Our Team

Learning Time staff in Monterey, Calif.  (From left): Coleen Gsell, Dr. Joan Smith, Kristin Wolf, Shay LeFever, Denise Klein, Heather Crane. Photo by Randy Tunnel, February, 2024.

Dr. Joan M. Smith

Dr. Smith provides Psycho-Educational Assessments, Dyslexia, Attention, and Academic Assessments for children, youth, and adults. Over the past years she has completed assessments for over 13,000 individuals. Her experience has made her successful in helping parents, teachers, adults, and therapists understand the processing and foundation abilities of their children or themselves. She understands the importance of recognizing the brain’s learning abilities and designs therapeutic interventions to resolve learning stresses. Her extensive experience is a bonus in recognizing unique learning styles and recommending exercises and programs that activate neuro-plasticity (creating new brain cell connections and learning pathways) to resolve a variety of academic, memory, and processing challenges. She is blessed to work with the therapists identified on this website who have the skills to implement activities which benefit unique learners.
As assessment with Dr. Smith provides families and individuals with an understanding of both learning strengths and learning needs. The report provides specific target therapy recommendations for resolving learning issues and developing powerful learners with good memory at any age.

Please contact Dr. Smith through her website - [email protected] for an appointment or to discuss a family member, student, or your own learning needs.


> CA Licensed Educational Psychologist, LEP 1483
> CA Licensed Speech and Language Pathologist SP2103
> Diploma, Board of Disability Analysts 278796

Kristin Wolf, MSIDT

“Tell me and I may forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

- Benjamin Franklin

Every student is capable of growth and success. Struggling learners will benefit from a formal learning assessment, targeted interventions to address areas of confusion, and a variety of opportunities for practice, feedback, and mastery.

Specializing in Individual and Small Group Instruction:

  • Presenting learners with engaging materials to increase and retain foundational knowledge.
  • Improving comprehension and memory by providing practice opportunities for automaticity.
  • Introducing and implementing organizational and technical skills.
  • Building confidence by encouraging excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Using formative and summative evaluations to monitor learning gains.

Providing Instructional Design Solutions:

Creating efficient, effective, and engaging presentations in multiple formats (in-person instructional presentations and activities, video demonstrations, and online interactive learning modules)

Recent Successes:

  • Leading an in-person Math Lab for a group of HiSET students. All had previously failed the math test and all had a diagnosis of dyscalculia (a math learning disability). All regular attendees successfully passed the test and received high school diplomas.
  • Working with disabled CSUMB students during the first year of Covid lock-downs. Modifying course accommodations for online instruction, introducing students to assistive technologies, providing continual support via Zoom appointments.
  • Creating interactive online training for new Humane Society employees after experienced front office staff resigned due to new Covid protocols. Organizing and presenting the Animal Adoption Process as a series of meaningful and memorable procedural steps. Creating assessment materials to verify learning gain(s) and successful training completion.

Denise Klein

After 15 years of experience in assessments and tutoring for individuals with ADHD, I have shifted my focus to nutritional and lifestyle interventions aimed at enhancing focus, attention, memory, and impulsivity. My background includes a Bachelor's in Food Science and a Master's in Nutrition and Functional Medicine. My practice has centered on improving brain energy and reducing inflammation to enhance blood flow and oxygen to the brain. I take a whole-body approach to healing by assessing and optimizing nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress, and the environment (which can include exposures to chemicals, mold, and heavy metals).
Key vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids play a vital role in producing neurotransmitters such as dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and GABA - crucial for learning, mood, and behavior. From analyzing symptoms to identifying and eliminating potential dietary and environmental triggers, I work collaboratively to devise personalized strategies. Beyond diet, I explore diverse aspects impacting brain health, including food sensitivities, environmental factors like mold exposure, chemical sensitivities, history of concussions, and dental considerations such as metal fillings. By collaboratively analyzing symptoms, we tailor interventions, deciding what to eliminate from your diet and environment and addressing potential nutrient deficiencies.
Recognizing that every individual is unique, my goal is to guide you through understanding the signals your body sends, enabling you to make informed choices that support improved meal planning, digestion, sleep, exercise, waste elimination, and overall cognitive function. Together, we can work towards optimizing your nutritional choices to support the brain function you desire.

Brenda Lana

At Pathfinders, we train critical underlying skills, which provide a foundation for learning to read, write, spell, and do math. Both adults and children who previously struggled can learn with more ease and experience success.
We provide assessments to identify weak underlying skills and then develop an individualized, one-on-one cognitive training program that transforms learning into a positive, successful experience for our clients.
People with learning challenges like dyslexia and ADHD, can strengthen processing skills through specific, targeted cognitive training. We use researched, brain-based programs and techniques to fix these learning skills and enable children and adults to become confident, independent learners.

Darlene Rose DeMaria

Edu-Therapy is a Learning Center dedicated to empowering students to express their unique learning style. Darlene Rose DeMaria, MA, Board Certified Educational Therapist, provides effective educational therapy to adults, students, and their families
Edu-Therapy is a safe, creative environment where students flourish and grow their strengths, so they may easiy and effectively overcome their weaknesses. Research based brain balancing strategies and fun techniques remediate reading, writing, and math.
Assessment of language reception and expression uncovers specific processing strengths and weaknesses, providing a solid foundation for an effective educational therapy plan, which integrates strong self-regulation and executive function skills. Calming energy techniques encourage consistent output of quality work and builds strong self-esteem. It is rewarding to witness students become confident responsible learners, who apply their learning style strengths.

Clarise Lyon, M.A., (AET Educational Therapist/Professional)

What We Do

At Lyon Learning, our customized programs are based in deep neuroscience and combined with multisensory techniques. We provide individualized learning in a one-to-one setting because every person has unique needs. We work with children and adults of all ages to build memory, attention, response time, and social-emotional development. While others may tutor the symptoms our targeted programs strengthen neuropathways and create new ones to improve cognitive functions that will last a lifetime.


At the time of enrollment, we being an assessment to identify the unique needs of each student. During this time, we review previous assessments completed by outside providers and gather information through our Pre-Service Questionnaires. This information is used to determine the most efficient means to address the cognitive and multisensory needs of our students.

Who We Work With

We specialize in making foundational and life-long improvements to brain function for individuals who have challenges in the following areas: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD, executive function and more. We are the only learning center in the area that provides comprehensive, cognitive, therapeutic intervention that prepares our students to readily access academics, engage in problem solving techniques, and build life-long learning skills.

Heather Crane (Education Specialist)

Heather is deeply committed to supporting all kinds of learners as they develop the tools they need to thrive. Heather’s aspiration to understand the neuroscience of learning and brain plasticity emerged when her own son was diagnosed with a learning disability. His frustration launched a desire to uncover and implement brain-based learning practices for all students. Heather is a certified AET Educational Therapist, she holds an undergraduate degree in Child Development with an emphasis in Special Education teaching, and a M.Ed. in Learning Cognition and Development from Rutgers University. Through her education and working with students in schools and as a Cognitive Skills Specialist she’s become adept at identifying barriers to learning. Her expertise is in recognizing and individualizing activities known for building more efficient and engaged learners. In each session, students participate in fun activities that promote autonomy, strengthen thinking, and boost their overall confidence in the learning environment.


> M.Ed.

Coleen Gsell, Educational Clinician

We all learn differently. Sometimes very bright people have challenges with conventional learning methods. Coleen has been successful in resolving these challenges with simple therapeutic techniques to greatly improve:

  • Memory
  • Attention and Focus
  • Organization and Time Management Skills
  • Reading Fluency and Comprehension
  • Communication Skills

Coleen can also assist with:

  • Homework
  • Study and Testing Skills (including the DMV Test)
  • Reducing Anxiety
  • Building Confidence
  • Improving Self-Esteem and Social Skills
Coleen has over twenty years of experience and is a warm and enthusiastic teacher for adults and children.

© All rights reserved 1970-2024

Designed And Marketed by OneMInd Services LLc