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Psychosocial History and Autism Specialty Reports for OPWDD/Self-direction Eligibility 

What is OPWDD?

The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is responsible for coordinating services for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, Prader-Willi syndrome and other neurological impairments. It provides services directly and through a network of approximately 500 nonprofit service providing agencies, with about 80 percent of services provided by the private nonprofits and 20 percent provided by state-run services.

For more information click here to visit the New York State, OPWDD web site:


 

How does OPWDD help?

Through OPWDD, you can access supports and services that can help individuals with autism to live in the family home or in the community; help if they want to work, take part in volunteer opportunities or other types of community involvement; and assistance accessing services needed to live a balanced life. 

How does someone find out if they are eligible for OPWDD support?

The eligibility review process is the way OPWDD determines if you have a developmental disability or are eligible for supports and services. You and your family will need to submit materials and records, such as reports of assessments conducted by medical professionals as well as a physical from a physician. The information you submit will be reviewed to see if your disability meets the requirements specified in New York State law. If it meets the requirements, you are deemed eligible for OPWDD services. (Please note: additional steps, such as enrolling in Medicaid, are needed to gain access to most supports and services.) Depending on the complexity of your condition, the process for obtaining an eligibility determination may require reports from multiple specialty assessments. A face-to-face interview may also be part of the process.

How can Dr. Memoli help me with this process?

Dr. Memoli and her clinical team can complete all of the necessary components of the required psychosocial history and autism speciality report, required by New York State to apply for OPWDD support.  This includes multiple assessments, a detailed record review, and necessary interviews required to complete a robust packet for submission to the state.*

*Please note, final determination is made by OPWDD, and a completed application does not guarantee eligibility. 

Meet Your Evaluation Team

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Dr. Kristen Memoli is a clinical psychologist licensed in New York State specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis. Since 1996 she has worked with individuals of all ages affected by autism spectrum disorders and provided support for their families. She has worked in several school systems, both public and private, and is has worked as a private clinician for over 20 years. In addition to a focus on autism, she works with individuals struggling with anxiety, emotion dysregulation, family conflict, and technology dependence. 

Dr. Memoli has extensive experience completing Autism Specialty Reports, Psychosocial Reports, and Adaptive Behavior Assessment Reports.  Since 2011 she has provided numerous families with the required documentation to apply for and receive support from New York State through OPWDD.  Dr. Memoli completes extensive interviews, autism assessments, and detailed record reviews in order to prepare a robust packet for you or your son/daughter to submit to determine eligibility for support. 

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Dr. David Kessler is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, college students, and adults in both educational and clinical settings. He has served as a Committee on Special Education Chairperson, as well as a Supervising School Psychologist.  As a school psychologist and private clinician, he has provided individual counseling, social skills groups, diagnostic Psychological Evaluations, parent/teacher consultation, and crisis intervention. His areas of expertise include but are not limited to: stress and anger management, ADHD, depressive disorders and self-esteem issues, transitioning to college and independent living, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, parent training, developmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorders.  

As a member of the North Shore Psychology Evaluation team, Dr. Kessler is available to conduct Intellectual Evaluations and when needed, extensive record reviews.  His reports provide individuals and families with a comprehensive assessment of IQ, which is a component of the current psychological evaluations required by New York State when applying for eligibility. He is available for both in-person and on-line services, and can be reached with any specific questions at dkesslerphd@gmail.com.  

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Tristan Stegmaier, M.Ed., is a transition specialist and special education teacher with over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. He has served as the Executive Director of a transition program for adults on the autism spectrum, Special Education Administrator, Special Education Chairperson, and special education teacher. Throughout his career, Mr. Stegmaier has conducted countless evaluations, and as a member of the North Shore Psychology Evaluation team, he is available to conduct Functional Behavior Assessments, educational history reviews and extensive record reviews. His reports provide families with a comprehensive assessment of functional behavior which is a necessary component for New York State OPWDD eligibility. He is available for both in-person and virtual appointments. Mr. Stegmaier can be reached at tristanstegmaiermed@gmail.com