Since we aspire to be as inclusive and representative as possible, we are in the process of creating two advisory boards to help ensure we address the needs of parents while leveraging the best thinking available from the professional community.
Clinical Advisory Board
The Profectum Foundation Clinical Advisory Board, a group of distinguished clinicians and researchers from various professional disciplines, will help guide and support the development of programs to carry out Profectum’s mission. The members are extremely experienced in the evaluation and treatment of children with developmental delays and disabilities, including autism spectrum and emotional disorders and represent the many different approaches that are considered in a multidisciplinary treatment plan. They are also active in clinical research and have been recognized as outstanding advocates for these children and families.
The Clinical Advisory Board will examine best treatment practices for individuals and their families across the lifespan through a developmental perspective. Using targeted “Think Tanks” the Advisory Board can help clarify the differences and similarities among the fields and approaches and articulate key components required for successful developmental gains that will be helpful to all professionals who work with this population. In addition, the Clinical Advisory Board will enhance the Profectum Academy Training and Research programs by enlisting support from experts in cutting edge practices and technology to improve the quality of learning through our various platforms.
Profectum’s mission to advance knowledge and intervention with autism spectrum disorders and other special needs is one shared with many other dedicated professionals, families and organizations. Collaboration with others is essential for fulfilling this mission and we are eager to create opportunities for round table discussions where we can share clinical practice experiences, research and ideas to meet the challenges we all encounter, especially as our population grows and ages.
Profectum’s Advisory Board was formed to bring together clinicians, educators, researchers, parents and advocates to serve as a “think tank” to identify specific needs and approaches to guide our efforts to develop and to bridge our real world long term clinical and training experience with an acclaimed group with extensive clinical, research and advocacy experience. Invitations are extended to individuals working on different fronts with the hope our interactions and discussions will support Profectum’s mission to develop new pathways and expand our models of intervention and training for interdisciplinary professionals, parents and others.
Below is a list of distinguished and highly awarded Profectum Advisory Board members.
Evelyn Blanck, MSW, directs the New York Center for Child Development, a preschool special education, early intervention and mental health program and is a major advocate for promoting the integration of mental health in education, primary care and all child serving systems. She holds NY gubernatorial and NYC mayoral appointments on the Early Childhood Advisory Council and the Community Services Board as well as chairing various related advisory committees. In these capacities she has been able to influence policies and improves services in NY, where she is also co-President of the New York Zero to Three Network.
T. Berry Brazelton, MD, one of the world’s foremost pediatricians known for his concern for all children and families, is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, founder of the Brazelton Institute and Touchstones, was president of the Society for Research in Child Development, and of the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs. He has appeared many times before Congressional committees in support of parental and medical leave bills, and continues to work with the Alliance for Better Child Care for a more comprehensive day care bill. He is a co-founder of Parent Action and serves on the National Commission on Children.
Connie Kasari, PhD, is Professor of Psychological Studies in Education and Psychiatry at UCLA. She focuses on social-emotional and cognitive development of atypical children and has conducted many randomized controlled studies on social and communication behaviors in children with autism, she has multiple studies underway supported by the NIMH, the Autism Research Network and Autism Speaks.
Lucy Miller, PhD, OTR, is the founder of the first comprehensive Sensory Processing Disorder research program nationwide. She is known for sensory research, education, and treatment. Her application has led to consideration of SPD for inclusion in the 2014 revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V). Dr. Miller has also developed seven nationally standardized tests for use worldwide to assess and diagnose SPD and other developmental disorders and delays including regulatory and autism disorders.
David Oppenheim, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Haifa, Israel. Dr. Oppenheim has been involved in attachment research for more than 20 years, focusing on the importance of secure, emotionally open parent-child relations for children’s development and mental health. In particular, Dr. Oppenheim has applied attachment concepts and methods in research on children with autism to see how secure attachments are fostered by parental insightfulness into the child’s inner world.
Sally Rogers, PhD, is Professor, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences UC Davis MIND Institute. Both a clinician and researcher, Dr. Rogers’ clinical interests include early diagnosis and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders, and evaluation of cognitive, behavioral, social, emotional, and adaptive functioning in children with other developmental disorders. Her multiple studies include early social, cognitive, and emotional development, development of motor skills, communication, imitation, and language in children with severe disabilities, development of social relationships in people with disabilities, and treatment efficacy in autism.
Harry Wachs, OD, is a pioneer in the field of Developmental Optometry, studied with Jean Piaget’s about the nature and development of thinking, and began working with one of Piaget’s colleagues, Hans G. Furth, on an educational innovation which resulted in the 1975 book Thinking Goes to School. He also developed the test, The Wachs Analysis of Cognitive Structures. His visual-cognitive therapy regime is based on the premise that “visual-spatial knowledge” — how we understand and manipulate what we see — plays a major role in the way children develop. In recent years he has focused on the role of affect and autism and has co-published a book with Serena Wieder, PhD on visual spatial challenges in autism and learning difficulties.
Parent Advisory Board
Since addressing the needs of parents is one critical aspect of our mission, we believe that having a Parents Advisory Board will allow us to always understand and reflect the needs of families. We are in the process of defining the role and composition of this Parent Advisory Board.
If you are interested in suggesting ideas or nominating extremely qualified candidates to either of these advisory boards, please contact us.