Personalized tutoring for special needs

Specialized Academic Coaching (SAC) is an educational solution designed for students with any type of learning difficulty.

We tutor students with conditions including, but not limited to:

  • ADHD and ADD
  • Executive Functioning Issues
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Processing Disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Dyslexia

If your child is having difficulty in school, he or she may simply have a different way of learning. Parents are often the first to notice that “something doesn’t seem right,” but sometimes knowing what to do and where to find help can be confusing.

SAC can provide you with the right supports and interventions in order for your student to succeed in school and in life.

Special Academic Coaching at BrainStorm Tutoring - Special Needs Tutoring

Benefits of SAC

Students who work with an SAC Coach experience marked improvements in these areas:

  • Study Skills
  • Time Management
  • Goal-setting
  • Confidence
  • Organizational skills
  • Focus

Other SAC Services

Our academic mentors can assist your special needs student with all of the following and more:

  • Test Prep – SAT, ACT, AP, Subject Tests
  • College admissions coaching
  • Executive function coaching
  • Wilson and Orton- Gillingham reading systems
  • Educational Evaluations
  • Academic Advocacy
  • ADHD Coaching
  • IEP Reviews

By partnering with the student and incorporating BrainStorm’s core values of customization, enthusiasm, and relationship, the specialized academic coach will empower your child with the strategies and skills necessary to conquer his or her unique challenges.

Meet The Team

Our SAC mentors are certified reading specialists, learning disability teacher consultants (LDTC), social workers, educational advocates, and therapists. They have dedicated their careers to understanding specialized needs and developing strategies to help ANY child succeed.

Kathy Acosta BrainStorm special needs tutor and head of specialized academic coaching


Kathy, BrainStorm’s Director of SAC, earned her B.A. in Psychology from Ramapo College of New Jersey, the went on to receive her Masters of Social Work degree from Fordham University.

Kathy has extensive experience working with children and families struggling with anxiety, adjustment issues, learning challenges, spectrum disorders and attention deficits.


Marissa DiPetrillo graduated from Villanova University with a BA in Elementary Education. She then received two Master's Degrees from Fordham University, in Literacy Education (Literacy Specialist) and Special Education. She also holds a Learning Disability Teacher Consultant certification.

Marissa loves children and has been teaching first grade for fifteen years. She even coauthored and published a children’s book!

David Gagliardotto BrainStorm NJ Algebra and Math Tutor


David earned both a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Delaware. During his time there, he worked in a neurobiology research lab to advance understanding of the human brain.

David has worked as a neurological assistant, aiding children in recovery from traumatic brain injuries. He also has teaching experience in a title nine classroom in the Lodi school district.

Alex W, BrainStorm Tutoring NJ special needs tutor

Alex W

Alex, BrainStorm's SAC Program Coordinator, earned her Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Marist College.

Alex has worked with students struggling with developmental delays, learning disabilities, and mental illness. As a Mental Health Counselor, Alex has helped students overcome challenges and find the motivation to reach their goals.

BrainStorm Bergen County special needs tutor Christi Riley

Christi R

Christi earned two Master’s degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University in Educational Psychology and School Psychology.

In both school and clinical settings, Christi has worked with students with ADHD, learning disabilities, and mental health difficulties. As a School Psychologist, Christi has expertise with IEP’s, 504’s, as well as Educational and Cognitive Evaluations.


Marlene holds a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and is a New Jersey Reading Specialist.

As an educator, it has always been Marlene's mission to assist students of all ages to be successful human beings and lifelong learners. Reading, writing, and communicating with success and confidence are her most heartfelt goals!

BrainStorm believes that every human being has a unique genius and, with the right mindset and skill set, is capable of incredible success. For students with learning difficulties, no one is better at promoting signature strengths – and equipping to overcome challenges – than BrainStorm’s SAC coaches.

For a free learning evaluation, contact Alex W at 201.739.3823 or email