About Our Team

Shirley Aninias, M.A. TSHH

Executive Director
Shirley received her Master’s Degree in Special Education with a specialization in behavioral disorders from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Her undergraduate degree was in Communications Disorders from Kean University. Her career began in the New York City public school system teaching learning disabled elementary students. She later accepted a position as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and worked with developmentally delayed children aged 0-5 years at YAI/NYL Lifestart, a New York City based not for profit organization.

Shirley went on to become a lead SEIT whose responsibilities consisted of designing individualized home and school curriculum and leading educational teams for early intervention and preschool cases. She worked intensively with speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists to design effective programs for each of her students. In addition to being a lead SEIT, she also provided 1:1 support for students attending mainstream preschools. Shirley then took on a supervisory role at YAI/NYL Lifestart as an ABA field specialist. As a specialist, Shirley supervised home and school based cases for early intervention and preschool students for the Lifestart Program. Shirley’s passion for teaching, and a desire to share her innovative

I LEARN-THROUGH-PLAY™ approach to social skills development, led to the creation of Ready, Set, Play! in 2007. Ready, Set, Play! is a social skills program for children in NYC. Shirley continues to consult with families, provide private home/school-based therapy for children, and develop new and innovating teaching methods for Ready, Set, Play!’s I LEARN-THROUGH-PLAY™ approach. In 2010, Shirley accepted a position at Queens College as an adjunct professor teaching graduate students in the Educational and Community Program in Special Education. Shirley has also been invited to speak at several NYC preschools to be the guest speaker at their professional development day. In the fall of 2016, the program she pioneered will be expanding into a social intensive program called Think, Learn, Play!

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