Director of Consultation and Psychoeducational Services
Dot Lucci has been active in the fields of education, psychology, research and academia for over 30 years. She is a national consultant and speaker who specializes in program design and the inclusion of children with special needs, especially those diagnosed with ASD. She has experience as an elementary classroom teacher, special educator, school psychologist, researcher, director, and college professor.
For thirteen years Dot was Program Director and Director of Consultation at MGH/Aspire where she built child, teen and young adult programs and established the 3S’s (i.e. self-awareness, social competency and stress management) as the backbone of all programming. Prior to coming to MGH/Aspire Ms. Lucci was an independent consultant and developed the ASD Needs Assessment Protocol©. This tool assists school districts in improving service delivery and cost effectiveness for ASD students. She was also director of the Autism Support Center, a parent-professional organization where she worked to enhance families’ capacities to parent their ASD children and to build parent-professional collaboration. Ms. Lucci also worked as a teacher, school psychologist and director at public schools, a private special education school and a collaborative.
In Dot’s professional career long before these areas were in vogue she was a proponent of social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and addressing student quality of life. Dot has worked with students with learning challenges, ASD, ADHD, anxiety, ID and other learning and emotional challenges. Over the years Dot has specialized in serving individuals with ASD and her work has often been called novel and “outside the box”. Dot was using humanistic and relational interventions with ASD students in the 80’s long before they were publicized.
Dot’s knowledge and interest in social-emotional learning, affective research and emotional regulation has led her to team up with other like-minded professionals. She was vice president of SmartThot and with Rachel Robb-Avery and co-authored the Think Smart Feel Good PK – Grade 2 Curriculum (TSFG), an early childhood self-awareness and stress management curriculum. This curriculum focuses on resilience, CBT and mindfulness. Dot has written grants with Rosalind Picard of the MIT Media Lab studying the Affectiva Q Sensor (an autonomic nervous system real-time data stream sensor) that was used in conjunction with TSFG to improve self-awareness and stress management in young children.
Ms. Lucci’s clinical interests include mind-body practices, positive psychology, and the use of technology and biofeedback devices in the instruction of social and emotional learning, especially as they apply to neurodiverse individuals. Dot is Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR) trained at UMass Medical Center and in 2010 she was a Senior Investigator at the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute: Education, Developmental Neuroscience and Contemplative Practices: Questions, Challenges, and Opportunities. Dot incorporates a variety of technology tools into her consultation and psychoeducational counseling practice. Dot is well known in the technology world and is often sought after to consult to start-up mental health and educational companies. Currently she is directly involved with three technology companies in varying capacities. She is on the Scientific Leadership Team of SymTrend, Inc., Clinical Director of VeriCurious and an Educational Mentor with AutismSees and has been sought after by Sidekicks, EDI/MyMoments, Empatica, Affectiva, and BrainPower and many others to provide insights, feedback and ideas.
Ms. Lucci is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University and in the past at Antioch College, Lasell College and Framingham University. In 2007 Ms. Lucci was nominated to Marquis Who’s Who in America and in 2008 she was nominated to Who’s Who in American Education.
Dot is an educator and school psychologist by training. She earned her undergraduate degree from Wheelock College and her M.Ed. and C.A.G.S in school psychology from the University of Massachusetts. She is certified as a school psychologist and has extensive training in neuropsychology while working as the Project Manager on National Institute of Health and National Institute of Mental Health grants at Boston University Medical School under the leadership of Debby Fein. Ann Helmus, founder and director of NESCA was a predoctoral intern at the time Dot was managing the grants in the neuropsychology lab. Ann and Dot became friends and colleagues many years ago and it is only fitting that the two work together again at NESCA!
Dot served on the Board of Directors of the Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE) for 16 years. Currently, she serves on the Program Committee and Clinical Advisory Group. She is also an Advisory Board Member for an Autism and Dating grant through Children’s Hospital. Dot is active in SEL4MA (Social-Emotional learning for Massachusetts and CASEL (Collaborative for Academic and Social-Emotional Learning and (ASCD) Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. She is a Level 1 Certified Clinician in Social Thinking. She is also a member of the (NASP) National Association of School Psychologists, Mass School Psychologist Association (MSPA), AANE and ASA. She also served on the Mass Advocates for Children and DOE Autism Endorsement and Transition Endorsement Commission Study Groups.
A Sampling of Ms. Lucci’s Publications and Presentations
• Lucci, D. (2018). Technology Usage for individuals with intellectual and developmental disorders. In E. Braaten (Ed). The Sage Encyclopedia of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
• McLeod, D.S., Lucci, D. & Milot, A. (2018). School consultation and Autism Spectrum Disorders. In E. Braaten (ed.) Sage Encyclopedia of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
• Lucci D. and Milot, A. (2018). Support Groups for Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In E. Braaten (ed). The Sage Encyclopedia of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
• Lucci, D. & Zisook, M. (2017). Aspire participants lead the way at STEM event. https://www.massgeneral.org/children/autism-spectrum-disorder/stem-at-aspire-part-2.aspx
• Lucci, D. (2017). Aspire participants prepare for unique STEM event. https://www.massgeneral.org/children/autism-spectrum-disorder/stem-at-aspire.aspx
• Lucci, D. (2016). Technology enhances social-emotional intelligence in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. In S. Tettegah & Y. Garcia (vol. eds). Emotions, Technology and Health. In S. Tettegah (series ed). Emotions and Technology: Communication of Feelings, Through, With, and For Technology. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.
• McLeod, D. S., Malatino, K. & Lucci, D. (2016). Social skills training for autism spectrum disorder. In C.J. McDougle (ed). Primer on Autism Spectrum Disorder. NY, NY: Oxford University Press.
• Lucci, D. (2015). MESH & students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD): Can they learn these essential life ingredients? (Web Blog Post) Retrieved from http://www.transformingeducation.org/blog/mesh-on-the-spectrum
• Lucci, D., Levine, M., Challen-Wittmer, K. & McLeod, D.S. (2014). Technologies to support interventions for social-emotional intelligence, self-awareness, personal style, and self-regulation. In: Boser, K.I., Goodwin, M., & Wayland, S. Technology Tools for Students with Autism. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Pub.
• Lucci, D. (2014). Developing Self-reflection and resilience in adolescents with asperger’s syndrome and high-functioning autism. Autism Spectrum News, Winter
• Lucci, D. (2018). Engaging students with Asperger’s Syndrome in the general education setting. Presented at the 33rd Annual Learning Differences Conference, Cambridge, MA.
• Lucci, D. (2018). What does executive functioning look like? Presented at Educators Conference, Brookline, MA
• Lucci, D. & Cumming, J. (2017). Pros and Pitfalls of Video Gaming. Presented at (AANE)Asperger/Autism Network’s Annual Conference, Waltham, MA.
• Lucci, D. (2016). Technology’s Power with Individuals with ASD. Presented at Tufts University, Medford, MA.
• Lucci, D. & Wulff, E. (2016). Empowering students to own and manage their lives. Presented at Boston Public Schools Transition Conference, Boston, MA.
• Lucci, D. (2015). College-Aged Students Thrive or Survive. Presented at Dean College, Franklin, MA
• Lucci, D. (2014). Teens with Special Needs improve Self-Awareness, Emotional-regulation and Social Connection through Heart-Focused Instruction. Presented at the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Boston, MA.
• Lucci, D., Weeks, L. & Robb-Avery, R. (2014). Preschoolers with special needs and mindfulness. Presented at the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, Boston, MA.
• Gooen, J., Lucci, D., Mongiello, P., & Robinson, J. (2014). Differentiated instruction and the student with Asperger Syndrome. Presented at AANE’s Annual Teacher’s Conference. Waltham, MA.
• Lucci, D. & Tamaren, M. (2013) Discovering Well-Being in the Midst of Stress: Techniques and methods for achieving balance in the classroom, home and yourself. Presented at The Fifth (AANE) Annual Asperger’s Association of New England Cape Cod Summer Conference, Hyannis, MA.
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