Melissa Brand, Psy.D.
I am a licensed psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). When you or someone in your child’s life (a pediatrician, an educator, a friend) detects a difference in the development of your child, the first reaction is often fear and anxiety: What does the future hold for my child? How severely will he/she be affected? What does this mean for me and my family? What can I do to help my child?
I work with you and your family to allay these fears and replace them with hope, first to assess if, indeed, your child warrants a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder utilizing a comprehensive battery of interviews, observation, and instruments, including the ADOS, the gold standard of ASD assessment tools. Together, we move beyond the label of autism to capture a complete, jargon-free picture of your child, determining his/her strengths and weaknesses and developing a treatment plan that capitalizes on the former and addresses the latter. From there, I can assist you in the process of seeking out high-quality educational resources and empirically validated treatments that will foster progress. I can also teach you how to work effectively with your child at home, decreasing frustration, increasing communication, improving social skills, play skills and activities of daily living and reducing maladaptive behaviors. Finally, we can work together to help your family explore what it means to have a child with ASD, the emotions that arise, and what you can do as a family to move forward. In addition to individual and family treatment, I also lead social skills development groups, parent training groups (including new parenting and co-parenting groups), and sibling groups, conduct functional behavioral assessments and am available to consult and provide training to schools on issues of inclusion, behavior management, and social skills development.
I am a Pennsylvania Licensed Psychologist and a New Jersey certified school psychologist. I have been working with individuals with autistic spectrum disorders since 1993. I obtained my Psy.D. at Rutgers University where I received specialized training in psycho-educational assessment, parent training, group facilitation, behavioral treatment and the development of prevention programming. I have served as a NJ certified teacher of children with ASD, a behavioral consultant, a home program coordinator, a home-school consultant, and worked in private practice in North Carolina assessing and treating children with ASD.
- Licensed Pennsylvania Psychologist #PS016834
- Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University
- UMACC Trained in ADOS Administration
- NJ Certified School Psychologist
- NJ Certified Special Education Teacher
- NJ Certified Elementary Education Teacher
Schedule an appointment with Melissa online or call 267-861-3685, Option 1