How PINE is Revolutionizing Professional Learning for Inclusive Education

Home ยป How PINE is Revolutionizing Professional Learning for Inclusive Education

About the Guest(s): Lauren Hough Williams is the Executive Director of the Program for Inclusion and Neurodiversity Education, better known as PINE, an online platform that offers training and support to schools committed to building more neuro-inclusive schools. Lauren is an autism and inclusion specialist and began her career as a special educator for the NYC Department of Education before working for over a decade to define, refine, and expand the NYU ASD Nest Support Project. She partners with the neurodivergent community to shift the special education paradigm from deficits to strengths. Lauren is committed to helping school systems build inclusive learning environments for neurodivergent students. 

Episode Summary: In this episode of Think Inclusive, Lauren delves into her origin story and how a research-focused professional found her calling in New York City’s public schools, ultimately leading her to champion an education model embracing inclusion and neurodiversity. We talk about PINE’s structured professional development solutions and how the organization’s systemic approach enables educators across entire school systems to support neurodiverse students effectively. The conversation underscores the transformative potential of inclusive education when professional development becomes a shared language and responsibility.


Key Takeaways:

  • Inclusion is more than just a program or a place; it’s a shared school-wide mindset and communal responsibility for all educators.
  • Scaling inclusive practices require empowering every school staff member to contribute to an inclusive culture, beyond special education classrooms.
  • Professional development in neurodiversity and inclusive practices has not caught up with the diversity of student needs in today’s classrooms.
  • Educators, including neurodivergent staff, are valuable assets in fostering inclusive environments when provided with ongoing professional support.
  • The school environment, including sensory stimuli, should be designed with an understanding of neurodivergent experiences for the benefit of all students.


PINE (Program for Inclusion and Neurodiversity Education):

Contact Lauren Hough Williams:

PINE Virtual Summitt (May 1-3) (registration opens in March)


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