Kelley Challen, Ed.M., CAS is Director of Transition Services at NESCA. For more than a decade, She has facilitated social, life and career skill development for youth with a wide range of developmental and learning abilities. Her approach to transition planning and assessment is person-centered and highly-individualized.
She received her Master's Degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Risk and Prevention Counseling from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Initially trained as a school guidance counselor, she completed her practicum work at Boston Latin School focusing on competitive college counseling. She began facilitating programs for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2004.
Prior to coming to NESCA, Ms. Challen spent several years at the MGH Aspire Program (formerly YouthCare) where she founded an array of social, life and career skill development programs for teens and young adults with Asperger's Syndrome and related profiles.
She also worked at the Northeast Arc as Program Director for the Spotlight Program, a drama-based social pragmatics program, serving youth with a wide range of diagnoses and collaborating with several school districts to design in-house social skill and transition programs.
Challen specializes in Asperger's Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders, adolescent transition, college and career counseling and social and life skills development. She is the mother of one small child and two small dogs.
She is also the co-author of the chapter, "Technologies to Support Interventions for Social-Emotional Intelligence, Self-Awarenes, Personality Style, and Self-Regulation," for the book Technology Tools for Students with Autism: Innovations that Enhance Independence and Learning.
Ms. Challen joined NESCA in 2013. She believes that the transition to post-secondary learning, living, and working is ongoing, and that there is no age too early or too late to begin the planning process. Moreover, any transition plan should be person-centered, individualized and include steps beyond the completion of secondary school.
Through her role at NESCA, Ms. Challen provides a wide array of services including individualized transition planning, consultation, assessment, training, and program development services. Moreover, she strives to enhance and expand NESCA's offerings to meet the growing needs of the families, schools and communities we serve.