Michael Leventhal, Neurodiversity Advocate, pioneered the use of computers for autism education, engaging hundreds of language-impaired students in activities promoting metacognition, communication and volition.
In 2006, he proposed the use of Video Resumes for non-testable autistic students and was the first teacher to use video as evidence of performance for the New York State Alternate Assessment. Leventhal developed the NY City Beta website on autism and has produced documentaries on autism education for the New York State Department of Education.
After his retirement from Special Education, he became an autism advocate, developing multiple websites for technology, the autism community and to help change public perceptions of neurodiversity. He has presented on his use of technology at autism conferrences in Orlando and Pensacola. His work is explained on his site Tech4Autism.com and documented on his YouTube channels.
Michael is the creator of The Wonderful World of Pinky And The Professor, an edu-entertainment series following the travels of autism expert Dr. Stephen Shore, that provides a global perspective on societal attitudes towards Special Needs citizens. He is also co-creator of The Flap Happy Circus, an animated series for preschoolers that promotes neurodiversity and teaches cooperation.
In his position as a Special Educator at New York City Department of Education, he served 26 years of classroom experience working with autism and other developmentally challenged students, age 5 – 21. o Familiar with: ABA, PECS, TEACCH, Miller Method, SI, OT, PT, counseling, IT Integration, APE, Video modeling, video-based instruction. He effectively engaged more than 200 students on the autism spectrum in technology-assisted activities promoting metacognition, decisionmaking and language acquisition. He obtained $400,000 in grants to update school building technology.
Leventhal piloted the use of video resumes in NYC as an effective tool to capture student progress for New York State alternate assessment. He produced the presentation: “The Value of Video Resumes in Assessing the Performance of Non-Testable Students” at Special Education Principals Annual Meeting, 2004. He designed the original Autistic Spectrum website for the New York City Department of Education. He compiled the first comprehensive guide to NYC education programs and services for ASD students.
Leventhal produced three documentaries for the NY State Department of Education: “Career Education for the Autistic Student” (26 min.), “Computer Assisted Writing for Language-Impaired Students” (9 min.), and “The PS 177 Culinary Arts Program” (11 min.), and created original video programming for student instruction, assessment and graduation yearbooks.