Shifra Leiser

Shifra K. Leiser, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

School of Health Sciences

Areas of Expertise

 Neuro-Development and pediatrics


Clinical Specialty

  • Neuro-Development
  • Pediatrics
  • Certified in Sensory Integration, including the administration and interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT)
  • Certified in the HANDLE® Approach as Practitioner and Instructor


  • BA, Psychology, Yeshiva University Stern College for Women
  • MA, Occupational Therapy, New York University
  • OTD, Occupational Therapy, Misericordia University

Honors and Awards

  • SHS Dept of Occupational Therapy Excellence in Teaching 2017
  • Inspiring Faculty 2018 Touro College
  • Dean’s Research Award 2018


  • The impact of parent education and empowerment on stress reduction and client outcomes in families of children with special needs.
  • Interprofessional collaborative research on holistic and systemic functioning of Nervous System processes and its impact on function and the rehab process.  Specifically, the impact of training visual spatial attention in isolation on motor performance. 
  • Interprofessional collaborative research on the impact of cultural competence curriculum modules on student perception and learning. 
  • Research, validate and further develop the application of Gentle Enhancement™ as a treatment paradigm i.e. - the negative impact of stress on neuro-plasticity, growth, development and systems functioning.

Recent Publications

  • Leiser, S.K., Bensinger-Brody, Y., Soufian, L., Speiser, S., Levin, S. Sultan, S.  The Effect of Isolated Attention Training on Motor and Cognitive Performance in an 11-Year-Old Girl with a Known Learning Disability. (In Submission). American Occupational Therapy Association Meeting.
  • Molinsky, R., Gupta, J., Hunter-Bennett, C., Breland, H. Hanebrink, S., Connor, E., Castillo D., Leiser, S., Alexander, T. Closing the Gap: The Role of OT in Providing Healthcare in the Context of Diversity. American Occupational Therapy Association Meeting, April 2019, New Orleans, LA. 
  • Bensinger-Brody, Y., Leiser, S.K., Precin, P.J., Borenstein, Y., Halpern, S., Isola, F., Silberstein, D., Weinstein, S., Youssef, F. The Effect of Isolated Attention Training on Motor and Cognitive Performance. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, January 2019, Washington, D.C.
  • Chiariello, E. & Leiser, S. A Path to Cultural Responsiveness:  Orthodox Jewish Female Students in a Non-Traditional FWI Site. New York State Occupational Therapy Association Meeting, November 2018, Palisades, NY. 
  • McLaughlin, E. Charney, L., Evans, D. & Leiser, S. Facilitating Leadership and Advancement through the Post-professional OTD Capstone Experience.  American Occupational Therapy Association Meeting, March 2017, Philadelphia, Pa. 
  • Leiser, S. Is All Stress Bad?  Using Gentle Enhancement to Empower and Address Stress in Children with ASDs and Their Families. American Occupational Therapy Association Meeting, April 2016, Chicago, IL.

Recent Presentations

  • NYSOTA Conference November 2015, Westchester, NY. Presentation: “Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks? Using a Flipped Model and a Blended Classroom”. With Ramona Guthrie.

Professional Service

  • Invited presenter for parent support groups for families of children with special needs: National Autism Association NY Metro Chapter, TACA
  • Invited presenter for Continuing Education credits on the HANDLE® Approach
  • AOTA Multi-Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Network (MDI): Orthodox Jewish Occupational Therapy Chavrusa (OJOTC)
  • AOTA continuing education course consultant

Teaching Responsibilities

  • HS390:  Neuroscience
  • OT380/480:  Professional Journeys
  • OT415:  Pediatrics
  • OT470:  Pediatrics Treatment Lab
  • OT655:  Advanced Clinical Reasoning
  • OT660:  Advanced Clinical Neurology (Guest Lecturer)
  • OT670:  Advanced Analysis and Synthesis of Activity
  • OT695/696:  Research Mentor