Dr. Maria Kanakos, Director of Testing Services, is a licensed clinical psychologist who has extensive training working with children and adolescents presenting with an array of emotional, developmental, social and educational challenges. She is dedicated to helping children and their families relate better with each other and reach their fullest potential at home and school. As a parent of two children, Dr. Kanakos knows firsthand that families face challenges at different stages of child development. Dr. Kanakos believes that successful treatment of children entails collaboration with their support networks including parents, teachers or other health professionals involved in the child’s life.
Dr. Kanakos received her Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D) degree from the APA-accredited American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University (Washington, DC campus). Dr. Kanakos has researched childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) throughout the course of her education. Her Master’s Degree thesis emphasized the potential for misdiagnosis of ADHD and advocated for a consistent evaluation method. Furthermore, Dr. Kanakos doctoral thesis proposed an integrative approach to the treatment of ADHD given that this disorder disrupts the balance of the entire family system. Dr. Kanakos conducts comprehensive assessments personalized to fit the needs of individual children. These assessments clarify and help understand the underpinnings of a child’s difficulties and assist in developing personalized treatment goals to promote healthy development and success. Dr. Kanakos’ expertise lies in performing evaluations that assess for ADHD, learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia), childhood developmental disorders and the behavioral aspects of sensory processing disorder. Dr. Kanakos also conducts consultation services to teachers, parents and other professionals to facilitate an understanding of a child’s difficulties and advocate for his/her educational needs.
Dr. Kanakos provides psychotherapy services to children and adolescents, where she utilizes an integrated behavioral/family-focused approach to treatment. Her specific areas of therapy expertise include childhood anxiety (e.g., including selective mutism), depression, ADHD and coping with transitions/changes (e.g., moving, entering a new school, birth of sibling, etc.). Additionally, Dr. Kanakos is skilled in treating the behavioral/social difficulties associated with pervasive developmental disorders and sensory processing disorder. When faced with challenging child behaviors, Dr. Kanakos understands the importance of providing parenting support and thus incorporates this component as part of a comprehensive treatment approach.