Hello! My name is Deanna...

Photo on 2011 11 09 at 12.20  220160804 4200 1ukrju2
...and I am very excited to introduce myself to you! I began my career as a special education teacher in Eastern Suffolk BOCES in 1991 teaching students with varied neurological, intellectual, emotional and behavioral disabilities. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary and Special Education, a Master of Special Education degree in Autism, and a Master of Social Work degree. I have served the Long Island community for over 20 years and feel as passionately about our youths' quality of care today, as I did when I began my career. In my private practice entitled CAPES: Child Advocacy & Parent Empowerment Services, I work with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families providing individual and group services. Additionally, I offer school and medical provider consultation, parent and clinician trainings, and speaking engagements for diverse professional organizations.

With a keen sense of the importance education plays in the lives of my clients, I myself am a life-long learner continually striving to increase my own fund of knowledge and skill set by regularly attending advanced trainings in cutting edge therapeutic and educational techniques. The strategies and treatment modalities I use are aimed at addressing the following symptoms experienced by our youth: fear; anxiety; sadness; hopelessness; depression; inattention; hyperactivity; rule breaking; defiance; anger; acting out; acute and complex trauma reactions; symptoms of intellectual disability, as well as autism spectrum and related neurological disabilities of behavior, communication and social skills.

With a broad background in program development and service delivery, my primary goal for my clients and families is met by creating a comprehensive treatment plan based upon the utilization of a variety of treatment modalities. Optimal generalization of skills is obtained by ensuring that intervention is both effective and scientifically sound. In order to reach our goal, my work is colored and informed by any one or more of the following methodologies: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT); Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT®); Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR); Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); and the TEACCH Autism Program approach; along with Experiential Play Therapy including Art and Music.

I choose to take an eclectic approach to treatment because each client is an individual presenting with his/her specific challenges, varied learning styles, and individualized modes of information processing whereby a person-centered, strength's based perspective works best. A client’s "goodness of fit" with not only myself but also with the treatment modalities utilized, is of utmost importance to me. I believe in taking a nonjudgmental stance in addressing your family matters, and I strive to implement appropriate, effective, empirically supported treatment. In that regard, my most recent endeavors include the ongoing creation of a new treatment modality for my clients that I have coined DBT® -A+ which stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy for people with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and related neurological conditions. The treatment manual that I am creating includes in-depth skills modules focusing on: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Sensory Modulation, Self-Compassion, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Executive Functioning Strategies, Interpersonal Effectiveness & Finding Middle Path.

In conclusion, for this teacher at heart, it is a genuine honor to serve our community from the original schoolhouse of St. James built in 1908! Over my many years of service, I have been blessed as a witness to the strength, perseverance, compassion, and resiliency of our youth. It is my personal endeavor that all of my clients discover a sense of inner peace, personal empowerment, emotional fulfillment and interpersonal success. Should you feel I might be of some assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your concerns.

> Read Deanna's CV Here

Areas of Expertise:

  • Comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Individuals with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder & Related Neurological Conditions (DBT® A+)
  • Individualized Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Skills
  • Experiential Play Therapy Including Art & Music
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Program/School & Client Centered Consultation
  • Special Education Parent Consultation
  • Agency & Community Seminar Presentations  

Populations Served:

Populations Served:
Ages 4 – young adulthood struggling with:

  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Specific Learning Disorder
  • Bipolar & Related Disorders
  • Depressive Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive & Related Disorder
  • Trauma & Stressor Related Disorders