Darlene Sousa, Ph.D., ET/A
Darlene has served children, adults, and families for over 20 years as a counselor, school psychologist, educational therapist, advocate, and as a private practice educational psychologist both within the US and abroad. Whether the focus is academic or social-emotional, her evaluations and therapy are informed by a developmental approach that recognizes the need to consider addressing the earliest foundational skills before lasting progress can be made in age-level learning and coping.
With her extensive experience facilitating the special education process from within the schools, together with additional training in conflict mediation, special education law, and advocacy from Cornell University and William & Mary Law School, Darlene is able to provide special education advocacy and consultation that results in a data-based approach to meeting the student’s needs where parents feel heard and schools are generally much more responsive and eager to collaborate.
With a Masters in Human Behavior, a Specialist degree in School Psychology, and doctoral work in Human Development and Family Studies, Darlene has continued her life-long quest for learning through obtaining certifications in Orton Gillingham from the Orton Gillingham Academy, 6+1 Traits of Writing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), CBT Based Play Therapy, and Cognitive Behavior Coaching. Her sessions often include the use of multiple evidence based programs, since learning difficulties are rarely singular in nature, which include Multisensory Math by Marilyn Zecher, Math U See, Making Math Real, Zones of Regulation, Social Thinking, All About Spelling, Orton Gillingham Multisensory Spelling, Visualizing and Verbalizing, and cognitive remediation through Ecologically Oriented Neurorehabilitation of Executive Function for adults and Milton Dehn’s memory intervention approach for children and adolescents. She is a Certified ADHD Professional having completed coursework with Dr. Russell Barkley and Dr. Peg Dawson.
She is currently completing the requirements for certification in Somatic Experiencing, as a means to support the emotional development and school or learning based traumas many students with learning differences experience, but for whom traditional talk therapies have not been successful. Further, as a twice exceptional learner herself, she is actively involved and promoted the 2e cause through the work of Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).
Darlene is passionate about incorporating sensorimotor and gamification approaches to educational and social-emotional therapies, which is especially helpful for neurodivergent individuals of all ages. Additionally, she utilizes cognitive remediation techniques to build the often missing early numeracy capacity of mathematically challenged students, to turn non-writers into written communicators, and neuropsychologically based memory interventions to overcome memory deficits which get in the way of living, learning, and working.
Her evaluations seek to bridge the divide between the medical and educational models. She strongly believes that assessment should guide interventions that are based in research and are a match for not only the individual’s needs, but their strengths.
Darlene holds membership in the following organizations:
- Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
- Association of Educational Therapists (AET)
- Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
- Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
When not working directly with children, adults, and families, Darlene serves the community by writing anti-racism curriculum for training organizations, developing professional development for educators, and as a podcast guest discussing cultural psychology. On her off-time, she enjoys crabbing, catching lobster and clams, and sailing.