About Stace Katzman, M.S.
Stace was born and raised in Livingston New Jersey until the age of 10. Thereafter she relocated with her family to Hollywood, Florida and she has since considered herself a Floridian. In middle school when Stace was asked what she wanted to do as a profession she already knew it was to work with children.
Stace began her studies in psychology at Florida State University (FSU) and obtained her Undergraduate Degree after transferring to Georgia State University (GSU) due to their exceptional child psychology program. Stace graduated GSU with a BS in Psychology as well as a Minor in Special Education.
At FSU Stacy eagerly volunteered for any and all practicum work available. She vividly and fondly remembers her time spent as a volunteer Teacher’s Assistant at the Gretchen Everheart School for Autistic Children. Stace stayed, as a volunteer, for the entire year which only further confirmed her true passion and chosen path to work with and help children with all types of disabilities.
Her passion in helping children with their challenges and disabilities and her thirst for further education and information led her to delve deeper into studies regarding communication issues. Stace honed her understanding and skillset of how to approach and treat communication issues as an intern at GSU at the Yerkes Institute. There she worked with primates to create a computerized picture program which enabled communication for those who could not verbalize. After completing her undergraduate studies at GSU, Stace immediately went on to pursue and obtain her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Nova University. While attending Nova University, Stace worked as a behavior technician in group homes for children aged 2 to 18 that were diagnosed with autism and severe mental disabilities.
After Stace earned her Master’s degree she served as a “Psychologist” at Sunrise community in Miami. Stace has had many more experiences and employment opportunities that continued to provide her additional insight, tools and skills. She continued to broaden her experience in working with children as lead coordinator at both inpatient children’s hospitals Grant Center hospital and Miami Children’s hospital. These hospitals housed children with psychiatric diagnosis such as, depression, PTSD, anorexia, and more. This is where Stace gained experience as an individual and family therapist.
One of her most cherished employment opportunities was serving as the Executive Director of the special needs group at the David Posnack JCC Summer Camp. Today this JCC has a robust and critically acclaimed camp program for disabled children of all kinds between the ages of 3-22 called CAMP GIBORIM.
Because of Stace’s extensive post graduate work and diverse practical experience she became eligible and decided to sit for the exam to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). She obtained her Florida Licensure as a LMHC in 1991 and kept that licensure active through 2004.
Stace changed her focus and direction in how she would help children when she applied for, and was awarded, a grant to work with the Broward County School Board. The grant provided federal funds so that she could go into the public schools and train teachers on how to better understand, work with, and teach children with disabilities and behavioral issues. She was also encouraged to conduct home visits with children and families for determination of present and best classroom placement purposes for the child. Additionally she created a behavior educational workshop for parents and caregivers titled “Who’s the Boss”. This workshop was given by her throughout Broward County as a free service throughout the Broward County school board.
This grant lasted five years. In addition to her day job Stace worked as a counselor in the evenings for middle school children who were delinquent and facilitated and also conducted family counseling sessions. Stace also began working in private practice seeing individual children and adolescent clients.
Then came the Marriage and her three children. Stace’s private practice and working with children was presently placed on hold but her learning life was about to exceed her expectations. Stace finally understood what it was to be a mother, to have a family, to be a wife and most of all to be a parent of a medically disabled child.
Through these experiences which cannot be taught, Stace has realized her true purpose and that is to bring joy to children and accept them each unconditionally and perfect as they are. To be an advocate for the children and help create a support system for the family.
Stace truly understands the challenges that face not only the child but also the family members who love them and carry their hopes and dreams for them. She understands what your child and family go through and understands the uniqueness of a home environment centered around a disabled child or young adult. She, like you, lives that life as well.
Now that her children are grown, and life has somewhat calmed down, Stace can now pursue her passion once again.
This chapter starts with the opening of her Enrichment Center located in Boca Raton Florida called “INCLUDE ME TOO”.
We hope to see you there and have you become part of our story and we become part of yours.