About Elana Himmelfarb
Elana’s consulting practice specializes in Consultation, Program Design, Curriculum Development, Training, and Advocacy for staff and participants engaged in Post-Secondary Disability Educational programs, Life Skills and Transition programs, Private and Public Community-Based Disability Initiatives and Workplace Disability programs. In her private practice Elana offers Individualized Transition Support & Planning for late adolescents, young adults and adults with the following challenges: Autism Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger’s), diagnoses related to developmental delays, learning disabilities, executive function challenges, chronic anxiety and social-emotional difficulties.
She has presented through organizations such as Florida State University Autism Institute, Center for Autism and Related Disorders and PEPSA (Partnership for Effective Programs For Students With Autism); The Autism Society Of America, Interdisciplinary Council For Learning and Developmental Disorders (ICDL), All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD), Decatur Rotary Club, Decatur Business Association and The Atlanta Autism Consortium. Elana sits on the Emory University Autism Center ITAP (Individualized Transition to Adulthood) Advisory Board. She has also worked with Georgia Technology Institute’s EXCEL Program, an inclusive post-secondary program for individuals with developmental disabilities. She consults with staff on executive function, sexuality. learning and social cognition support for students. In addition, Elana runs monthly social pragmatics/executive function groups with all EXCEL students. Elana has earned certifications as a DIR/Floortime Practitioner, a Developmental Disability Sexuality Educator and a Young Adult PEERS Program Facilitator. Over the last 15 years she has conducted teacher trainings and student seminars in special needs and mainstream public and private schools as well as transition programs at universities and colleges in the United States and the Caribbean.
Private Practice Areas of Expertise:
Understanding My Diagnosis
Comprehensive Transition Planning and Support
Career Development, Work Readiness, Navigating the Hiring process, Job Coaching
Social Cognition Demystification and Support (Social Thinking and Problem-Solving, Social Communication, Social Behaviors, Understanding and Managing the Social/Emotional Experience)
Educational Planning, Post-Secondary support, Specialized Academic Tutoring and Writing Instruction
Resiliency, Self-Regulation and Anxiety Management
Advocacy and Self-Advocacy – workplace, educational institutions, community organizations
Management by Profile: An Individualized Neurodevelopmental Approach to Learning
Executive Function Planning and Support
Getting and Staying Socially Connected: Developing and Maintaining Positive, Meaningful Relationships
Identifying, Developing and Launching Life Goals
Independence Building and Life Skill Development
Motivation, Mindset and Self-Control
Disability, Sexuality and Identity
Being a Self-Advocate and an Ally
Understanding my Regulatory Profile and Using it to Inform Good Choices
The intersection of LGBTQA+ and ASD
Elana has had the exceptional opportunity to work with a very special program in Boston, Massachusetts since it’s inception in 2012. In addition to program design and clinical support, Elana co-authored a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, community-based Transition Curriculum for 3L Place, “a community dedicated to empowering adults with autism and other developmental disabilities to lead joyful, connected, productive and meaningful lives” that was under peer review with Harvard, Tufts and Lesley Universities. For more information on 3L Place and to access the open-sourced Transition curriculum, visit www.3LPlace.org
Elana Himmelfarb earned her BA in French and Psychology at Emory University, and an MA in Clinical Psychology at University of West Georgia, with a concentration in child and adolescent psychopathology. She pursued post-Master’s training through extensive study in:
• DIR/Floortime: Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning Disorders
• Learning & The Brain: Harvard University
• AD/HD: Harvard Medical School
• Neurodevelopment: All Kinds of Minds Institute (Columbia University & UNC Chapel Hill)
• Learning Disability interventions and assessment: Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
• Developmental Disability Sexuality Educator Certification: Elevatus
• PEERS for Young Adults: Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA
• The Intersectionality of Disability, Identity and Sexuality: Sojourn
Elana has 15 years of experience designing and conducting continuing education courses for teachers and clinical professionals on Neurodevelopment, Management By Profile, Classroom Strategies and Accommodations, Learning Disabilities, Emotions & the Brain and Resiliency. She also enjoys offering seminars within communities to support local families, businesses and organizations and encourage collaboration.
Elana began her career working as a County Mental Health Professional in rural Georgia, specializing in abuse and trauma. She worked extensively with Child Protective Services and the Foster Care system, and was an active member of Family Connections, a multi-disciplinary team of professionals focusing on early intervention and support of families in crisis. After returning to Atlanta, Elana began to supplement her counseling skills with learning disability based clinical experience and assessment training. As Clinical Director at Lindamood Bell Learning Processes she conducted intake assessments, supervised clinicians and designed treatment plans for children with learning disabilities age 5-18.
For 8 years Elana served as the High School Learning Specialist for Paideia High School in Atlanta, expanding the position to support students and teachers with strategies and interventions for meeting individualized student needs. While at Paideia she invested 6 years as a member of the English Department designing curriculum and teaching writing intensive literature courses for juniors and seniors with challenges in analysis and writing. In addition she helped form Paideia’s Ethics Department, participated in the co-design of their Ethics curriculum and taught Ethics to sophomores for 5 years.Other courses taught at Paideia included Self-Awareness, Study Skills and Abnormal Psychology.
In 2007 Elana entered into a consulting relationship with The Community School, an educational environment for adolescents with issues of communicating and relating, for the purpose of building curriculum and program design to qualify for private school accreditation. After achieving accreditation for The Community School, Elana joined the faculty working in both 1:1 and group settings with adolescents on the autism spectrum. The bulk of her work surrounded building self-awareness, strengthening emotion regulation, increasing social cognition, supporting executive function and fostering critical thinking skills with boys age 12-21. Elana then co-developed a specialized transitional program for young adults with issues of relating and communicating, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her responsibilities included curriculum and program design, staff training, individualized clinical support, group facilitation, teaching, career exploration and planning, life skill building, community outreach, internship development and educational remediation, assessment and support for young adults age 17-28. She established and maintained community partnerships for student internships at sites such as Zoo Atlanta, The Humane Society, 7 Stages Theater, Pixorium and the First Baptist Church of Decatur. During this period of time Elana completed the Basic DIR/Floortime Course through the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders.
In 2010 Elana began participation in a collaborative effort between The Community School and Strategic Learning Institute in Trinidad, a specialized environment for children with significant learning challenges such as Autism, Down’s Syndrome, Sensory Disorders, Cerebral Palsy and more. For the last several years she has traveled to Trinidad to engage in student assessment, staff training, parent education and program design. She co-authored a comprehensive curriculum aimed to meet the educational needs of their students age 13-18.
On a volunteer basis for 8 years Elana designed and implemented relationship and sensory-based activities for West Haven Children’s Home for the Disabled in Hanover, Jamaica. She conducted group volunteer projects consisting of specialists such as massage therapists, art therapists, chiropractors and music therapists, as well as teenage volunteers to play and interact with the children. Elana conducted music, art and play projects in collaboration from volunteers in the US and Jamaica. Elana did individualized profiles on each of the 80 residents, including photographing their portraits, and created an album for staff to show to visitors and share with the residents to encourage increased personal connection between visitors, volunteers, staff and residents. During that time she also worked intensively with an impoverished community in Negril, Jamaica to build a kids club, a storehouse of recreational equipment for after school play, and conducted a community clean-up to create a safe place for the local children to play. Additional Jamaica projects included the Rusea’s High School Orchestra Instrument Drive, school and art supply drives for several schools (Green Island High School and Middle School, Mt. Airy All Ages, St. Paul Middle School, Rusea’s High School, Negril, All Ages School and Lithe All Ages School).
In her free time Elana loves to travel, be outdoors, play with her dog and create art with glass and stone.
For a complete CV or references, please contact Elana.