Expert Witness / Consultation
Over the last 20 years, Dr. Merendino has worked with children and their families in multiple sectors including private practice, as an advocate within the state government and national landscape, and internationally with military families. Now, she is now using her expertise to provide consultation and expert advice for a variety of individuals and situations. Dr. Merendino offers expert witness testimony or consultations in the following situations:
Expert Witness / Consultation with Parents
In her work with young children and their families over the last 20 years, Dr. Merendino has provided consultation and coaching to parents around a variety of issues including, but not limited to the following:
- Developmental disorders
- Mental health concerns and diagnosis
- Behavioral plans
- School consultation and recommendations for teaching staff
- Interpretation of assessment and evaluation reports
- Child development
- Personality disorders
- Separation anxiety
- Sharing information with children about a pending divorce
Dr. Merendino has been trained as a Parenting Coordinator/Decision Maker and worked with parents to make decisions in the best interest of their children. She consults with parents of children of all ages including young children, those with tweens and teenagers and adult children.
Expert Witness / Consultation in Educational Settings
Dr. Merendino worked in the field of early childhood at the state level at the Colorado Department of Education. She worked with a team to develop systems of care for young children and their families. In 2008, she co-wrote a chapter on intervention strategies for young children with disabilities. Dr. Merendino’s experience when qualified as a Large Child Care Center Director has added to her expertise in working in a school setting with teachers as well as families. She often consults with preschool or school staff on children who are having behavioral challenges within the school setting. She has been a guest speaker at the graduate level for courses on child development and infant attachment. Dr. Merendino also provided direct intervention through a research project where she spent a year in public school settings coaching first grade teachers.
Expert Witness / Consultation with Legal Professionals & Legal Proceedings
Dr. Merendino has provided expert testimony in Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson, Boulder, Larimer and Pitkin counties. She has also been subpoenaed to testify in proceedings that occurred outside the state of Colorado. Dr. Merendino has testified over 55 times in legal proceedings in family court. She has been qualified as an expert in play therapy, child counseling, family therapy, child development, child therapy, and high conflict divorce. She has provided presentations to the Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee on several occasions, Family Law Institute, and at The Annual Advanced Family Law Conference.
Expert Witness / Consultation for Mental Health Providers
As a clinical supervisor through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists and the Center for Credentialing and Education, Dr. Merendino is able to offer support to mental health providers in their early career as well as mid-level professionals and even those who have been practicing for decades. Working with young children and high conflict divorce are two areas that are not covered extensively in curriculum or training to become a therapist, but Dr. Merendino can offer her decades worth of expertise to further mental health providers’ training in these areas. Dr. Merendino draws upon her time as an approved supervisor by the Association for Play Therapy to help providers who are looking for consultation on a difficult case or in need of additional expertise specific to young children, child development or high conflict divorce. She has also provided continuing education over a multi-day format to the staff members at Colorado West Regional Mental Health in Vail, CO.
Expert Witness / Consultation During End-of-Life
Dr. Merendino has had varied experience both personally and professionally with persons at or near the end-of-life in her previous volunteer work as a lay chaplain at Denver Health and in her work at Rainbow House with children diagnosed as HIV positive. Her training at Denver Seminary as well as her professional training as a therapist has provided skills to enhance her interest in working with children or individuals who are nearing the end-of-life. Most recently, Dr. Merendino has been trained as an End-of-Life Doula and has been deemed proficient by the National End of Life Doula Alliance. Those who have a child with a terminal illness or a loved one who is nearing the end of life are encouraged to contact Merendino.