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Kean University

Dr. Friedman is currently a full time Assistant Professor at Kean University’s Occupational Therapy department. In terms of clinical experience, she has worked as a pediatric occupational therapy clinician, in both public and private school-based settings, since 2007.  Dr. Friedman also worked for the New York City Early Intervention system from 2008-2017, servicing children ages 0-3 in their homes. In terms of research, Dr. Friedman's research interests include inter professional collaboration in schools, synergies between OT and ABA, and the creation of rigorous, engaging student learning experiences. Dr. Friedman is a strong advocate of collaborating with neurodivergent learners in higher education settings. She additionally collaborates with occupational therapy researchers at Western New England University, Monmouth University and University of Kansas-Medical Center, supporting mental health of Level II occupational therapy fieldwork students. Dr. Friedman has trained countless occupational therapy students in her role as a fieldwork educator for OT and COTA programs throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.  She has been invited to present at international, national and statewide conferences, such as ISSOTL, IPEC, ACRM, AOTA and NJEA, in a variety of public/private school-based settings, and for special education non-profit organizations. In 2014, Dr. Friedman completed courses and practicum to achieve the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential.  In this capacity as OT and BCBA, she uses both sensory and behavioral frameworks in her practice. Dr. Friedman was recently awarded a grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, designated toward running Raising families , an interprofessional 12 week therapy program serving families in our local area. In this role, Dr. Friedman has coordinated efforts across four departments within Kean University, while providing intensive therapeutic services free-of-charge as a service to community-dwelling caregivers and their children. 

Courses Taught

  • OT 5401, OT 6401 Theoretical Guidelines to Practice II
  • OT 6923, OT 7923 Pediatric Seminar
  • OT 6521/ OT 7521 Research Methods in Occupational Therapy
  • OT 6525/ OT 7525 Advanced Research in Occupational Therapy
  • OT 5612 Group Development Across the Lifespan
  • OT 5611 Community Partnerships

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Friedman, Z. & Nash, D. (2023) Has the Time Come for Heutagogy? Supporting Neurodivergent Learners in Higher Education. Higher Education.
  • Friedman, Z. & Banta, C. (2023) A call to arms for professional sustainability and practitioner's mental health. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 2023.
  • Friedman, Z., Ochoa, J., Prisco, D. & Seruya, F. (2023). Connected Rhythm: A scoping review of therapeutic drumming as an intervention for autistic individuals. Accepted in Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. February, 2023. In Press.
  • Friedman, Z. L., & Nealon, K. (2023). Siloed vs. Interprofessional approach: Speech language pathologists' and occupational therapists’ perspectives on comorbidity of childhood apraxia of speech and sensory processing disorder. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 31, 100611.
  • Friedman, Z. (2022). Breakfast Club Lessons: Staff Perspectives on a Yearlong Collaborative Tele-therapy Initiative During COVID-19. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 1-21.
  • Friedman, Z. (2022). Signature pedagogies vs. trauma informed approaches: Thematic analysis of graduate students’ reflections. Pedagogy in Health Promotion,
  • Friedman, Z., Akselrud, R., Goldman, M., Horowitz, R., Moradi, S. Seror, E. (2022). Charting a path to collaboration: Experiences of occupational therapy and applied behavior analysis practitioners. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention,
  • Friedman, Z. L., Hubbard, K., & Seruya, F. (2022). Building better teams: Impact of education and coaching intervention on interprofessional collaboration between teachers and occupational therapists in schools. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 16(2), 173-193.