Maria Wood, Executive Director
Maria Wood has been working with individuals and families since 1998. She began her career as a private tutor for children with mild and moderate learning disabilities, later working as an early intervention therapist and curriculum coordinator at a therapeutic center in Miami, Florida working with mild, moderate and severe disabilities. Later, Maria relocated and completed her degree in Special Education at Lesley University while she facilitated small group academics at a public middle school. While there she developed and lead the self care and social integration afternoon and summer programs for children with Autism and related disabilities.
Throughout the years Maria has studied various methodologies of support. While researching she recognized the most effective support was integrating them. In 2003 she began to embrace utilizing the methodologies creating Potential Plans and Family Plans tailored to the individuals and hand selecting elements from each as they fit in for each client and family with a focus on developing long term integration so that the skills carried over into everyday and future life.
In 2011 Maria expanded her private clientele in the states and began providing workshops and training for individuals, families, and organizations in Roatan, Honduras. In 2015 she left the red tape of the school system and reorganized her efforts by launching the SHINE Skills for Life Center in Belmont, MA. After two years of fun exploration with various program ideas. After narrowing down the specific programs that were most efficient she relaunched in Carlisle, MA.
Maria has both professional and personal investments in her passion for supporting individuals with various abilities as she was inspired to develop strategies for her own learning disabilities. Maria was what she calls a "fall through the cracks" kind of kid who had just enough coping skills to get by and where no one learned how or taught her to access her true potential. After years of research, studying and self coaching she utilized her intuition and experiences to connect in unique ways to others with learning differences helping them reach their true potential by meeting them where they were at and guiding them to where they could be.