Special Education Conference - Presenter Bios

Dr. Dan Almeida

Dr. Dan Almeida recently joined Beacon Services in Milford, MA as the Executive Vice President of Clinical Services and Graduate Study. Previously, he was the District Supervisor of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services for Newton Public Schools from 2007- 2020. Prior to 2007, Dan held a variety of director level positions at Melmark New England and The New England Center for Children in Massachusetts. Dr. Almeida received his Ph.D. in ABA from Simmons College. He has provided ABA services to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disabilities for over 30 years. He has published original research on staff training and interventions for students with autism in peer-reviewed journals and has presented research at national and regional conferences. He has conducted professional development workshops in ABA since 1998. He served as adjunct faculty at UMASS-Boston from 2002 to 2019, teaching classes in certificate and graduate degree programs in ABA. Dan is passionate about providing culturally responsive, evidence-based ABA treatment to families.

Andria Tupola

Andria Tupola formerly taught music at Leeward Community College. She has earned 2 degrees in music education (a M.A.  from the University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa and a B.M. from Brigham Young University) and is currently completing a PhD (also in Music). Andria is an honors graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama, and is an avid fan of both sports and the performing arts. She enjoys spending time with family, especially her husband, Tavo, and their two daughters. In 2018, Andria ran for Governor of the State of Hawai’i; she will also be running in 2022. Andria's vision is to create a Hawaiʻi where more local families can afford to live here for generations to come. Andria knows there are systemic issues in our state that must be addressed, which needs to start at the top. Andria believes we cannot solve the problems in Hawaiʻi with the same mindset in which they were created. We need new fresh leadership that puts the people first. Andria firmly believes that this State deserves more and that TOGETHER we all can work towards creating a better Hawaiʻi.

Crystal Amelang

Crystal Amelang graduated with a degree in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University in 2002 and has now been working in pediatrics for 15 years. She has experience working in a variety of pediatric settings including the home, community parks,  beaches, public and private schools and play based sensory clinics. These opportunities have allowed her to treat children with a variety of developmental delays and given her extensive experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum and with Sensory Processing Disorders. Crystal is an Advanced Integrated Listening System (iLs) Practitioner, Advanced Pediatric Interactive Metronome (IM) Practitioner, an Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner (SIPT). Crystal has completed 500 hours of training in massage therapy, which she incorporates into her pediatric practice, as well as training in CranioSacral Therapy provided by the Upledger Institute. Crystal relocated to Hawaii in 2009 and realized there was a great need for specialized therapies for the pediatric population on Oahu. At that time she began her pursuit to bring Sprouts Therapy to life, founding the Oahu based program in December of 2010. 

Dr. Karen Tyson

Dr. Karen Tyson is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and the Chief Clinical Psychologist at the LD-ADHD Center of Hawaii. She is a nationally recognized expert in the area of learning disabilities and special education law and advocacy. A graduate of the Wrightslaw Special Education Advocacy program at the William and Mary School of Law she is called upon to lecture and testify in court for learning-disabled students across the United States. Dr. Tyson’s clinic, the LD-ADHD Center of Hawaii has multiple offices on Oahu and also on the Big Island. She is an approved APPIC training site for graduate students pursuing their doctorate in clinical psychology and mentors and trains students across Hawaii. She specializes in learning disabilities, ADHD and Autism and conducts exhaustive neuropsychological evaluations to assist families and schools in better understanding a child’s strengths and deficits. She is also an active researcher; current research studies include gender differences in girls with autism as well as a reverse longitudinal study of the effects of Pitocin on the brain and possible correlations with Autism Spectrum Disorder.