Debra is passionate about sharing her knowledge on working with adults with Asperger's Syndrome and other learning differences.
Her article, “Finding hidden treasures among those with Autism,” continues her efforts to educate employers and the public at large of the many strengths that those on the Autism spectrum have to offer. Click here to read the entire article on the Long Island Business News' website.
And, in October 2017, Debra was honored to be chosen as one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business” by Long Island Business News, for her leadership role working in support of those on the Autism spectrum, her mentoring and community involvement.
Additional Programs supporting those with Autism Spectrum Disorder
In the Summer of 2014, Debra successfully created and taught an Independence Course to seventeen campers at The Summit Camp ranging from 15-19 years old. The Independence Course included helping campers to develop self-advocacy skills when confronting bullying or peer pressure; improve their organizational and time management skills; help them learn how to complete a college application, as well as learn skills to interview for a job. At the conclusion of the Independence Course, Debra’s clients were better equipped to deal with their personal and professional challenges.
In the Summer of 2015, Debra returned to the Summit Camp for the newly titled Transition to Adult Living Skills program (or “TALS”). She again focused on teaching campers to learn how to empower themselves. They learned how to set goals and create action plans that would help them take steps to reach those goals. The remainder of the curriculum included personal hygiene, self-advocacy, job application and interview skills, time management and budgeting. The campers learned these skills through a variety of interactive activities that kept them thinking and entertained. These included two activities that were well received:” the exercise of the day” and “the end-of-the-day question bucket.” The physical activity taught the campers the importance of relieving stress by just letting loose and staying active. The question bucket was a central component of the overall learning goals. Kids would contribute questions anonymously and Debra would answer them as a group - giving each camper the opportunity to get answers to questions they may have long wanted to ask.
Based on the positive feedback received on both programs, Debra recognized the tremendous value that group settings and teamwork can provide to her clients in navigating their personal and professional lives. She now runs weekly group sessions in both Manhattan and Long Island where she guides her clients to learn from each other as well as from guest experts. (See details on her Strategies for Life sessions here).