Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler, Ph.D., LCSW-C, CASDCS, (Founder, Director)
Dr. Kranzler is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and holds a Masters and Ph.D. from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. He specializes in working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and teaches social skills, mood regulation, anxiety management, executive functioning, interoception and confidence building skills. He has served as Social Work Supervisor of an Albert Einstein College of Medicine clinic, a Dean of Students at a large K-12 school in South Florida and has been performing therapy in a variety of settings for more than 16 years. Dr. Kranzler is the author of The Crimson Protector, a superhero adventure novel that teaches tweens and teens how to build confidence, overcome social anxiety and handle bullying (available in print and eBook versions on Amazon and at TheCrimsonProtector.com). Dr. Kranzler serves as the Chair of the Autism Committee on the National Trauma Education and Policy Board.
Dotty Sexton, LCSW-C, CASDCS
Dotty Sexton is a Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical (LCSW-C) and a Certified Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist (CASDCS) who works with Autistic individuals and with individuals with Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and anger struggles. Dotty has been working with school aged youth in the Maryland school systems for more than three years as a Mental Health Psychotherapist focusing primarily on anxiety, while also attending to co-occurring issues such as depression, ADHD, and anger and defiance. Dotty’s therapeutic approach to anxiety is a mixture of cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and even encouraging clients to partake in group therapy at times. Exploring anxiety triggers and corresponding coping skills is just the beginning of Dotty’s treatment approach, and will later progress into client focused therapeutic interventions based on the individual client’s needs.
Dotty graduated with her Master’s Degree from Salisbury University and then began to take on various roles at an outpatient mental health therapy clinic in Elkton, MD. She first worked as a Mental Health Psychotherapist for children and teens, and then became the School Based Therapy Program Coordinator. Later in her career she began an internship program partnering with Wilmington University offering supervision for student counselors. Most recently, she has organized and facilitated an LGBTQ+ group for teens as well as an anxiety and mindfulness group for young adults.
Dotty uses an integrative blend of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness interventions, and Solution Focused Therapy to focus on targeting the unique needs of each individual. Her passion helping others achieve their goals drives her work with clients. She empowers clients to shine brighter, encourages continuous growth, and advocates for equality despite differences.
In her free time she enjoys adventuring. Dotty is up for just about anything fun from sky diving, to hiking, to visiting new cities and exciting places. She loves to cook and bake, enjoys living an active and healthy lifestyle, and spends every chance she can connecting with loved ones. Dotty’s style of therapy reflects her life motto: the journey is the destination.
Sam Rosenblatt, LCPC
Sam Rosenblatt is a graduate of the University of Florida where he studied psychology as an undergraduate and received a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling. Sam uses guided mindfulness practices to help others gain self awareness, reduce stress, experience healing, and access deeper parts of themselves. After graduating, Sam became a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and further developed his skills in teaching mindfulness. Since then, he has been using mind-body practices to help his clients with anxiety management, emotional regulation, stress reduction, and navigating the many challenges of life.
Sam began his career working with Autistic individuals on the Autism Spectrum as a classroom aide at the Ivymount School and in summer camps for Autistic individuals . Since receiving his LCPC license, he has worked with a wide range of clients of all ages. He has worked with Autistic individuals in his private practice and is excited to join KAPS and continue to his work with the population he is dedicated to serving!
Sam is passionate about health and wellness. In his free time, Sam enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga, and spending time with friends and family.
Kathryn Gargett, MA, LCPC, NCC
Kathryn is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience working with Autistic adults and children. Since 1997, she has worked with individuals in various settings, including their homes, schools, and the community. For over 10 years she worked in nonprofit organizations, such as CSAAC and Trellis, providing care for individuals and their families throughout Montgomery, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties.
Kathryn graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2012 with a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Counseling, then obtaining her license for counseling and working in private practice in the Montgomery County area. Much of her private practice has been focused on working with children and adults on the Autism Spectrum, as well as those with ADHD. She also currently works with children at the Community School of Maryland, a private school for Autistic students.
Kathryn has a person-centered approach to therapy, using her creativity to put together treatment plans for each unique individual. She pulls from her various training and experience working with multiple modalities of treatment including executive functioning skills development, CBT, behavior modification, DBT, mood regulation development, flexibility training and social skills development.
When Kathryn isn’t working, she devotes her time giving back to her community. She also loves to spend her time hiking, biking, and walking with her two therapy dogs, Bennie and Murphy. Although Bennie is retired from work in the office, you might see Murphy at the office coming out to say hello!
Michelle Ivey Kamin, LMSW
Michelle received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from The College of New Jersey and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. As a Licensed Social Worker, Michelle has spent the past nine years working with Neurodiverse children and adolescents alongside with their families.
Michelle’s area of expertise is working with Autistic individuals as well as individuals diagnosed with ADHD, Anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder, Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder, Expressive/Receptive Communication challenges, and other related diagnoses. Michelle is also certified in AutPlay Therapy, an integrative family play therapy approach to working with Autistic and Neurodiverse children, adolescents and their families.
Michelle has spent most of her post-graduate career working in a school for bright, capable students with social communication, executive functioning and self regulation challenges. She enjoys teaching and coaching children to help them build their personal toolboxes of coping skills and social strategies. She is especially interested in helping children build their strength and confidence in the areas of emotion regulation and social skills. Michelle is passionate about helping children build upon their strengths through developing resilience and celebrating each success along the way.
Michelle believes whole-heartedly in meeting each client where they are and helping clients develop skills, confidence, and independence. She takes a holistic, solution focused and strengths-based approach with Autistic individuals and their families; she prides herself on building strong relationships with her clients based on a foundation of respect, trust, empowerment and compassion.
Sarah Behrens, Executive Functioning Coach
TIME MANAGEMENT: prioritization, preparation, planning, and efficiency.
ORGANIZATION: tracking systems for physical and digital materials and self-monitoring.
STUDY SKILLS: engagement in less preferred topics and approaching various reading, writing, memorizing, and note taking tasks.
SELF-ADVOCACY: self-awareness, motivation, reframing perspective, and utilizing help.
GOAL-SETTING: self-awareness, independence fostering, and expanding strategy toolbox to achieve set goals.
Sarah is a graduate of the University of Missouri with an emphasis in Cross Categorical Special Education. She has taught and supported students and families in a variety of public and private educational settings in the Chicago, D.C. and Tampa Bay areas for fourteen years. She has taught at two independent schools geared for children with high functioning autism who benefitted from individualized instruction in the areas of social, communication, and executive functioning skills in addition to all academic content. She has also taught in a variety of public and charter school settings supporting a vast realm of neurodiverse learners while holding leadership responsibilities and developing and managing processes around students who benefit from a 504, Individualized Education Program, or an equivalent plan. She has supported teachers, staff, and parents in their growth of implementation of best practices, differentiated instruction, and strategies to best serve growing populations of diverse learners.
In addition, Sarah has continuously worked to support students and families in the role of educational coach and advocate. This type of work has occurred both in and out of school settings. It has allowed her to act as a driver and partner within each student’s support team to put into motion habit building of necessary lifelong executive functioning and advocacy skills.
Sarah cannot think of anything else in the world that she would rather be doing than creating ways to support individualized learning. She thrives on challenging herself to figure out what individuals and families need and then work together to close spaces that exist between goals and achievements to increase consistency of gains at school and at home. She also strives to support students to be empowered to play an active role as their own advocate through recognition of their strengths, motivations, goals, and step by step strategy development.
Jennifer Polkes, Educational Advocate/School Consultant/Autism Resources Expert/Job Coach/Executive Functioning Coach
1. Finding resources for Autistic individuals that support their independence, education, careers and finances
2. Finding the best educational settings for Autistic individuals
3.Advocating for services and supports for Autistic individuals in elementary, middle, and high school and in college
4. Advocating for services and support for Autistic individuals in the workplace
Jennifer comes to KAPS after over fifteen years of working as a disability advocate in the DC metropolitan area. She has extensive experience in working with employers to teach them how to help hire, retain and manage differently abled employees. Over the last several years, Jennifer has focused her attention on education advocacy. She has helped families of children with special needs find appropriate school placement and has acted as a liaison between families and schools while addressing a student’s requirements for success. She has also worked with a myriad of local and national disability organizations on lobbying legislative agendas and program initiatives around disability employment. She is the proud mother of a soon-to-be high school graduate and two unruly dogs.