As head of the Brain Performance Institute’s Pediatric Social Cognition Training Programs, Maria focuses on utilizing virtual reality technology and researching evidence based practices in order to promote social cognition, communication, and competence. Having over 15 years of expertise in developing and implementing social cognition programs for children of all ages, she is dedicated to exploring the next level of neuroscience research and intervention in order to improve interpersonal relationships, emotional regulation, perspective taking, and resilience across multiple populations exhibiting social cognitive challenges. Maria has had the opportunity to build social learning programs in public and private schools, as well as lead a team of professionals in providing the highest quality of service. A seasoned Speech-Language Pathologist, Maria brings her knowledge and passion all the way from Los Angeles, California, where she was the director/founder of Sunshine Speech Services, an educationally based clinical practice, specializing in social learning with children, adolescents and teenagers for 13 years. Being a parent of a special needs child, Maria has the unique ability to relate to parents and professionals in a meaningful and supportive way. Currently, she enjoys consulting and collaborating with clinicians, educators, researchers and scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas Center For BrainHealth in order to best translate cutting edge research into effective practice that can further the understanding of how “Being Social” is critical in all areas of our lives.