Leslie Yardeni

Author, Illustrator


I grew up in Plainview-Old Bethpage. Following high school, I attended SUNY Geneseo. I graduated with a dual major in Speech-Pathology/Communicative Disorders, and Psychology (BS and BA respectively), and a minor in Music. I received my Masters Degree in Counselor Education from Hofstra University, and worked as a middle school counselor in Lawrence, NY. In 1999, I began my career as a middle school counselor in Syosset, where I have worked for the last twenty-two years. I have been a middle school counselor in two middle schools in Syosset Central School District, as well as their only elementary school counselor. This year, I am the Social-Emotional Coordinator and Counselor for the district's seven elementary schools for students who are in quarantine/isolation. As a school counselor, I have utilized my children's books successfully with groups and classes of elementary children, as well as shared them with teachers and students' families.  At times, I have incorporated my books into the SEL curricula. I have facilitated a multitude of student groups, and developed a Creative Arts Seminar Program (which won Exemplary Practice Distinction through The Nassau Counselors' Association). The Creative Arts Seminars (CAS) help children express themselves through the use of creative writing, music, drama, and art. These seminars have culminated in Creative Arts Teas for teachers, administrators, and other children in the schools. I have been using my children's books in my counseling practice and students have said that they wish to see them as movies. My passions continue to be writing, counseling and blending the fine arts and social-emotional learning for children. There is a strong intersection between my writing and counseling work, since they can overlap in the educational arena. I am active in the Nassau Counselors' Association; The Western-Suffolk Counselors' Association; The New York State School Counselors' Association. My presentations include the NYSSCA Conference in Albany, The Long Island Counselors' Annual Conference, and our BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) speaking engagements such as the Long Island Student Support Services Conference. I have research published in the area of child development as well as sequence-discrimination (a study conducted at SUNY Geneseo). My poetry was included for publication in the National Anthology of Poetry.I worked as a private therapist in concert with a school psychologist for sixteen years, and practiced play therapy and family therapy. I find the use of children's books and music to be instrumental in helping children heal and cope with their feelings and cognitions. Composing original piano scores/music is a passion. Additionally, I harbor a passion for acting, and performed in the 1990's television special, "Oddsville MTV." Both Adelphi University and St. John's University have featured me as a guest lecturer in their Consultation Course for school psychology graduate students. My husband and I reside on Long Island. 

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