a free webcast series for parents. Most recently she published The DIR-FCD Goal Bank. Monica and the CTC school were featured in a TIME Magazine cover story in May of 2006.​

Book: The Profectum Parent Toolbox

Seth Perler

Shine On Educational Consultants

Seth Perler is an Executive Function & 2e Coach in Boulder, CO, who helps make life easier for students who struggle with homework, motivation, underachievement, organization, grades, focus, study skills, time management, emotions, overwhelm & resistance.

He empowers these complicated, misunderstood, outside-the-box, neurodiverse learners to turn it around in a baffling system, so they can launch a successful future. Parents often feel helpless, watching a child drown in school, as they spin their wheels with cookie cutter approaches that don't cut it.

There's no time for this, life isn't a dress rehearsal. Parents are desperate for tools that are 1) practical, and 2) that recognize a child's unique needs. His blog gives parents and teachers game-changing answers in a sea of misguided educational fluff.


Dan Peters, PhD

Licensed Psychologist/Executive Director, Summit Center

Dr. Dan Peters, licensed psychologist, is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Summit Center, specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families with special emphasis on gifted, talented, and creative individuals and families. Dr. Dan speaks regularly at state and national conferences on a variety of topics including parenting, gifted and twice-exceptionality, anxiety, and dyslexia, as well as writes for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. Dr. Dan is author of Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears, and it’s companion book, From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears. He is co-author of The Warrior Workbook: A Guide for Conquering Your Worry Monster, as well as co-author of Raising Creative Kids. Dr. Dan is also Co-founder of, an on-line interactive parent-training program, and Camp Summit, a sleep-over summer camp for gifted and 2e youth.

Book: Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child's Fears


Stephen W. Porges, PhD

Distinguished University Scientist, Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and Professor of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 300 peer‐reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines that have been cited in more than 35,000 peer-reviewed papers. He holds several patents involved in monitoring and regulating autonomic state. He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017) and co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™ , which currently is used by more than 1500 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.

Book: Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies


Kendra Read, PhD

Director of Anxiety Programs | Attending Psychologist | Division of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine, Seattle Children's
Acting Assistant Professor | University of Washington School of Medicine

Kendra Read, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, the Director of Anxiety Programs at Seattle Children’s, and the Director of Psychotherapy Training through the University of Washington School of Medicine Child Psychiatry Fellowship. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA under the mentorship of Philip Kendall, Ph.D., completed her internship in pediatric psychology at Nemours/A. I. duPont Hospital for Children, and her postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department. Dr. Read specializes in the treatment of youth with anxiety disorders and OCD from a cognitive behavioral therapy perspective. Her research interests include understanding factors that contribute to treatment outcome, and the dissemination and implementation of CBT for anxiety disorders.

Debbie Reber, MA

Founder, TiLT Parenting

Debbie Reber is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker who moved her career in a more personal direction when she founded TiLT Parenting, a website, weekly podcast, and community for parents raising differently wired children. The TiLT Parenting Podcast has more than 1 million downloads and a slate of guests that includes high-profile thought leaders across the parenting and education space. A regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is "Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World" (Workman Publishing, 2018). In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxAmsterdam, delivering a talk entitled Why the Future Will Be Differently Wired. After living abroad in the Netherlands for the past five years, Debbie, her husband, and 14-year-old son recently moved back to New York City.

Book: Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World


Stuart Shanker, DPhil

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The MEHRIT Centre

Stuart Shanker, DPhil (Oxon), is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology from York University and the CEO of the MEHRIT Centre, Ltd. ( His book, Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (And You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage With Life, has garnered glowing reviews around the world being published in Canada, the US, and the UK, as well as many foreign editions.

Book: Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life


Linda Kreger Silverman, PhD

Founder and Director, Gifted Development Center/ISAD

Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical and counseling psychologist who specializes in assessing bright and quirky children. She founded and directs the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development (ISAD), and its subsidiary, Gifted Development Center (GDC) [] in Westminster, Colorado. Over the last 40 years, GDC has tested 6,500 children, mostly 2e. Linda holds a Ph.D. in Special Education from USC. She developed the concept of the visual-spatial learner. She has studied the psychology and education of the gifted since 1961 and has contributed over 300 articles, chapters and books, including Counseling the Gifted and Talented, Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner, Advanced Development: A Collection of Works on Gifted Adults and Giftedness 101.

Book: Giftedness 101


Girish Venkat

CEO, Thrively

Girish, a lifelong entrepreneur who has spent his career building innovative technology, including as the founding Chief Architect of Girish’s relationship with his son, Rohit was the spark that started Thrively. Girish struggled, like many parents do, to find the right enrichment activities to spark a genuine passion in Rohit. Helping Rohit find his passion, became Girish’s and through countless hours of speaking with experts in child psychology, and applying his entrepreneurial mindset to Rohit’s fledgling interests, Thrively was born.


Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP

Speech and Language Pathologist
Co-Director Cognitive Connections, LLP

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP has over 25 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations and treatment of executive dysfunction. Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Sarah is an internationally recognized expert on executive function and presents seminars and workshops on the programs and strategies she has developed with her Co-Director Kristen Jacobsen. Their 360 Thinking Executive Function Program received the Innovative Promising Practices Award from the National Organization CHADD. She has presented to and consulted with over 1200 public and private schools in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Book: 360 Thinking Planners: Elementary, Academic and Adult Time Tracker Program


Claire Wilson, MA PTh

Teacher, Therapist, Author, Speaker and Founder of GROUNDED GrownUps®

Claire Wilson M.A. works to support, empower and advocate for children. Her understanding of how to bring out the best in children is the fruit of over 25 years as an experienced primary school teacher, sought after accredited play therapist, clinical supervisor and therapeutic advisor to schools. Claire also works privately with clients of all ages, helping people understand and heal from the impact that trauma has on brains and bodies. She is the Clinical Director of CHEW Initiatives (Children Health and Emotional WellBeing) and Author of GROUNDED : Discovering the Missing Piece in the Puzzle of Children's Behaviour, a book which is receiving incredible feedback around the world from parents, school staff and therapists. Following the impact of her recent TEDx talk on neuroception and children's mental health, Claire has launched GROUNDED GrownUps® supporting adults who need and want to make the journey to becoming more grounded.

Book: GROUNDED: Discovering the Missing Piece in the Puzzle of Children's Behaviour