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Maria Johnson, MA, CCC-SLP

Maria Johnson, MA, CCC-SLP Hero with BPI neuron sculpture in purple light. Director, Youth & Family Innovations Lead Research Clinician and Trainer, Charisma Virtual Social Training.

Director, Youth & Family Innovations Lead Research Clinician and Trainer, Charisma Virtual Social Coaching

Maria Johnson is a dynamic leader and speaker at the forefront of leveraging the technology to engage with individuals in creative, high-impact ways. She is committed to connecting and assisting youth and young adult organizations, clinicians, teachers and families, helping them – through research and development of evidence-based, research-supported solutions – discover how to best support social, emotional and cognitive brain health and performance for neurodiverse minds.

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Key Research and Publications

With more than 20 years of clinical expertise working with individuals with neurodiverse minds, Maria is passionate about building awareness and connecting communities of social learners across the globe. To further enhance understanding of virtual learning and the important role cognition and perspective have on social brain health, her team’s work has now expanded programs from individual, research-focused studies to offering real-world opportunities for students, schools, and social coaches to take advantage of Charisma™ Virtual Social Coaching using BrainHealth's proprietary virtual platform.

Online Tool Empowers Kids with Social Learning Deficits via Real-Time, Virtual World Training and Interactions

The Brain Performance Institute at the Center for BrainHealth now offers Charisma services online for children struggling with social interaction, autism, ADHD, and low self-worth.

Caring young single father help cute kid son play on warm floor together, happy dad and little child boy having fun building constructor tower from colorful wooden blocks. IStock# 1158481694.

Socially Connecting While Physically Distancing

We know from the research that social connection is critical to improving brain performance and health.

The Amazing Results Are in on Virtual Social Learning

Cognitive strategies shown to improve emotion recognition, social reasoning, and self-confidence for youth on the autism spectrum.

Illustration of a brain during stress, showing high neuron activity.

Virtual Reality Can Help Kids Build Social Skills

Maria Johnson, MA, CCC - SLP, the director of youth and family innovations at Brain Performance Institute discusses Charisma™ with Bernadette Fiaschetti, of One Life Radio on iHeartRadio.

More Information

Virtual Reality at the Center for BrainHealth | The Center for BrainHealth®

What if your most daunting aspiration was to make a friend? For many individuals on the autism spectrum, reading facial expressions and knowing how to respond are confusing daily challenges that create barriers to relationships and career goals. Cognitive neuroscientists, clinicians and game developers at the Center for BrainHealth® at The University of Texas at Dallas have created a virtual reality platform to help individuals on the autism spectrum and those with social cognition differences achieve social and economic independence. Currently part of a research collaboration between the Center for BrainHealth and Yale University, the scientifically validated brain enhancing therapy is a fun, high-tech game with state-of-the-art graphics, real-time face tracking and personalized avatars that may also have implications for combating bullying in schools.

Creativity & Connection: Mental Health Awareness | The Center for BrainHealth®

Feeling overwhelmed? May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Maria Johnson shares a practical tool that can help you enhance your mental health, brain health, and performance. From our family at the Center for BrainHealth to yours, we wish you a very happy and brain healthy Mental Health Awareness Month.

Charisma Virtual Social Coaching | The Center for BrainHealth®

Charisma™ is a virtual social coaching platform that teaches social strategies to enhance the way individuals think, work and thrive socially. It provides the flexibility our trained experts require to teach these strategies effectively. Through practice, users develop confidence and adopt behavioral changes that translate into real-world interactions. They can practice initiating conversations, dealing with confrontation and peer pressure, asking someone out on a date, interviewing for a job and more. The program can adapt to each new stage of adolescence and adulthood, and it provides support to individuals with social challenges and neurodevelopmental differences like ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder and social anxiety.

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