About the Holistic Learning Center, LLC
A Letter from Susan, Founder of Holistic Learning Center, LLC As the founder of the center, I am pleased to share our information as you pursue healthy alternatives to support your child’s development.
Our mission is to support families with their quest for knowledge as it relates to the health, language, motor development, cognition, and social skills necessary for their children to reach maximum potential.
In the New York site, we offer direct services to children and young adults as well parent training, school district training, and ongoing staff development, and individualized treatments.
Our center offers expertise in the field of language, learning, behavior, and motor delays/disorders. Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, Language Delay, Learning Disabilities, and Global Developmental Delay are offered a variety of services to support their growth and development. However, we see children beyond any labels that describe them. We recognize a diagnosis, but it does not limit us to the unending possibilities of growth and potential.
In the Maui site, we offer education for parents perusing holistic alternatives for their child including yoga, meditation classes for students and their parents, reiki, cranio sacral therapy, and emotional release work. In addition, we teach parents to eliminate toxins from their home and body. We demonstrate how to use essential oils for making home products such as cleansers, sunscreen, lip balm, skin care products, and combinations for supporting health and wellness.
Please contact us for further information at the address and phone number below or through e-mail on our contact page.
Susan Varsames, M.A. Ed., CAS, RM
Phone: (914) 793-9100
The Holistic Learning Center, LLC Staff
- Undergraduate Degree: New York University: 1983 in Educational Psychology and Special Education • Undergraduate Degree: New York University: 1983 in Educational Psychology and Special Education
- Graduate Degree: New York University: 1988 in Early Childhood Special Education
- Founder and owner of Holistic Learning Center in White Plains, NY combining nutrition, special education, oral motor speech therapy, Applied behavior Analysis, Cranio Sacral Therapy, Reiki, Holistic Ocean Therapy, and sensory integration OT for children birth through adulthood
- Founder and owner of the Holistic Learning Center of Maui offering Cranio Sacral therapy, Reiki, floating therapy, meditation classes, parent consultation for special education and behavioral intervention and consultation in essential oil use for health and wellness goals. Both sessions and training classes are offered.
- Staff trainer for special education programs/school districts for 35 years
- School district consultant for special education programs for 30 years with emphasis on opening classrooms and supporting staff where ABA, Floortime, and TEACCH methodology are utilized, specialty in behavioral interventions
- Trainer for Applied Behavioral Analysis for Westchester County Dept. of Health/ Early Intervention Unit as well as several public and private schools including college courses for over 30 years
- Cranio Sacral Therapist for ages birth through adults: trained at Upledger Institute: Courses of Study include CST 1 and 2, Somato Emotional Release 1 and 2, CST for Pediatrics, Visceral manipulation 1, and Bio Aquatics for Dolphin Assisted Therapy
- Reiki Master: Trained at The Open Center in NYC for for Usui and under William Rand, Founder of the International Center for Reiki Training, for Karuna and Holy Fire: Able to teach Reiki Levels I and II and Karuna
- Reiki Researcher for ICRT for Harvard Study
- Bio-Acoustic Researcher for the use of sound therapy
- Program Director for early childhood special education programs for 15 years
- Consultant and advocate for special education district committee meetings
- Team leader for multi-sensory evaluations for children with special needs
- Conference presenter in the fields of Autism, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, holistic approaches, and intervention for birth- adulthood for over 35 years
- Member of the Council for Exceptional Children, Autism Society of America, NY Autism Network, Autism Research Institute, Organization for Autism Research, and Developmental Delay Resources, International Center for Reiki Training and International Association of Reiki Professionals
- Author of several articles and publications in the field of educating, advocating for, and providing services for the population with learning disorders including I’ve Just Been Told and Envisioning A Bright Future, Chapter on Operant Conditioning, ABA, and alternative treatments. Monthly writer for Holistic Education column for Best Version Media, Inc.
- Adjunct Professor for N.Y Chiropractic College & Bank Street College of Education teaching Early Childhood Assessment, Understanding the Learner with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and Applied Behavior Analysis. (retired after 17 years)
- Trained in the utilization of NDT and Sensory Integration techniques to enhance language, learning, and motor skills
- Trained in implementing use of augmentative communication systems including PECS, iPads and electronic communication boards
- Trained in Advanced Listening Therapy for learners with auditory processing and motor dysfunction through Vital Sounds
- Trained in DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) Protocols for parent training and referral purposes and has attended annual conferences
- Parent Trainer and presenter for monthly school district meetings/ Special Education PTA meetings
- Former Board Member for non-profit organizations such as Heartsong, Communities That Care, Foundation for Children with Autism, Envision NY, and Holistic Living Communities.
- Supervisor for Graduate Students and new professionals and mentor for Science Research High School students
- Fluent in the use of medical devices: BEMER and Trinfinity 8 sound healing devices
- Conversational Spanish and American Sign Language
- References available upon request
Christina Guarniero has been with the Holistic Learning Center since 2008. She is a Special Education Teacher and Behavioral Intervention Consultant. Christina graduated from Mercy College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science and her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Christina has received trainings in the needs of students with Autism, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Crisis Prevention Intervention. Christina has also participated in the following conferences: Autistic Spectrum: The Bridge between Current Research in Neurology and it’s Application to Clinical Practice, Powerful Classroom Strategies in Neuroscience Research, Functional Analysis and Treatment of Severe Behavior Disorders, and Teaching Social Behavioral Skills: Students with High Functioning Autism.
Christina Lurentzatos has been with the Holistic Learning Center since 2012. She is an accomplished and results-driven Special Education Teacher and Behavioral Intervention Consultant. Christina graduated from Long Island University in 2008 with a dual Master’s Degree in Elementary Education 1-6, and Students with Disabilities 1-6. Christina has received trainings in the needs of students with Autism, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Crisis Prevention Intervention. As a Registered Behavioral Technician, Christina has received additional training in Principles of Behavior: Reinforcement, Functions, and Interventions. Christina has had notable success in providing behavior intervention consultation as well as parent training services which provide both students and parents the skills and tools required for their success. As a Registered Behavior Technician, she is able to work with students using data collection as a scientific tool for teaching socially relevant behaviors.
Ashley Thomas has been with Holistic Learning Center since 2012. She began as a certified Teaching Assistant, Behavioral Consultant and Job Coach. She now provides Behavioral Consultation Services and Behavioral Intervention Services for children and young adults throughout Westchester County, both in school districts and their homes. She also provides the families with parent training to support and network information for parents to pursue. In addition, she is skilled with transitioning young adults from a school setting to a work environment. Ashley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Purchase College in 2013. She has recently graduated from her dual Master’s program in General and Special education in August of 2017. Ashley has received trainings in the needs with Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. She has participated in the Vital Links Continuing Education for Innovative Practice where she became a trained provider for Listening Therapy. As a Registered Behavior Technician, she is able to work with students using data collection as a scientific tool for teaching socially relevant behaviors.
Jacqueline is a Speech-Language Pathologist who received her Masters of Science degree from William Patterson University and is currently working at the Holistic Learning Center. She has been in private practice for 19 years treating clients ages 2-24 years with various diagnoses including; developmental delay, phonological disorders, autism, dyspraxia, cerebral palsy and down syndrome. Jacqueline specializes in treating children dyspraxia of speech, she is PROMPT trained and utilizes oral placement therapy strategies in additional to having a strong background in oro-motor and feeding therapy for both children and adults. She has an extensive background in assessing and implementing augmentative communication systems for her clients who are in need of an alternate method of communication. She is available to create home therapy plans for carryover of therapeutic goals to parents, ABA therapists, occupational therapists, classroom teachers and school based speech language pathologists. In addition to her clinical work she has experience working for the NYC Board of Education and public schools in Westchester county. Currently, Jacqueline is treating clients in the clinical setting as well as providing consulting services to various public and private schools.
Louise Jacob is a Licensed Social Worker. She graduated from Arizona State University with her Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Specialization in Children and Families. She completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Fordham University. Louise has received training in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Crisis Prevention Intervention. She has also received training in gathering data for Functional Behavioral Assessments and creating and implementing Behavior Intervention Plans and Individualized Treatment Plans. She has trained and supervised instructors to deliver Applied Behavioral Analysis curriculum. Louise has provided Parent Training and Counseling for families and has created home based treatment, facilitating the connection between home and school. She has had great success in developing strong relationships with families, and with developing an appropriate treatment plan for them to implement within their homes.
Joseph has been with the Holistic Learning Center since 2008. He is a certified Special Education Teacher. He received his undergraduate education at SUNY Geneseo and a Masters in Education from St. Thomas Aquinas College. He has 30 years experience as an educator of children with Special Needs and 5 years experience working with adults in a day treatment setting. With the Holistic Learning Center, Joseph has provided direct home base Behavior Intervention Services, Parent Training, and Community-Based Life Coach support for young adults.
Aleks Barone is an accomplished Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked with the Holistic Learning Center since 2008. Aleks earned her Master of Science degree from Hunter College in Health and Communication Sciences. She has been highly influential in the field for over 20 years. Aleks has utilized her skills in elementary and specialized school environments, health centers, sensory gyms, and various private settings. Aleks is dually licensed in New York and Connecticut. She carries a Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech Pathology, is trained in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT), and is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Over her two decades of practice, Aleks has successfully worked with clients spanning a broad age range and with widely varying levels of need. She has significant experience and specialized training in therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders and has also serviced those with severe and multiple disabilities. Aleks has an extensive background in both assessing and implementing augmentative communication systems for her clients in need of alternate methods of communication. Currently, Aleks is treating clients in the clinical setting and providing consulting services to various public schools.