Navigating Special Education & Partnering with your Home District


Presented by: Dr. Elizabeth Matheis and Dr. Harold Tarriff

Thursday, June 4, 2020 7-8:30pm FREE!

This session will provide parents with information on the requirements for the provision of special education from both legal and professional perspectives; beginning with a brief overview of legal requirements, followed by prerequisite procedures and, most importantly, the most effective ways for parents to participate meaningfully in this process. As a result of this session, parents will be better prepared to be co-equal partners with the professionals charged with meeting the unique special needs of their children.

Dr. Tarriff has an extensive background as a Special Education Administrator, in both public and private schools. He holds a doctorate in Special Education and is a  Director of Special Services. Dr. Matheis is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist who specializes in treating the whole child, adolescent and young adult, which includes home and school, emotionally, socially and behaviorally.

Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Dr. Liz Matheis, Psychological and Educational Consulting NJ {Our #NJMOMpreneur of the Week}

When our NJMOMpreneur of the week Dr. Liz Matheis opened her own psychology and educational consulting practice for children with special needs and their parents, she started running her business from the dining room table of her home in Parsippany. Five years later, Dr. Liz has a team of therapists, employees, her very own office — and a family that could not be more proud of her. Even when obstacles like anxiety, pressure and cultural boundaries tried to get in the way, Dr. Liz never let anything come between creating her dream private practice, Psychological and Educational Consulting of NJ — which still allows for enough time to attend her children’s school affairs, fun moms’ night out events and sneak in all the mom kisses and snuggles, too. ​

Founder of Psychological and Educational Consulting of NJ & NJMOMpreneur Liz Matheis

NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Liz: At Psychological and Educational Consulting of NJ (PEC NJ), I offer services to children, adolescents, young adults, their families and their schools who fall under the umbrella of special needs. I have an awesome team of therapists working with me who are able to provide services like play therapy, art therapy, family therapy and parent coaching. We also provide private psycho-educational evaluations for students whose parents are looking to gain an understanding of learning profile, diagnosis of a learning disability (notably dyslexia), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. I am a certified school psychologist, in addition to being a licensed clinical psychologist, and I worked on the child study team for several years. With this experience, I have been blessed to be able to help parents advocate for support plans, eligibility, appropriate programs and accommodations for their children. Although I used to run the meetings, now I sit on the other side with the parent and we work collaboratively with the school team to create a unique program for any child, adolescent or young adult. Our services are unique in that we focus on the whole child, the whole system and the family as well.

NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Liz: My father passed away when I was 20 years old due to lung cancer. My father loved to have in-depth discussions about topics like religion and morality, and he saw that my natural inclination was to fix. So, when it was time to choose a major in college, he insisted on pre-law. I commuted to Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison and Florham Park. I finished up my master’s degree here, then went to the Teaneck campus for my doctorate degree — I was a student at FDU for 10 years. I did end up taking a few pre-law classes, but I didn’t love them so much. We were, however, required to take a general psychology course as undergraduate students— and that’s where I found my calling, after reading the first few chapters of my text book in class. I kept reading and absorbed the chapters like they were nourishment for my soul. I loved the child development theories, and all the personality theories. The world started to make sense and I was finally gaining answers about the ‘whys’ behind human behavior and emotion. Needless to say, I changed my major and that was that.

by Erika Szumel

Introducing Our New Team Member Rachael Berringer

Rachael earned her master’s degree from Montclair State University. She is a Licensed Associate Counselor and has worked as a school counselor for the past 8 years. She has worked in the field of special education for over 12 years. Rachael completed post-graduate training in play therapy, AutPlay therapy, DIR/Floortime, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, family trauma models, children’s yoga, social thinking , nurtured heart and mindful parenting, and executive functioning coaching.

Rachael currently works at a school for children with special needs where she provides individual and group counseling as well as parent support. She also works with parents to provide behavioral strategies and interventions in the home.

Rachael is the proud of mother of 2 children (ages 4 and 2). In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her boys.

Contact Rachael:

Introducing Our New Team Member Jennifer Mandato

We would like to announce Jennifer Mandato is now part of our team. Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Counselor who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University.  She went on to pursue her Masters Degree in School Counseling from Centenary University.  She is working towards her requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Jennifer has been a School Counselor for the past ten years in a private school for students with special needs.  She provides individual and group counseling, as well as family support and future planning.  She works with children, adolescents and young adults with Autism, Anxiety, Down Syndrome, and other Developmental Disabilities.  Jennifer uses the Cognitive Behavioral Therapeutic (CBT) model to guide her treatment.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her family.

Thank You for Choosing us as Your  Favorite Kids’ Docs!


Once again, we are thrilled to be your NJ Family Favorite Kids’ Doc 2018! Thank you for your votes, and your positive and kind feedback. We are blessed to work with your children, adolescents, and your families.
On a side note, we did not make the deadline with our new address.
As you are aware, we are now located at 513 West Mount Pleasant Ave, Ste 212, Livingston NJ. All of our contact info has remained the same.Many, many thanks!

Dr. Liz’s Book Review: “Let Your Heart Out: How to Escape Your Thoughts and Reconnect With The Most Important Parts of Yourself” by Dr. Stefani Reinold

Dr. Liz’s Review:

Written by a woman, a mother, a professional, this book truly spoke to my heart! Stefani is genuine, honest, and spoke of her experiences, emotions, and struggles in vulnerable way that made it easy for me to relate. This book is a must read for women who are raising babies and businesses. Women who aim to do it all and do it really well, every moment of every day.

Stefani debunks our need to keep it perfect, calls out the ugly parts of a woman’s journey in life as a mother, a wife, a friend, and a professional. I genuinely appreciate how she verbalized for me how she thought that when she accomplished the different milestones of gaining her degree, getting married, having a baby, she would have felt fulfilled. But she didn’t, and many women don’t. She beautifully identifies that the reason for this is because we are not being true to our hearts and we have spent a huge part of our lives, time, energy and thoughts trying to live up to standards that were not truly created by our hearts.

As a Child and Adolescent Psychologist and mother of 3, it felt as though that Stefani has been on my life journey with me. She eloquently describes her emotional experiences and offers suggestions and exercises to help you re-connect with you.

I strongly recommend this book to any woman who can’t answer the question, “Who Am I?” or “What do I want in my life?”  Whether as a result of divorce, a growing sense of dissatisfaction, or feeling lost by the roles we feel like we need to take on to be a “good (insert role here)”.

Well done, Stefani! And thank you for putting into words all of the feelings that we women have but feel ashamed or embarrassed to have.

Thank You for Choosing us as Your Favorite Kids’ Docs!

Thank You for choosing Psychological and Educational Consulting, Dr. Liz Matheis, Nicole Filiberti, LCSW, Michelle Molle-Krowiak, Ed.S., LCSW, Chrissy Sunberg, M.Ed., AAC, and Miranda Dekker, LCSW as your Favorite Kids Docs!  We are honored and privileged to be able to work with your children, adolescents, families, and schools!

Dr. Liz’s Book Review: “Billions Lost: The American Tech Crisis and the Roadmap to Change” by Hilarie Gamm

Dr. Liz’s Review:
Hilarie Gamm has hit the nail on the head in her eloquent and well thought out preparation of this book, “Billions Lost: The American Tech Crisis and The Road Map To Change.” I have read the “Hard Work Factor” and “The Damaging Effects of The Disintegration of Teen Labor” chapters several times, and they are resonating very strongly with me. In essence, Hilarie recognizes that our generation of children has lost the “work hard, play hard, earn hard” mentality and is now functioning on the sense of “work minimally, earn hard” which is creating a sense of lethargy and lack of motivation.​ As parents, we also have not continued in the push to work and save, but rather we are funding our children’s social activities and providing a lavish lifestyle that they will not be able to maintain independently in their future.The damaging effects on our children as adults will be huge. In line with my professional work as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, specializing in children and adolescents, we have a generation of children and adolescents who are scared, lacking skills and resilience. We are also seeing much too much of “failure to launch” young adults who have developed a mind set of “don’t work hard, but get a good paying job and maintain a high end lifestyle.” The connection between work hard, start at the bottom of the ranks and work your way up, does not resonate with many of our young adults.  Hilarie stated it so clearly in that our children lack the “hunger for success” that motivated us as their parents to continuously challenge ourselves, learn more, and to hold goals.I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as a parent and professional, and will recommend it to other parents as a way to understand how our culture and societal values have changed over time and how they are negatively impacting our children’s emotional, social, academic well-being, and future career aspirations. Hilarie also offers an entire chapter on how to make those positive changes, and it can start at home in our conversations and expectations with our children.
by Dr. Liz's

Dr. Liz’s Book Review: “The Stigmatized Child, Mommy Am I Stupid?” by Anne Ford

Dr. Liz’s Review:

“The Stigmatized Child, Mommy, Am I Stupid” is a really well-written description of the journey of a parent of a child with special needs. Understanding and accepting your child’s special need(s) can sometimes be overwhelming. It requires time to wrap your mind around the idea that your child’s development is a little bit off. Once the awareness builds, sometimes it really builds. As a parent, I’ve had to “do my research” about my child’s areas of weaknesses and understand them. Once I understood them, I had to figure out what she needed and how to go about advocating for her.

Anne Ford truly opened herself up to sharing her most intimate thoughts and experiences. Her trials, her search, her understanding and her acceptance. This book is validating for the parents who thought they were alone or the “only one” having this experience. She has captured how there is no one “perfect” program or “perfect” school that will meet our child’s needs in their entirety. It truly takes a village of professionals to create the program for your child. And just when it’s all settled, your child makes progress and it’s time to re-vamp it!

As a Child/Adolescent Psychologist and Educational Consultant, as well as a parent of a child with special needs, this book honestly and genuinely captured my inner thoughts and worries. It also gave me so much that my child, and all of our children, are going to get to where they need to be.

by Dr. Liz's

#MOMBOSS Event through HIPNJ & NJ Family Magazine WAS Beyond Inspiring!

I was blessed to be a part of this amazing #MOMBOSS event today at Bloomingdales at the Short Hills Mall!, sponsored by HipNJ and NJ Family Magazine. I was inspired by fellow women, moms and business owners in a way that is making me excited to think about this practice that I have grown from it’s infancy, and where I want to go next.

The event was coordinated by Maria Falzo, founder of HipNJ, and panelists consisted of Cheldin Barlatt, Rumor, Danielle Forte, Mallika Malhotra and Priya Virmani.

​As each mom spoke, I made a list of wise words to review again and again in those moments for when I feel uninspired and discouraged. I’m going to share that advice with you:

  • Your business is for your fulfillment, and that good and okay. You’ve given to your family for several years before you get to this point. It’s okay if want to pursue a business, your passion because it makes you feel happy. 
  • No two days are alike. The juggling is real, and sometimes, it’s ugly. Being a mom and a mom-preneur is a full-time, back-and-forth act that requires patience and a miracle (at times)
  • Mommy guilt – there’s a lot of it that we feel on a daily basis, but we are setting an example of our children of what it is to have a passion and a dream and to go after it.
  • We always think “How is my business going to affect everyone else?” meaning our spouses, children and our friends, but sometimes, it’s okay if we come first
  • Accept the help – you cannot be everything to everyone. Set up your tribe of support and don’t feel guilty. 
  • You have to learn how to delegate – you can’t do it all and it won’t be as good as you would have it, but it gets done!

Once again, thank you for renewing my creativity!

"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Julie C.
"Dr. Matheis has a remarkable ability to understand the unique needs of her patients and address them constructively. She builds strong, meaningful relationships with patients and their families, encouraging trust and collaboration. When working with my son who struggles with autism-related anxiety, she created an environment in which he was able to calm down and open up to her in ways I had not seen before. She was able to reach him and helped him work through his crisis/problem. Most importantly, she empowered him to move forward."
- N.L.
"Dr. Matheis is amazing. She has tremendous resources and loads of energy. She is not willing to accept anything less than the most effective results for her clients. She made me feel as if my son was her top priority throughout the entire process. I would, without reservation, give her my highest recommendations.  Thank you, Dr. Matheis!"
- Anonymous
"Dr. Matheis has an amazing ability to read kids and connect with them. She has been an invaluable resource for our family over the past several years and has helped us with everything from educational consulting, to uncovering diagnoses as well as family therapy. Working with Dr. Matheis never feels clinical and most importantly, our children love and trust her. We can not thank you enough Dr. Liz!"
- Anonymous
"My teenage son had been seeing Dr. Matheis through his senior year of high school, as he was only diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old.  Dr. Matheis came highly recommended from our pediatrician and she has done wonders for our son as well as our family, navigating new ways for him to deal with his diagnosis without the use of medication.  She taught him ways to organize himself and even when something did not work for him, she patiently continued teaching him new ways to keep himself on track.  She has also helped us as parents to understand how his mind works so that we did not continue to blame his lack of focus on him, rather on his unique way of thinking.  Thank you Dr. Matheis!!!!"
- LG
"Dr. Liz is the best! Our family was directed to her by our Pediatrician to assist with figuring out severe mood changes, severe anxiety, strange new fears and food aversion that had come onto one of our children literally overnight. After just a couple of visits, she suggested that the issues may actually be rooted in a physical issue and suggested we immediately take our child to be swabbed for strep, because Dr. Liz suspected PANDAS (a pediatric autoimmune disorder brought on by strep). The same Pediatrician that suggested Dr. Liz would not do the swab (they do not believe in PANDAS and we no longer go there) but I took my child to my doctor who did the swab and it was positive for strep. When our child went on antibiotics, within 24 hours all symptoms went away and our child was back :-) Dr. Liz then recommended a PANDAS specialist who helped us and our child is in complete remission and is happy and healthy. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Liz for her knowledge of all things, even the most remote and unusual and for helping us so much! Thank you!"
- Anonymous
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Anonymous
"Thank you, Dr. Liz. Although we have told you countless times, it will never feel enough. You have listened when J could barely speak and continued to listen when he was sad, angry and confused. You've challenged him and directed us in our roles as parents. You've helped J face his fears while the list evolved and changed, and yet you've stayed committed to 'the course.' We pray that your children realize that time away from them is spent helping children learn and that vulnerability is a sign of strength and bravery."
- June I
"My son was admitted to an Ivy League school when only 2 years ago, you assessed him and saw his struggles, his Dyslexia. We are grateful that he no longer has to carry that deep feeling of inadequacy or shame that must have kept him so self conscious and from reaching his potential. He has the PERFECT program for him. He has A's in high math and economics. He became a Merit Scholar, a Boys State legislature, the HEAD captain of the football team and help a job ALL while studying and managing his classes and disability. I am PROUD of you, a young doctor, who knows and sees the vulnerability of children and helps them recognize "it's NO big deal" God bless."
- Anonymous

Learn More About Dr. Liz!

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513 W Mt Pleasant Ave, Ste 212,
​Livingston, NJ 07039