Dr. DeLaCruz is a Licensed and Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She earned her Master's degree in School Psychology from the State University of New York, University at Buffalo in 2007 and her Doctor of Psychology degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ in 2016. She graduated with honors from both programs. Dr. DeLaCruz worked in New York State public and private schools for 8 years. She was also an Associate Instructor for the Crisis Prevention Institute. In 2015, Dr. DeLaCruz relocated to Florida where she continues to work in a public school district servicing multiple school sites. She is also a crisis team leader for one of the district's crisis teams.
Dr. DeLaCruz has extensive experience working with children of various exceptionalities. Her training has included clinical work with children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Anxiety Disorders as well as intervention programming and research with children on the Autism Spectrum. These experiences provided in-depth knowledge in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), direct social skills training, and research methods. Through participation in two practicums, two years of internship, and over a decade of work experience, Dr. DeLaCruz has also developed proficiency with an array of assessment tools that allow her to thoroughly evaluate a range of psychological disorders. Her doctoral dissertation explored the presence and variability of seasonal effects on oral reading fluency between groups of elementary students.
Dr. DeLaCruz is highly qualified to conduct psycho-educational evaluations, provide individual and group counseling, consult and collaborate with educators and families, and provide crisis intervention training and support. She looks forward to being able to privately work with children and families in order to provide quality psychological services that will ensure success.
Do you believe your child is gifted? Is your child struggling academically, socially, or behaviorally? Do you need more understanding into the type of learner your child is? Psychological evaluations can be conducted on children as young as 3 years old in order to provide insight into how your child processes information, understands the world around him or her, and responds to certain environmental demands. Various tests are available which assess intelligence, academic achievement, cognitive processing, social development, emotional regulation, adaptive functioning, school readiness, executive functioning, and attention/concentration skills. Evaluations are tailored to your child's unique needs. The goal of an assessment is to provide a comprehensive understanding of strengths, weaknesses, and abilities in order to make intervention recommendations that will contribute to future success.
Do you think your child is in need of special education services? Do you need help understanding your child's school-based evaluation, Individual Education Plan (IEP), or 504 Plan? Are you confused by the services that your child is receiving or have questions regarding how to get him or her more assistance in school? Dr. DeLaCruz is available to help guide you through your child's educational experience. It can be extremely difficult navigating general education intervention supports and special education referral and identification procedures. Dr. DeLaCruz can ease your concerns and provide clarification regarding the best course of action to ensure your child's success. Collaboration with your child's school is also available and is often an integral piece when considering how to best meet the needs of your child.
Individual counseling and play therapy services are provided. Working within a client-centered, non-judgmental and empathic framework, Dr. DeLaCruz believes that young people can develop more realistic and rational perspectives, make healthier behavioral choices, and ultimately find relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Counseling, and Family Systems approaches are used to help children to improve their mood, social relationships and school performance. Counseling is available to treat concerns such as social skill deficits, anxiety disorders, anger management, grief/loss, and coping with divorce. Family sessions are encouraged in order to increase awareness and understanding of your child's functioning and learn methods that will help to generalize skills learned in therapy to the home and/or school environment.