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 with an emphasis on postinfectious neuropsychiatric disorders including Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), and Long-COVID. Optimizing comport and success for individuals with developmental disabilities in primary care settings, including improving the dental office experience using sensory, motor, and behavioral interventions. Creating optimal educational environments and interprofessional experiences for future healthcare providers across disciplines.

Overview Scholarship Awards News


Janice Tona, PhD, OTR, CLA, FAOTA, is an occupational therapist and an educational psychologist, with over four decades of experience as an OTR and three decades of experience in academia. In addition to expertise in curriculum design and scholarship of teaching and learning,  Dr. Tona is a pioneer in understanding the functional implications of acute-onset neuropsychiatric disorders and 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), a post-infections neuropsychiatric disorder. She is now extending her research to helping adults with Long COVID, a similar post-infectious disorder with neuropsychiatric symptoms.  Dedicated to improving primary care experiences for individuals with developmental disabilities, Dr. Tona also 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,  and was instrumental in the development of the occupational therapy program at University Pediatric Dentistry in Buffalo.

Dr. Tona currently serves as Academic Affairs Alliance co-chair for the New York State Occupational Therapy Association. She also serves as mentor in the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning group, as well as the AOTA New Educator Mentorship Program. Her teaching experience includes courses in pediatrics, neuroscience, evidence-based practice, service delivery issues, interpersonal communication, group process, research, 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
  • New York State Occupational Therapy Association
  • Member Alpha Eta Honor Society