Zonya Mitchell, Psy.D., Clinical Director
Dr. Mitchell is the Clinical Director and a licensed neuropsychologist at the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism. Her experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum began in 2003 when she worked as a behavior therapist for ARC’s Therapeutic Intervention Program for Autism in Sunrise, Florida. She went on to become a board certified associate behavior analyst, providing in home ABA therapy and later owned centers in Kendall and Nassau, Bahamas providing treatment to children with autism spectrum disorders.
After she received her Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (neuropsychology concentration) from Carlos Albizu University in Miami, Florida, she completed postdoctoral residencies at Columbia-New York Presbyterian and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in NYC. While there, she conducted neuropsychological evaluations for various research studies on autism and other developmental disabilities. She completed an internship at Kingsbrook Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn, NY where she specialized in pediatric and adult neuropsychology and cognitive rehabilitation. Prior to internship, she completed an externship in pediatric neuropsychology at Miami Children’s Hospital. During her time there she conducted inpatient evaluations of pre and post surgery epilepsy cases and outpatient neuropsychological evaluations of pediatric oncology patients, along with children with autism, traumatic/acquired brain injuries, learning disabilities and other developmental disorders.
Tiffany Ann Avon, Psy.D
Dr. Tiffany Avon is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Behavioral Therapist. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Child and Family Studies from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY. There she trained under the late Dr. Edward Carr in Behavioral Therapy, with a focus on, Applied Behavioral Analysis. She then continued her education at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where she received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. There she spent many years under the supervision of Dr. Charles Golden refining her skills in Neuropsychology serving a variety of children with learning disorders and developmental disabilities. Additionally, she spent three years as the Project Coordinator on a *research project grand funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. After completing graduate school, Dr. Avon pursued further training in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Developmental Disabilities by earning a Postbaccalaurete Certificate in Autism from Penn State University and completing her internship at the May Institutes’ National Autism Center in Randolph, MA. Along with the diagnosis and treatment of early childhood disorders , her additional areas of focus include: school consultation and program evaluation, applied behavioral analysis, social skills training, parent education and behavioral coaching and behavioral play therapy. In addition to her education and training, Dr. Avon has been an avid equestrian since the age of four as continues to actively train and compete in show jumping events.
Ronald Schenendorf, M.D.
Dr. Schenendorf has over 30 years of experience in practicing general adult psychiatry, including psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. In addition to being in private practice since 1980, he was the Assistant Medical Director and Director of Mental Health at ACLD for the past 17 years, devoting his expertise to the psychiatric care of the developmentally disabled at ACLD. Dr. Schenendorf has held positions as the Medical Director for the Oceanside Counseling Center for Drugs and Alcohol, Supervising Psychiatrist at Hillside Hospital, and Consulting Psychiatrist for Helen Keller National Center in Sands Point. He has been the psychiatrist on staff at South East Nassau Guidance Center-Seaford, Woodmere Counseling Center, and Pride of Judea Mental Health Clinic-Douglaston.
He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is also a member of the American Psychiatric Association, Greater Long Island Psychiatric Society, American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, and American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Schenendorf has been active in advancing the education of both professional medical and direct-service staff working with the developmentally disabled population. He is proficient in the use of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and works on ways to incorporate this technique into his work. He has presented numerous lectures within a variety of hospitals on the care of a patient with adevelopmental disability within a general hospital setting. As a frequent presenter at conferences, retreats and residential manager meetings, discussion topics have included: “Sleep: It’s Importance and Disturbances,” “Understanding Borderline-Like Symptoms in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities,” “Medication Management of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities,” and “Anxiety in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities” among others.
Sophia Francis-Stewart, M.D.
Dr. Francis-Stewart joined the Lindner Center as a staff psychiatrist in May 2012. Dr. Francis-Stewart is member of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry program’s resident-selection committee, the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education Policy Committee, and a lecturer, all at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and earned certification in child and adolescent psychiatry in July 2012.
Lisa Wajsblat, Ph.D.
Dr. Lisa Wajsblat is a licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D) at the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. At the Lindner Center, Dr. Lisa conducts comprehensive diagnostic and psychological assessments to help individuals and families develop plans to facilitate improved educational, social-emotional, and adaptive functioning. She also provides individual, group, and family psychotherapy designed to meet each person’s target goals. Dr. Lisa primarily utilizes the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Cognitive-Behavioral interventions to increase adaptive skills and decrease symptoms that interfere with each person’s/family’s ability to function to their potential.
Dr. Lisa has been working with individuals with developmental disabilities across the lifespan for over eight years. She received her Doctorate of Psychology in School and Community Psychology from Hofstra University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Over the last several years, Dr. Lisa has worked with children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors in a range of settings, including public and private schools, hospitals, outpatient treatment centers, and homes. She has also provided and supervised home- and community-based ABA programming in NY and CT.
Within treatment, Dr. Lisa emphasizes the strong role of the family and will often work closely with parents to increase their skills and abilities. Her collaborative and dynamic approach to intervention encourages each member of the treatment team to become empowered and take ownership over their role in promoting success for themselves or their child, no matter their age.