Thank you for your interest in our clinic and services. I am fortunate to have found a group with the spirit and dedication that we strive to offer our clients. My passion for working with others was focused during community service in high school when I met a child with autism. At Southern Methodist University (SMU) I focused my studies in psychology and after became an ABA therapist. Increasing concern and curiosity about the origins and the treatment of autism and other mental health issues led me to complete my doctorate at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSW), with rotations at Shelton Evaluation Center, Fairhill School, Parkland, and Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR), dissertation on ADHD, and postdoctoral training at the Center for BrainHealth with emphasis on social cognition and neuropsychology.
I currently conduct research with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSW) and Children’s Medical Center’s (CMC) Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD). I am an adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and UTSW and an active participant in the autism community and research. I currently supervise SMU and UTSW students. My team and I look forward to helping you and your family.
Services provided: therapies & evaluations; Facilitates young adult and adult groups
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Texas # 34994
2009-2011 Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Post-doctoral emphasis on neuropsychology and social cognition. Outcome research on social cognition intervention with pre-post testing including neuropsychological, social-emotional, and neuroimaging (EEG and fMRI).
2004-2009 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
American Psychological Association Accredited Program
Dissertation: Influence of Motor Function on a Continuous Performance Test in Children with Suspected Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
1998-2003 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
B.B.A. General Business and Administration
Departmental Distinction Psychology
Psychologist at Spectra Therapies + Evaluations, Dallas, Texas
Community clinic that specializes in Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. Evaluations and therapy for all ages. Multidisciplinary team.
Adjunct Faculty, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Adjunct Faculty, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
2017 – current Board of Directors Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI)
2014 – current Professional Advisory Committee Member of Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI)
2010 Board of Directors of the Dallas Asperger Network for Information, Support, and Health (DANISH)
PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
2012-2014 Clinical Assistant Professor, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Adjunct Position
2012-2014 Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, Dallas, Texas
Autism Evaluations with multidisciplinary team
Supervision of post-docs: Rachel Oppenheimer and Michele Ocen
2010-2012 AAA Mental Health, Richardson, Texas
Individual and group therapies for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
APA ACCREDITED INTERNSHIP IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER AT DALLAS. MAJOR ROTATIONS:
2007-2008 University of Texas at Arlington Mental Health Center, Arlington, Texas , Psychology Intern, Supervisor: Marie Bannister, Ph.D.
Evaluated and provided psychotherapy to students and staff.
Conducted adult ADHD evaluations.
2006-2007 Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, Dallas, Texas, Psychology Intern, Supervisor: Alan Frol, Ph.D.
Neuropsychological assessments, individual and group therapy.
TBI, stokes and other neurological trauma.
Inpatient and outpatient day treatment.
PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER AT DALLAS. MAJOR ROTATIONS:
2005-2008 University of Texas Southwestern Adult Psychotherapy Referral Service, Dallas, Texas, Supervisors: Dr. Laurel Wagner and Dr. Martin Deschner
Individual psychotherapy with emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic approaches.
Presentation on use of technology and college students.
2005-2006 Parkland Memorial Hospital, Psychiatric Emergency Room, Dallas, Texas, Supervisors: Various Psychiatry Attending Physicians
Assessed crisis or emergent psychiatric cases and provided recommendations.
2005-2006 Fairhill School Diagnostic Assessment Center, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: William Gordon, III, Ph.D.
Learning differences (ADHD, Dyslexia, etc.) evaluations and recommendations.
Class presentations on bullying.
2005 Parkland Hospital, Consult Liaison Service, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Trish Borman, Ph.D.
Assessment and brief therapy working in a multidisciplinary team at a state county inpatient hospital. Crisis management & treatment planning.
OTHER SELECTED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2006 Shelton School Center for Advanced ADHD Research, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Maryann Hetrick, Ph.D.
Social Skills Group Facilitator
2003 Therapy Solutions, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Sherry Pearson
Applied Behavioral Therapist for children with autism
1998-2001 Dallas Services for the Visually Impaired Day Center, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Liz Gonzalez
Volunteer student for children with various special needs, including autism
TEACHING & SUPERVISORY POSITIONS
2016-current Texas Women’s University, Denton, supervisor, Mary Dryden and Brittany Mulkey
2016-2017 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, supervisor, Victoria Owen
2016-2017 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, supervisor, Claire Simpson
2011-2016 University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas Adjunct Faculty
2012-2014 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, Assistant Professor, supervising post-docs, Rachel Oppenheimer and Michele Ocen
2011-2013 SMU Counseling Center, Plano, Texas, supervisor, Nichole Lecznar
2010-2011 Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas, Supervision of students
2000-2002 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, TA position
Didehbani N, Allen TT, Kandalaft MR, Chapman SB. (2016)
Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training for children with high functioning autism.
Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders,
Krawczyk DC, Kandalaft MR, Didehbani N, Allen TT, McClelland MM, Tamminga CA, Chapman SB. (2014)
Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Aug 20;8:517. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00517. eCollection 2014.
Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N., Krawczyk, D., Toon, T., & Chapman, S. (2013).
Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training for Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism.
Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders, 43(1):34-44. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1544-6.
Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N., Cullum, M., Krawczyk, D., Toon, T., Tamminga, C. & Chapman, (2012).
The Wechsler ACS Social Perception Subtest: A Preliminary Comparison with Other Measures of Social Cognition.
Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 30:455-465. doi: 10.1177/0734282912436411
Didehbani, N., Shad, M.U., Tamminga, C.A., Kandalaft, M., Allen, T.T., et al. (2012).
Insight and empathy in schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia Research, 142(1-3):246-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.09.010.
Didehbani, N., Shad, M.U., Kandalaft, M., Allen, T.T., Tamminga, C.A., et al. (2012).
Brief Report:Insight into Illness and Attribution Style in Asperger’s Syndrome.
Journal of AutismDevelopmental Disorders, 42(12):2754-60. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1532-x.
03/2014 National Institute of Heath Service Package Grant
2012-2014 Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Various research projects:
recruiting and autism diagnostic confirmation using ADOS and ADI.
IRB: STU 062011-010 Family Studies of Sensorimotor and Neurocognitive Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
IRB: STU 122012-007 Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
2011-2017 Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, The University of Texas at Dallas and
the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas; Longitudinal, outcome study of
young adults with ASD at nonPareil Institute
2010-2015 Autism Research Collaboration (ARC), The University of Texas at Dallas
Database registry for young adults with autism for research purposes.
2010 Middle School Brain Years, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas
2010 Haptics Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas
2009-2011 Pediatric TBI Social Cognition Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas
2009-2011 Hayner Yates TBI Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas
2009-2011 Ringle Exercise Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas
2009-2011 Social Cognition Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas
Job responsibilities: Neuropsychological testing, cognitive and social cognitive interventions, EEG, fMRI, physiological data, discussions, and writing.
2009-2010 Gulf War Syndrome, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Melanie Biggs, Ph.D.
Volunteer Researcher: Trained in SCID-IV and PTSD evaluations
2008-2009 Shelton School, Dallas, Texas, Advisor: Cheryl Silver, Ph.D.
Research Intern : Created database and analyzed testing patterns of children with suspected ADHD
2006-2008 Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, Department of Psychology, Dallas, Texas, Advisers: Anne Morton, Ph.D. and Maurico Delgado, M.D.
Research Intern : Developed and designed study of the quality of life trade off effects of botulinum toxin A in children with cerebral palsy
2007 Dr. Leroy and Dr. Harvey, Neurology Office, Dallas, Texas, Adviser: Albert Banta, Jr., Ph.D.
Research Assistant : Conducted structured interviews and questionnaires of screening mood and anxiety disorders in patients with epilepsy
2003-2004 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Neuropsychology, Dallas, Texas
Laboratory Assistant : Entered data, organized testing materials, conducted literature searches and met in multidisciplinary meetings
2000-2002 Southern Methodist University, Department of Psychology, Dallas, Texas, Adviser: Ephrem Fernandez, Ph.D. and John Claude Krusz, M.D.
Research Assistant : Collected and analyzed data on pain descriptors and severity of pain in patients with chronic pain
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
2017 Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fairhill School, Dallas, Texas
2012 Asperger’s Syndrome in Adolescence, Echidnas Group, Dallas, Texas, a support group for adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome and their Parents
2008 Online Social Behavior of College Aged Students, University of Texas at Arlington, Dallas, Texas
2007-2008 Botulinum Toxin A and Cerebral Palsy, Measuring Quality of Life in Children with Specialized Health Needs,Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas, Texas
2007 Neuropsychological Testing in Traumatic Brain Injured Adults, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, Dallas, Texas
2007 Does That Make Me Crazy: An Introduction to the Rorschac, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas
Kandalaft, M. (2011). A Tale of Frontal Lobes: When, Why and How We Should Be Concerned about
Teenage Behavior. The 4th Annual Teen CONTACT Conference, Dallas, Texas.
Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N., Toon, T., McClelland, M., Krawczyk, D., Tamminga, C.,
Cullum, M., & Chapman, S. (2010). Theory of Mind in Asperger’s Syndrome and
Schizophrenia. The 38th International Neuropsychological Society Poster Session,
Didehbani, N., Kandalaft, M., Toon, T., McClelland, M., Krawczyk, D., Tamminga, C.,
Cullum, M., Chapman, S., & Krawczyk, D. (2010). Theory of Mind in Schizophrenia
and Asperger’s Syndrome. Brain Plasticity and the Reasoning Mind: Reprogramming the Human Brain Symposium, Dallas.
Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N. & Toon, T. (2010). Social Cognition in Asperger’s Disorder and
Schizophrenia: Commonalities and Distinctions. Social Cognition Colloqium:
Investigating Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dallas.
Didehbani, N., Toon, T., McClelland, M., Kandalaft, M., Adams, C., Krawczyk, D., &
Chapman, S. (2009). Measuring Social Cognition and Theory of Mind Across Diseased
Populations Using fMRI. The 39th Cognitive Neuroscience Poster Session, San Francisco
Kandalaft, M. (2007). Procedural Experience and the Effect of Botulinum Toxin-A
Treatment on the Health Related Quality of Life in Children with Cerebral Palsy and Their Families.
The Graduate Student Organization Poster Session & 39th Annual Sigma Xi Research Forum, Dallas.
Fernandez, E., Krusz, J.C., & Kandalaft, M. (2002). Classification and Calibration of a
Parsimonious Set of Pain Descriptors. The 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society, Baltimore.
COORDINATED SYMPOSIUMS AND ACTIVITIES
2010 Reprogramming the Human Brain Symposium with the University of California at Berkeley, over 300 guests, and APA CEUs
2010 Social Cognition Colloqium: Investigating Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders
2009-2011 Social Committee at the Center for BrainHealth
2004 DSM-IV-TR Training Series
American Psychological Association
National Academy of Neuropsychology
Cognitive Neuroscience Society
International Neuropsychology Society
Early Career Psychologist Scholarship by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, 2011
Departmental Distinction Psychology, Southern Methodist University
Golden Key National Honor Society
Dean’s List Southern Methodist University
Psi Chi (National Honors Society in Psychology)
Delta Sigma Pi (Honors Business Fraternity)
International Rescue Committee, Dallas Chapter, ARTvocacy committee member
American University of Beirut, Dallas Chapter, Fundraising & media committees
Semester at Sea, University of Pittsburgh, Study abroad around the world
AUTISM RELATED EXPERIENCES
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Training and Work
Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) training
Autism Research Collaborative (ARC) at the University of Texas at Dallas
Neuropsychological Evaluations for High Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome
Virtual Reality Training with Asperger’s Syndrome
Individual, group, couples and family counseling with individuals on the spectrum
Crystal Charity Ball and Children’s Medical Center collaborations
Facilitator and co-facilitator for Asperger group for youth, teen, young adults and adults
Previous Board of Directors of the Dallas Asperger Network for Information, Support, and Health (DANISH)
Supervisor for postdocs and interns for social skills training groups
Research experience and publications
Collaboration with Autism Treatment Center and universities in DFW metroplex