Jennifer M. Deady - Founder
Jennifer is an Advanced Certified Autism Specialist through IBCCES (ACAS#18488) and has over 20 years of experience working with young children diagnosed within the autism spectrum. Her passion is helping children strengthen their relationships by combining therapies that have proven to be most successful. All her sessions follow a play-based model, believing that children learn and develop important skills through play without even realizing.
Prior to her independent work, Jennifer helped develop and was director at one of Massachusetts first Specialty Service Providers providing intensive early intervention services to children diagnosed with autism. She has designed and facilitated play-based social skills groups for children ages 3 to 10 years old diagnosed with Social Communication Disorder, High Functioning Autism/PDD-NOS, Social Anxiety and children with Social Emotional Challenges. Jennifer has held many roles, in-homes, at schools, as well as, school consultation and teacher training. Her experiences in the field have allowed her to work and network with many highly respected clinicians in the state. She has learned to combine what are considered best practices in treating children diagnosed within the autism spectrum; DIR/Floortime, ABA, and RDI therapies.
Jennifer also works as a certified preschool teacher at a therapeutic preschool in Lexington MA. There, she practices Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), the Social Thinking methodology™ and Zones of Regulation™. She facilitates specialized yoga classes, social groups and pretend play groups, as well as, parent coaching. Jennifer is a certified Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher, certified to teach Pre-K to grade 2! She enjoys learning and as attended Social Thinking® Clinical Training level 1. She has completed her level one DIR/Flootime certification and is working towards becoming an expert DIR/Floortime provider.
Children need the
freedom and time to play.
Play is not a luxury.
Play is a necessity.
~Kay Redfield Jamison~
Michelle Willis - Playgroup Facilitator
Michelle received her BA in Psychology from The George Washington University, where she was first exposed to the DIR/Floortime model. She has trained and worked using the DIR/Floortime model for over fifteen years. Michelle went on to receive her Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. After working for years in the therapy world, Michelle has found her calling as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher. She is currently pursuing a CAGS in Special Education.
Michelle is very excited to join Aha! Connections and we are thrilled to have her as part of our team!
For more information email - jen@ahaconnections. com