16001 S. 108th Ave., Suite 2
Orland Park, IL, 60467

Interdisciplinary Clinical Specialists

An interdisciplinary approach regarding child development and learning is very important and underscores the “Whole-Child, Whole-Brain” philosophy.  Communication with families and collaboration/consultation networks with health, allied health, and education professionals promote development of children’s potential and success at home, school, and beyond.

Clerical Staff 
Our clerical staff is very dedicated to our mission, vision, and values.  We thank them for their respect of the children and their families and certainly their efficiency.  They are happy to assist you at any time.

Dr. Val L. Scaramella-Nowinski: Pediatric Neuropsychology: Founder/Director
Dr. Nowinski is committed to children, their health, learning, and development.  She has worked as a clinician and researcher regarding pediatric brain-behavior development for greater than 35 years. 

During the mid-late 1970’s Dr. Nowinski had the privilege of working at a medical trauma center with a Navy-trained physician and researcher regarding brain development and learning.  After several years of master degree work in the center, Dr. Nowinski pursued doctoral studies in Neuropsychology.  During Dr. Nowinski’s studies the above mentioned physician introduced her to the well noted, leading neuropsychologist in the country at that time, Ralph Reitan, Ph.D.  Dr. Nowinski had the fortune of studying directly with Dr. Reitan and his team who were developing brain-behavior assessments. Dr. Reitan’s mentor was the noted Dr. Ward Halstead from the University of Chicago (major neuroscience assessments are coined “Halstead-Reitan Assessments”). 

Dr. Nowinski’s doctoral research was titled “Systems Analysis: A Neuropsychological Investigation Of The Psychological Structure And Cerebral Organization Of Mental Processes”.  Dr. Nowinski has been deeply involved in developing Neurosystems Biology understanding regarding human development and learning, especially in the pediatric population.  Since Dr. Nowinski’s doctoral studies, she directed a neuropsychology lab with the physician discussed above, and in 1995 founded the Pediatric Neuropsychology Diagnostic and Treatment Center. 

The Center houses 3 Therapeutic Programs:

  • Pediatric Neuropsychology Autism Initiative: Evaluation and Treatment of children having Autism and related Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Pediatric Neuropsychology Brain Injury Program: Evaluation and Treatment regarding the developmental/behavioral affects of concussion and mild through traumatic brain injury
  • Pediatric Neuropsychology Attention Disorders/Neurodevelopmental Delays/Learning Disorders/Dyslexia Program: Evaluation and Treatment

The Neuroscience Learning Initiative: A Health and Learning Program for all children “Bridging Brain Science and Education”

  • Kids’ Quests: Brain Building Programs that develop your child’s potential and success
  • Neuroscience Reading Initiative
  • The Magic Years: Mobilizing efforts on behalf of young children (birth-5 years) and promoting the wisdom and efficacy of early intervention regarding child development and learning.

Dr. Nowinski’s practice incorporates an interdisciplinary team of pediatric specialists including neuroscientists, psychologists, educators, speech/language, movement, child development, and learning specialists.  She diagnoses and treats children having a variety of brain disorders.  Bridging neuroscience with education has always been a primary focus at the center.  She has helped to develop educational programs for thousands of children during 35 years.   She has also consulted for multiple school districts, health and allied health specialists, and child development programs.  Dr. Nowinski has spoken at multiple local, national, and international conferences regarding pediatric brain behavior development, literacy development, the development of intelligence-IQ and learning, especially regarding early childhood development. 

Dr. Nowinski’s research involves:

  • Electrophysiological dysrhythmias associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Eye movement related to brain behavior development, especially literacy development.
  • Neurodevelopment of Intelligence and Learning.

In 2003, Dr. Nowinski and her family founded the Neuropsychology C.H.I.L.D (Child Health Initiative for Learning and Development) Foundation, non-profit 501 (c) (3).  The mission of the foundation is  “To promote public awareness of current neuroscience and education research and clinical work related to child development and learning”.  The Foundation has developed multiple programs especially the “Readers and Leaders” program available at libraries.  This program promotes the development of early literacy for children ages 3-6 years.  High school students/college students receive school credit and are trained as “The Leaders” by C.H.I.L.D. Foundation specialists and by library personnel.  The students guide the children, “The Readers” in developing multisensory pre-literacy skills.

Dr. Nowinski has spoken at multiple local, national, and international conferences, often an invited speaker/keynote.  She is the author of numerous child brain development and learning papers and is a member the International Neuropsychology Society, National Academy of Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association- Neuropsychology Division, and the Illinois Psychological Association, among others. 

Additionally, Dr. Nowinski is a member of several Professional Advisory Boards including: Hope Foundation for Autism and Epilepsy Research, International Dyslexia Society, Illinois Branch, and Advanced Brain Technologies.  Dr. Nowinski is also actively involved in congressional/legislative processes regarding child development and learning, especially early age intervention, health and education policy and reform.

Dr. Nowinski is blessed with her family. She and her husband have instilled the importance of “service to others” within their family.  Their four children/families are all involved in professions that promote this philosophy.

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Drina Madden, M.A., C.A.S.: Early Childhood Development and Education
Drina’s professional pathways have been broad and varied yet have the common theme of dedication to young people - their todays and their futures.

Her teaching experiences span through infancy, preschool, elementary, high school and college programs. She has taught children with regular education and special education needs. 

For the past 18 years, she has specialized in brain-related concerns as a neurodevelopmental specialist. She has taught early childhood brain, physical, cognitive and social development at the college level. She has worked directly with children, their families and schools regarding brain-related problems and the effects on their day-to-day lives. As a neurodevelopmental specialist she administers standardized tests used to assess brain processes regarding learning. These tests  are often included within educational and neuropsychological evaluations. She works directly with the children to promote their brain development through attention, memory, language, perception, motor, processing and executive function training. Drina also supports parents as they journey into deeper understanding of the brain design of their children. She also is the “bridge” to schools, promoting an increased understanding of the learning styles and needs of the children.

As her expertise has grown, Drina has presented to various professional groups, nationally and internationally, regarding brain-related topics such as attention, dyslexia, autism and other pervasive disorders and parenting of children with special needs. She has written a number of teacher and parent friendly papers to broaden the understanding of attention disorder, seizure disorders, tics, learning difficulties, pervasive disorders and more. She regularly consults with various professional groups as she bridges an understanding of the brain and its impact on the lives of children and their families.

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Dr. Cheryl V. Reyes: Clinical Psychology
Dr. Cheryl Reyes is involved in both evaluation and treatment services at the Center. She earned her Doctor of Psychology degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.  In addition to her clinical duties, Dr. Reyes is Director of the Neurofeedback: EEG Biofeedback Program and the Kids' Quests Brain Building programs at NDC.  She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Neuropsychology C.H.I.L.D. (Child Health Initiative for Learning and Development) Foundation non-profict 501 (c) (3).

In addition to her work at NDC, Dr. Reyes is an adjunct faculty member at several universities, teaching both undergraduate and graduate-level courses.   She is married and has two young daughters who remind her every day that children are truly a gift and a miracle.  Her clinical interests are child health and development, learning and cognition, and biological bases of behavior.

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Heather Madden, M.Ed: Learning Disorders/Communication Disorders/Education
Heather is an early childhood education specialist and special education instructor.  Heather works with children having a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders.  She is the recipient of the noted Kohl Education Foundation Award for Enhancing Children’s Learning Through Exemplary Teaching and Promoting Brain-Based Learning. Her work has won her special grants regarding child development.

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Mary Kay Roll, B.S.: Learning Disabilities/Communication Disorders
Mary Kay is an educator and Learning Behavioral Specialist. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders and masters work in Learning Disabilities.   She is certified to teach elementary and secondary education (grades K-12) with special Endorsements in Learning Disabilities and Social/Emotional Disorders.

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Jacqueline Coverick, B.S: Office Development Coordinator
Jacqueline is currently finishing her masters degree in community counseling/ higher education counseling.  During her studies she worked as a research assistant within a university psychology lab. She has a keen awareness of technology and has developed and expanded health office programs.  Jacqueline is also involved with writing and securing grants for both NDC and the Neuropsychology C.H.I.L.D (Child Health Initiave for Learning and Development) Foundation: Non-Profit 501 (c) (3).

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