writing, art, design & tech mentoring

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Creative Writing

I teach poetry, science fiction and creative non-fiction.

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Data Visualization

I teach numeric data visualization with D3 and geographic data visualization with mapbox.


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Creative Coding

I teach programming with p5.js, digital project management with glitch, artificial intelligence with ml5, VR with aframe and AR with 8th wall.

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Computer Aided Design

I teach 3D modelling with blender, graphic design with adobe illustrator, interface design with phigma, and web design with squarespace.

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Game Design

I teach 2D and 3D game design using unity. I teach role-playing games with rpg maker.

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Computer Sensing & Robotics

I teach computer sensing and robotics with arduino and ecoduino, as well as web APIs.

SPECIFICALLY TAILORED TO 2E STUDENTS

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Executive Function

I teach strategies for project management, shifting, focusing, integrating the details into the big picture, and vice versa.

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Metacognition

I help students learn about their own minds, reading about giftedness, ADHD, ASD, etc. in order to better understand their unique strengths and weaknesses.

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Psycho-Social Skills

I model and encourage perseverance, grit, a growth mindset, strategic risk taking and positive self-concept.

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Multi-Potentiality

I deliberately encourage and explore multiple independent and/or combined talent areas with my students, encouraging interdisciplinarity.

Expert Knowledge

I have a wealth of in-domain and in-industry knowledge that will help prepare your child for an education or career in the field.

Referrals

I have a large database of contacts in both the creative technology field and special education world that can activated for various opportunities and on issues of special concern.

TAUGHT BY A 2E ARTIST WITH INDUSTRY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION EXPERIENCE

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I am passionately committed to helping 2e students prepare for creative careers in the 21st century. I know exactly what it is like to be such a student. I was always interested in art, design and technology, but because of my ADHD, ASD and processing differences, I struggled tremendously in school. Now, I hold a BA from Columbia, an MFA from Brown w/a full scholarship and a 100K Eyebeam-Buzzfeed Art & Technology Fellowship. For over ten years, I have been mentoring students in writing, art and technology, consulting with a wide variety of thought leaders in the 2e education space. I believe passionately in the cause of neurodiversity and find it an absolute joy to help neurodivergent makers and thinkers spread their unique gifts to the world.

aRTICLES

Help 2e Students Finish What They Start, 2e News

Getting To Know My Brain, Smart Kids With LD Newsletter

Does Your Child Have A Future In Technology, Smart Kids With LD Newsletter

An article not written by me, but very important (Harvard Business Review): Neurodiversity as Competitive Advantage

what experts say about mentoring

Benefits [to students] of mentorships include: enriched perspective on a topic or area of interest, increased competence, encouragement and guidance for self-directed learning, new connections between one’s learning and the real world, discovery of resources beyond the classroom, personal growth (confidence, persistence, empowerment, self-efficacy, autonomy), career path awareness, respect for expertise, relationship-building experiences, model for enjoyment and accomplishment in the chosen area, introduction to other individuals who might provide insight and support, increased exposure to and visibility within a field of interest, preparation for taking on roles in society. (from Talent Development as a Framework for Gifted Education).

Mentors are behind the creative and academic talent development of many talented people, and are particularly crucial for moving beyond an expert level of creativity toward eminence where transformational ideas and revolutionary performance occur (Subotnik & Jarvin, 2005, from Talent Development as a Framework for Gifted Education).

A meta-analysis by DuBois, Portillo, Rhodes, Silverhorn and Valentine (2011) provides evidence that mentoring offers strong benefits. Specifically mentoring has produced positive outcomes on mentees’ behavioral, social, emotional and academic functioning. (from Talent Development as a Framework for Gifted Education).

Herbert and Olenchak (2000) found that having an open-minded and nonjudgemental mentor, consistent and personalized social and emotional support and advocacy, and strength- and interest-based strategies provide a significant advantage to underachievers. (from Talent Development as a Framework for Gifted Education).

Although some talent areas will get significant attention in school, many others, particularly at the later stages of talent development, can only be developed outside of school with the intervention of experts and special curricula. (Bloom, 1985; Jarvin & Subotnik, 2015, from Talent Development as a Framework for Gifted Education).

whAT PARENTS SAY ABOUT ARI

"I cannot sing Ari's praises enough! My son Moe was at first quite reluctant to put any extra effort into his school work. Ari was patient and creative in getting Moe to work on some of the more challenging aspects of his assignments. Ari got to know Moe and really took into account his interests and personality. He was able to guide Moe with his writing issues by working together intensely on essays and honing his skills in brainstorming ideas, outlining and polishing his writing. As they worked together, Moe began to see the effort pay off. He has now actually published articles in the NY Times online and CBS Sports online. Without Ari I am not certain that would have ever come to pass. Besides writing, Ari was hugely helpful in managing Moe's study skills and helping him to figure out a way to best organize his assignments and his time management. This led to Moe actually having time enough to pursue other interests. Ari was instrumental in getting Moe to start the Game Theory Club at school. I believe all of this was critical in getting Moe to get into the college of his choice." —S.K., mother of Fieldston Student.

"What I believe is most rare and exceptional about Ari's way of helping kids find their path, is that he does his mentoring in a truly sincere and caring way: this leads him to becomes not only a friend to his peer, but also a good friend to the family. It is the combination of his way of sincerely caring about who he is mentoring and his good mentoring skills that generates positive and effective results. During the last year of college, it was very difficult for us to get into contact with our son M., because he was very overwhelmed with the prospect of graduating. Ari was able to work with M., and help him to see the future as an exciting opportunity, rather than as a threat. Together, they worked on resumes, cover letters, set up and followed up on meetings, secured internships and created the plans that really helped M. to then build the work experiences that are now leading him to apply for a Masters." —M. S., mother of George Washington University student.

is your child ready for mentoring?

Ideal Student:

My ideal student is between 15 and 25. He or she is intelligent, gifted or talented. He or she may have demonstrated this (or indicated potential) through an educational evaluation, academics, project based work, community service or hobbies.

He or she may have ADHD, mild ASD, or both, various processing differences, minor anxiety or depression, PTSD that is being treated or bi-polar that has already been stabilized. He or she is already seeing a therapist. He or she is in a structured educational program of some kind (school, micro-school, home-school, etc.) and also has a peer/friend group.

If your student has behavioral problems (repeated lying, therapy avoidance, oppositional behavior, addiction), severe anxiety, moderate-to-severe ASD, major depression, or is significantly socially isolated, I would refer you to an educational therapist.

My work is primarily based around skill-building; I am sensitive to issues of mood, personality and social development, but if those issues occupy the foreground rather than the background, a more intensive form of help is required, and will be much more effective.

Ideal Support Constellation:

Over the past decade of doing this work, it has become clear that children who have the best success have a certain kind of support structure in place.

Firstly, they are seeing a therapist who is knowledgeable about their particular form of neuro-divergence. If you are in the LA area, I recommend Joanna Haase. If you are in the vicinity of New Haven, I recommend Marcia Eckerd. I maintain a list of therapists, but you may also want to check SENG (supporting the emotional needs of the gifted).

Secondly, it is absolutely essential to have an educational and occupational planner. If the student’s heart is in the right place and the student is working with a therapist, but the educational setting is a total mismatch, then progress is very difficult to achieve. I recommend speaking to Teresa Nair about this very question.

Other professionals you may want to consider are an organization/executive function coach, like Kathy Peterson, if your child has ADHD or a social coach, like Michelle Winner, if your child is on the spectrum. You may also want to consider an educational therapist, who can play multiple roles, like Sandra Clifton.

getting started

1. Consultation with Parents: I will set up an initial free 45m consultation with you. I will ask you all about your child’s strength areas, weak areas, levels of executive function, relationship to school, etc. We will talk through the mentoring logistics and the rate.

2. Review of Neuropsych: You will send me your child’s neuropsychological evaluation to review.

3. Consultation with Student: I will set up another initial free 45m consultation with your child. This session will be purely to evaluate rapport. We will mostly talk about his or her interests and my experience as a mentor.

4. Trial Period: If you are interested in proceeding, and if I determine that I can be of service to the student, we will begin a 1-3 month trial period. During this time, there will be frequent mentor-parent consultations (about once every 2-4 weeks). You should be able to notice some difference within a month, and we will certainly be able to determine if the mentoring will be effective by the three month mark.

5. Determination of Long Term Goals: If we continue onward from that point, we will draw up a set of goals for the following semester/6 month period and the proceeding semester/6 month period, and we will review the progress of the mentoring at those points.

Contact me for a free consultation:

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getting extra help

Important INSTITUTIONS

Bridges Academy : a unique school for 2e students.

2e News : the magazine from Bridges Academy, chock full of insights about these students.

SENG : supporting the emotional needs of the gifted; amazing resource

The Coding Train : a wonderful resource for creative coding tutorials.

The School for Poetic Computation : a unique school in NYC for creative coding and future oriented crafts.

Qrkc Con : a gaming and digital art convention for neruo-divergent youth

Data and Society : a non profit research institution that examines the role that digital technologies play in various aspects of society.

reading:

To Be Gifted And Learning Disabled : great 2e overview

Being Smart About Gifted Education : great general overview

Driven to Distraction : ADHD classic

Talent Development As a Framework For Gifted Education : great overview of how to nurture strengths in and out of school