Our school therapists provide counseling and treatment to our typical student population, as well as our students with special educational needs. Therapists also provide counseling to our DSA families. Duties are to assess how the school environment affects a student and recommend or administer treatments and encourage behavioral changes that address the needs of the child. 

Our Therapy Department includes counseling services, Behavioral, Occupational, Speech, & Physical therapy.

Harlens Michell

Marriage & Family Therapy

Harlens has a B.S. in Psychology, a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, (both earned at NSU), and over 10 years of experience working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in various settings, including the home, school and the community. His goal can be summed up by a personal quote, "given the right environment, an encouraging support system, and an atmosphere of love, those that society has given up on can strive to do the unimaginable!


Nikia Brooks

Mental Health Specialist

Nikia Brooks is a Registered Intern Mental Health Counselor at Dickens Sanomi Academy and former Registered Behavior Therapist. Ms. Brooks graduated from Barry University with a Masters in Clinical Psychology. She gained her clinical experience as an intern at Community Connections for Life in Miami Gardens providing talk therapy to children ages 9 - 16. Her behavior management experience comes from her time as a Registered Behavior Therapist providing Applied Behavior Analysis to children living with Autism and their families. 


Melodie Plaise


Melodie Plaise earned a Bachelor’s Degree (B.S.) in Psychology, as well as a Master’s Degree (M.S.) in clinical psychology from Barry University. She is currently a Florida Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern while pursuing a Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Counseling with a specialization in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling. Melodie is passionate about learning, teaching, helping others, and making a difference in the world. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, photography, reading, meditating, and advocating for global freedom, equity, justice, and peace.


Lainisha McMiller MOT, OTR/L

Occupational Therapy

Lainisha McMiller Turner is an Occupational Therapist and educator with over 17 years of experience.  A native of South Florida, Lainisha attended Oakwood University and Nova Southeastern University where she earned her Master's of Occupational Therapy degree.  Lainisha specializes in Pediatrics and Early Intervention. She has also served as an educator, program director and adjunct faculty member at various Colleges and Universities. Lainisha is passionate about quality care and collaboration between therapists and families to meet each child’s goals.


Maria Vera Martinez



Maria Vera graduated from Hunter College with her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. After finding her passion in helping others, she pursued her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University. She has over 7 years of experience working with individuals with different needs in a vast variety of settings as a therapist, teacher assistant, ESE teacher, and registered behavior analyst. Maria is very passionate

about individualizing therapy to fit a child’s needs and interest to help an individual work on their skills. Maria believes that each child has strengths and the potential to learn and succeed with the right support system. 


Gabriela Nunez



Gabriela Nunez graduated from the University of Florida with her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in December 2013. She has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since 2014 and has experience working in the acute care setting, pediatric outpatient setting, and school setting. While she has a wide variety of experience, Gabriela has spent most of her OT career working with the Autism community. She spent 4 years working at the Baudhuin preschool, a specialized preschool serving the Autism community, where she trained school staff and parents on sensory processing and behavior, play, fine/visual motor development, and overall strategies for facilitating learning and growth with special populations. .