Janel Astor

Development & Education Specialist, MA, Ed

janel.faceMy work as a developmental and early intervention specialist began over 25 years ago and has always been a passion.  Each family and colleague I have worked with has added to my understanding of the variations in early development and family experiences. My clinical scope of practice includes  assessing typical and atypical growth and development, recognizing and identifying delays and their cause, and developing practical advice for parents and caregivers on how to best work with the child at home or school.  Resource and referral is also an expected and important piece of my work, as is IFSP/IEP support and advocacy.
By training, I am first and foremost a teacher, having received my B.A. in early childhood education and an M.A. in education from San Jose State University. My previous work experience includes my work at the Center for Developing Minds where I provided home and school visits for children preschool to middle school age, to work with families and/or teachers.  Additionally, I was one of the specialists responsible for the development and implementation of the Social Climbers Jr. program working with children 3-12 years of age with social cognitive delays. Before this, I worked at Abilities United for 16 years and directed a California early start program, inclusive preschool program and therapy clinic all under one roof, and developed family centered programming for young children within a developmental team of occupational, physical and speech therapists, as well as mental health and education professionals.  In this role I also worked directly with young children in many environments, experiencing a broad range of developmental needs.  In addition to my clinical work, I have been a part-time faculty member for many years in the early childhood special education department at SJSU teaching teachers and providing student teacher supervision. I have also been active on the board of directors for the Infant Development Association of California for over 10 years, and am a Certified Infant Massage Instructor.


My practice of learning about and understanding your child and family’s needs includes gathering information from parents and caregivers, evaluation of play and social skills, observation of the use of language for communication and peer play, study of motor development and sensory processing and working with the child within different environments.  I provide a collaborative intervention approach for developmental and behavioral concerns.  This is done through home or school visits working directly with teachers, staff, and/or parents.  I am also able to assist with IFSP and IEP meetings and have a solid background and training in the legal aspects and procedures involved in these processes.