Expert Bios

Browse the incredible expert panel of leading educators and psychologists helping bright & quirky kids around the world.

Raffael Boccamazzo 2021 v1 (1)

Raffael Boccamazzo, PsyD

Clinical Director,

Raffael Boccamazzo (Doctor B) is a doctor of clinical psychology and the clinical director of Take This, the first mental health nonprofit dedicated to serving the game industry and game community. He oversees the majority of Take This’ educational and public-facing programs. Outside of his work with Take This, Doctor B is an expert on the applied use of tabletop role playing games in clinical and learning settings, and is the co-creator of a pantheoretical model on their applied use. He is also one of the co-authors of the book Video Games and Well-being: Press Start and Gardens of Fog – a best-selling, mental health-themed adventure module for Dungeons & Dragons.

Book: Video Games and Well-Being: Press Start

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Thomas E. Brown, PhD

Director, Brown Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders

Thomas E. Brown earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Yale University and then served on the clinical faculty of the Dept. of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine for 20 years while operating a clinic in Connecticut for children and adults with ADHD and related problems. In May, 2017 he relocated to California where he opened his Brown Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders in Manhattan Beach, California. He has taught continuing medical education courses on ADHD for the American Psychiatric Association for the past 20 years and has given lectures and workshops in hospitals, medical schools, universities and for professional and advocacy groups throughout the U.S. and in more than 40 other countries. He has published 30 articles in professional journals and 5 books on ADHD. His most recent books are Smart, but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD, and Outside the Box: Rethinking ADD/ADHD in Children and Adults-A Practical Guide.

Book: Outside the Box: Rethinking ADD/ADHD in Children and Adults-A Practical Guide

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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, and Social and Emotional Development in Early Intervention: A Skills Guide for Working with Children. Her popular blog covers a range of topics useful for caregivers and childhood providers. You can access her new course Beyond Behaviors: Effective Neuroscience-based Tools to Transform Childhood Behaviors here.

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, award-winning educator, and 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: Building the Executive Function Skills Your Child Needs in the Age of Attention

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Jacquelyn H. Fede, PhD

Developmental Psychologist, Co-Founder and Director Autism Level UP!, Assistant Research Professor - University of Rhode Island

Jacquelyn Fede, PhD is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Rhode Island. She is a super fun, Autistic Self-Advocate, developmental psychologist, and program evaluator. Her research interests include immigration policy, autism, and community engagement. She uses her experience to help educate others about autism through lecturing, blogging, and consulting on evaluation projects. A full scholarship Division 1 athlete in college, Dr. Fede continues to meet her sensory needs by seeking extreme physical activity. She also enjoys the use of creativity and art for expression.


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Kristy Forbes, GradDipEd

Educator and Autistic Identity, Culture and Family Support Specialist, Founding Director of inTune Pathways Pty Ltd & The Neurodivergent Co. Pty Ltd

Kristy Forbes, GradDipEd is an autism and neurodiversity support specialist who is passionate about radical acceptance of autism and social change. She is an autistic, ADHD and PDA mother of four autistic children, married to an autistic man and consults with families, professionals and organizations both nationally and internationally to support them in understanding and supporting neurodivergent people. Kristy is also passionate about supporting educators to provide enriching learning and living environments from her lived experience and background as an educator (P-12) and a childhood behavioral and family specialist.


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Temple Grandin, PhD

Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University

Temple Grandin has been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. Facilities she has designed for handling livestock are used by many companies around the world. She has also been instrumental in implementing animal welfare auditing programs that are used by McDonalds, Wendy’s, Whole Foods, and other corporations. Temple has appeared on numerous TV shows such as 20/20. Larry King Live, and Prime Time. Her books include: Thinking in Pictures, Livestock Handling and Transport and The Autistic Brain. Her book Animals in Translation has been on the New York Times bestseller list.

Book: Calling All Minds 

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Julie Lythcott-Haims, JD, MFA

New York Times Bestselling Author

Julie Lythcott-Haims believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult. Her TED Talk on the subject has more than 5 million views, and in 2020 she became a regular contributor with CBS This Morning on parenting. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience as a Black and biracial person in white spaces. Her third book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, will be out in April 2021.Julie is a former Stanford Dean and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She serves on the board of Common Sense Media, and on the advisory board of LeanIn.Org, and she is a former board member at Foundation for a College Education, Global Citizen Year, The Writers Grotto, and Challenge Success.

Book: Your Turn: How to Be an Adult

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Janine Halloran, LMHC

Founder, Coping Skills for Kids

Janine Halloran is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has been working with children, teens, and their families for 20 years. She has been helping children and teens build their coping skills throughout her career in a variety of settings, including schools, mental health clinics and in her private practice. She is the author of the bestselling Coping Skills for Kids Workbook, and the host of the Calm & Connected podcast. Her work has been featured in the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post. Janine lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

Book: Coping Skills for Kids Workbook

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Lauren Hutchinson, LMFT

Child, Teen, and Family Therapist

Lauren Hutchinson, LMFT is a Seattle-based child, teen, and family therapist and speaker, specializing in gifted and twice exceptional kids. She has worked for the past eight years as a school counselor at an independent K-8 school for gifted learners. Lauren is also a Coach in the Bright & Quirky IdeaLab parent learning community.

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Renee Jain, MAPP

Founder and Chief Storyteller at GoZen!

As founder and Chief Storyteller at GoZen!, Renee is recognized as a pioneer in marrying technology and child psychology in a unique approach that nurtures the hearts and minds of kids. Through her writing, product invention and development, masterclasses for parents, and children’s advocacy, she works to build the emotional intelligence of kids, including resilience, empathy, kindness, and critical thinking. Tens of thousands of families and professionals testify to the unparalleled success of GoZen!'s programs. Originally a tech entrepreneur who has suffered with her own anxiety, Renee founded GoZen! to help a new generation of kids, parents and therapists.

Book: Superpowered: Transform Anxiety into Courage, Confidence, and Resilience

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Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD

Humanistic Psychologist

Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, is a humanistic psychologist exploring the depths of human potential. He has taught courses on intelligence, creativity, and well-being at Columbia University, NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. He hosts The Psychology Podcast, and is author and/or editor of 9 books, including Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (with Carolyn Gregoire), and Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined.

Book: Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization

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Colleen Kessler, MEd

Educational Consultant and Gifted Specialist

Colleen Kessler believes that you are the absolute best teacher there is for your gifted, twice-exceptional, or otherwise quirky kiddo. The author of more than a dozen books for parents, teachers, and children, award-winning educator, educational coach and consultant, and passionate advocate for the needs of differently-wired kids, Colleen has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, and is the founder of the popular podcast and website Raising Lifelong Learners. Her newest book, Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom’s Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family, was just released from Ulysses Press. Colleen lives in Northeast Ohio with her reading specialist husband, four delightfully quirky kiddos, pug puppy, and an ever-changing assortment of small animals and insects. 

Book: Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family

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Elaine Taylor-Klaus, PCC, CPCC


An author, parent educator, and certified coach, for the first decade as a parent Elaine Taylor-Klaus struggled as a mom in an ADHD++ family of five. After she became a coach and discovered a new approach that empowered her three quirky, complex kids, she co-founded, which has expanded into ImpactParents. She is the co-creator of Sanity School® (an online parent training program) and provides coaching, training and support to parents worldwide. The author of Parenting ADHD Now! and her newest release, The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, Anxiety and More, Elaine has served as a parent advisor for the American Academy of Pediatrics, on the national Board of Directors of CHADD, and now serves on their Public Policy Committee. To receive bonus content on Parenting in the Pandemic, visit

Book: The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, Anxiety, and More

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Amy Coggeshall Laurent, PhD, OTR/L

Developmental Psychologist, Co-Founder and Director Autism Level UP!

Amy Laurent, PhD, OTR/L specializes in supporting autistic individuals. Her work often focuses on creating learning environments designed to facilitate children’s active engagement at home, in schools, and throughout their communities. She is a co-author of the SCERTS model and frequently lectures around the globe. She is passionate about neurodiversity and helping others to honor and understand the implications of "different ways of being" in relation to navigating the physical and social world. Amy strives to practice what she preaches and uses her love of play, dance, and movement to meet her own regulatory needs.


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Eli Lebowitz, PhD

Associate Professor, Yale Child Study Center
Director, Program for Anxiety Disorders

Professor Lebowitz studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety at the Yale Child Study Center. His research focuses on the development, neurobiology, and treatment of anxiety and related disorders, with special emphasis on family dynamics and the role of parents in these problems. Dr. Lebowitz is the lead investigator on multiple funded research projects, and is the author of research papers, books and chapters on childhood and adolescent anxiety. He is also the father of three great boys.

Book: Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD: A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents

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Dr. Laura Markham

Psychologist, Founder of, and Author

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How To Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life, and now her latest book, The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook: Using mindfulness and connection to raise resilient, joyful children and rediscover your love of parenting. Dr. Laura earned her PhD in clinical psychology at Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless families across the world. Over 160,000 moms and dads enjoy Dr. Laura’s free weekly coaching posts via email. Dr. Laura’s aspiration is to change the world, one child at a time, by supporting parents. The proud mother of two thriving young adults who were raised with her peaceful parenting approach, she lives with her husband in New York.

Book: The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook: Using mindfulness and connection to raise resilient, joyful children and rediscover your love of parenting

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Jonathan Mooney

Dyslexic Writer and Activist

Jonathan Mooney is a widely sought after speaker whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, HBO, NPR, ABC News, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.

Book: Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive, Outside the Lines

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Kristin Neff, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Kristin Neff, PhD is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion over fifteen years ago. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is author of the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. In conjunction with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, she has developed an empirically supported training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, which is taught by thousands of teachers worldwide. Her recent work focuses on how to balance self-acceptance with the power of fierce self-compassion. Her new book, Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Stand Up, Claim Their Power, and Speak the Truth, will be published in June 2021.

Book: The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook

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George Papanicolaou, DO, IFMC

Functional Medicine Physician, UltraWellness Center

George Papanicolaou, DO, is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is Board Certified in Family Medicine. He is also an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP). He established Cornerstone Family Practice where he practiced with a philosophy centered on cultivating personal relationships and treating the whole person, not just the disease. He called that philosophy “Whole Life Wellness”. It was at Cornerstone Personal Health that he incorporated the principles of Functional Medicine and established a practice dedicated entirely to the Functional Medicine model. Dr. Papanicolaou became known for transforming his patients’ lives by getting to, and treating the root cause of conditions, not just symptoms. Dr. Papanicolaou had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Hyman and the connection was instant. Their shared passion for treating people with food as medicine within a Functional Medicine model resulted in Dr. Hyman inviting Dr. Papanicolaou to bring his expertise and twenty years of experience to the UltraWellness team.


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Seth Perler, MEd

Executive Function Coach

Seth Perler is an Executive Function & 2e Coach. His life is dedicated to helping complicated, struggling students learn to navigate school and life so they can have a fantastic future full of choices and possibilities, where they can achieve their goals, do what matters to them, and have a great quality of life. Executive Function is the key!


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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 its 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

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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: The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe

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Debbie Reber, MA

Founder, Tilt Parenting

Deborah Reber, MA, is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, and the founder of TiLT Parenting, a top podcast, community, and educational resource for parents raising differently wired children. The TiLT Parenting Podcast has grown to be a top podcast in iTunes’ Kids and Family category, with nearly 3 million downloads. A regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is Differently Wired: A Parents' Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope. In 2018, she gave a talk at TEDxAmsterdam called Why the Future Will Be Differently Wired.

Book: Differently Wired: A Parent’s Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope

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Kieran Rose

The Autistic Advocate

Kieran Rose is an author with a background in special education, whose essays have been read by over a million people. He is also an international public speaker, trainer and consultant. Kieran is founder of The Autistic Cooperative, a network for autistic professionals; and is executive board member of Therapist Neurodiversity Collective, an educational organisation for neurodiverse positive SLPs, OTs and PTs. As well as consulting on multiple research papers, Kieran is also co-producing his own research on autistic masking and victimisation on neurodivergent people. Diagnosed autistic and situationally mute at 23, Kieran has a neurodivergent wife and three neurodivergent children.


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Clifford Sussman, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Clifford Sussman, MD is internationally known as a pioneer in treating internet and video game addiction. He has been in private practice in psychiatry for children, adolescents, and young adults in Washington, DC since 2008 and is an expert consultant for the Digital Use Disorder Track at Caron Renaissance in Boca Raton, FL. He has been featured as an authority on screen use related issues throughout the media and peer-reviewed literature. He has presented on the topic to audiences of all types and sizes at conferences, hospitals, schools, and other venues locally and internationally. He continues to present frequently online during the pandemic.


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Dr. Stuart Shanker

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The MEHRIT Centre

Stuart Shanker, D Phil (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 international editions.

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

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Matt Zakreski, PsyD

Chief Psychologist and Co-Founder at The Neurodiversity Collective

Matthew Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinical psychologist who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his neurodiverse clients. He specializes in working with children and adolescents, as well as their families, in providing therapy and conducting psychological evaluations. He is proud to serve as a consultant to schools, a professor at the university level, and a researcher and author on his specialty, giftedness. Dr. Zakreski is a member of Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC). He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) Board of Directors. Dr. Zakreski is the founder and lead clinician at The Neurodiversity Collective, where he provides therapy, coaching, training, and psychological assessment.