About Dr. Judy Itzkowitz
Dr. Itzkowitz has been an educational consultant in private practice for 32 years. Her passion for learning and teaching started when she was a very young child.
In 1979, Dr. Itzkowitz received her B.A. in Psychology from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts where she also was certified in Elementary and Special Education. She received her M.Ed. in Special Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (1982). Dr. Itzkowitz earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut (1989). In 2008, she was awarded Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress. Her consultation practice specializes in supporting individuals, birth through adulthood with differing abilities including intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, severe disabilities, multiple disabilities, physical disabilities, rare disorders, mild disabilities, depression, and anxiety to live their best lives. She has consulted in over one hundred school districts within New England. She was one of the first consultants in the state of Connecticut to develop her own private practice specializing in inclusive education, providing a free appropriate education to students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment with supplementary aids and services. Dr. Itzkowitz was an original member of positive behavior support team, the first in the state to utilize positive behavioral support practices, established through the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services in the 1980s.
Dr. Itzkowitz was an invited member of the Steering Committee of Connecticut’s Self-Assessment (2000), the state’s monitoring process of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as stipulated by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). She also served as a team member of the Continuous Improvement Partnership Team (CIPT), which engaged in strategic planning, reviewed statewide and local progress, and assisted with planning future continuous improvement projects in accordance with IDEA. She is considered to be a “Qualified Specialist” in the PJ et al., versus State of Connecticut, Board of Education, et al. lawsuit.
In the past several years, Dr. Itzkowitz has had the opportunity to support individuals with intellectual disabilities who are attending post-secondary programs for young adults with developmental disabilities. She provides services to support individuals with developmental disabilities in the college application process, promoting individual’s independence, and resilience. She also provides coaching and mentoring services for individuals with differing abilities and their families to support the person in reaching their dreams, developing and utilizing strategies to negotiate the challenges faced through daily life. These coaching services also are provided to other family members including parents and siblings, educators, and other professionals with the goal of transforming lives.
Dr. Itzkowitz values life-long learning and social emotional learning. As she has evolved, so has her practice. She has incorporated the practice of daily meditation into her life as well as integrating mindfulness and compassion into her professional practice.
Dr. Itzkowitz is qualified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She has been studying mindfulness through the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts. In Spring 2013 and Fall 2013, she participated fully in and completed the Practicum in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Living Inside: Participant/Practitioner Perspectives Program through the Center for Mindfulness. She completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine: A 7-Day Professional Training with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Center for Mindfulness and Dr. Saki Santorelli, the Center for Mindfulness (retired Executive Director) in 2014. During the spring, 2013, she completed the professional training course, Mindful-Self-Compassion (MSC), with Dr. Christopher Germer. Dr. Itzkowitz has completed the Mindful Schools, Compassion and Wisdom Training through Heart-Mind Education, and Insight Dialogue online programs. In 2015, she participated in training to teach the Positive Adult Development, Parent Stress Intervention Program and the MBSR (adapted program) for parents of children with disabilities offered through the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Itzkowitz successfully completed the 2016 Teacher Development Intensive in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) offered by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society. Admission to the Teacher Development Intensive, a 92-hour program, was limited to those with extensive professional experience in the fields of health care, education and/or social change, a personal meditation and bodywork practice, silent meditation retreat experience, and experience teaching or a strong intention to teach MBSR.
Dr. Itzkowitz has also participated in numerous online courses offered by Mindful Schools including Mindful Schools, Integrating Mindfulness in Education, Curriculum Training, Difficult Emotions, and Mindful Communication. She also has completed other online courses focusing on education and mindfulness including Sitting Still Like a Frog developed by Ms. Eline Snel and A Still Quiet Place, a mindfulness program for teaching children and adolescents to ease stress and difficult emotions, developed by Dr. Amy Saltzman. She also has participated in Leading Differently Retreat: The Power of a Purposeful Pause. Institute for Mindful Leadership with Janice Marturano.
Dr. Itzkowitz completed the three-year program, SomaticExperiencing®, a program directed to relieve and resolve the symptoms associated with trauma and stress, developed by Dr. Peter Levine in 2017, which resulted in a certificate as an SE® Practitioner.
She brings everything that she is learning into her own life and her professional activities.
Dr. Itzkowitz would be pleased to speak with you and provide you with her vitae, upon request.