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Shana Nichols, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Researcher

ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development


Dr. Shana Nichols, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher who has worked in the field of autism spectrum disorders for 15 years. She is Founder and Director of ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development in Melville, NY, which provides a range of services to individuals, families, schools, and organizations including direct services, consultation, workshops and training. She currently specializes in adolescence and growing up, the experiences of females with ASDs, and dual diagnosis and mental health interventions. Dr. Nichols has extensive expertise in cognitive and diagnostic assessment, treatment, consultation, and family work and she conducts applied research associated with her clinical programming. She is also Director of Psychology Training at ASPIRE, and supervises graduate level trainees in clinical psychology, school psychology, mental health counseling, social work and special education. Dr. Nichols received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology form Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada and completed her internship and post-doctoral training at JFK Partners Center for Autism in Denver, Colorado. She is licensed by the States of New York and Colorado.

She is the author of Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum, which is available in book stores, A Girl's Guide to Growing up on the Autism Spectrum, which is under contract with Jessica Kinglsey Publishers, and is a co-author of the forthcoming book Fighting Worries and Facing Fears: A Coping Manual for Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Families.

Dr. Nichols is a sought-after speaker at conferences from the local to the international level, and speaks on topics related to autism spectrum disorders such as mental health, engaging youth in therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches, group therapy, sexuality and relationships, girls issues, social skills development, and diagnostic assessment for bright individuals. She has been featured in Psychology Today and interviewed for ABC News Nightline's special on girls with ASDs. Dr. Nichols has spoken about her work at the Annual Autism Society of America conference for the past five years. Her dynamic teaching style includes the use of small groups, video segments, and practice exercises that demonstrate the essential skills for achieving the course objectives in school, clinical, and professional environments.