Janice Tona


Janice Tona.

Janice Tona


Janice Tona


Occupational Therapy Program Director
Clinical Associate Professor

Research Topics

Understanding the functional implications of neuropsychiatric disorders including Tourette Syndrome and Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), and application of sensory tools to reduce disruptive behaviors in adolescence with psychosocial needs. Optimizing oral health for individuals with disabilities at home and in the dental office using sensory, motor, and behavioral interventions.

Overview Publications Awards News


Janice Tona, PhD, OTR, is an occupational therapist and an educational psychologist, with over nearly four decades of experience as an OTR and nearly three decades of experience in academia. . In addition to expertise in curriculum design and scholarship of teaching and learning,  Dr. Tona is particularly interested in working with children with sensory and motor difficulties as well as children with behavioral challenges. Her research seeks to improve quality of life for children with disabilities and their caregivers, including individuals with Pediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS).  Dr. Tona practices collaboratively with dental health practitioners to modify the dental environment, improve access, and optimize comfort for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the dental office.

  Dr. Tona currently serves as Academic Affairs Alliance co-chair for the New York State Occupational Therapy Association as well as an American Occupational Therapy Association Scholarship of Teaching and Learning mentor. Her teaching experience includes courses in pediatrics, neuroscience, evidence-based practice, service delivery issues, interpersonal communication, and group process, and career development Her doctoral dissertation focused on the development of clinical reasoning among occupational therapists and students. 


  • PhD, Educational Psychology, University at Buffalo (2003)
  • MS, Occupational Therapy, (Pediatric / Developmental Disabilities), University of Pittsburgh (1989)
  • BS, Occupational Therapy, Utica College of Syracuse University (1984)


  • Occupational American Occupational Therapy Association, Credentialed Leader in Academia (CLA) 
  • Sensory Integration International Certificate in administration and interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) 
  • Neurodevelopmental Treatment Association (NDTA) of North America Certificate of completion of the Bobath 8-week pediatric course.  

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • International Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Foundation (IOCDF)
  • New York State Occupational Therapy Association