Training is central to Profectum’s mission given the critical need to prepare and advance more providers of intervention. Just as a single sized approach does not fit all individuals with special needs, training programs need to be diverse to meet different interests and offer different levels of expertise. Profectum offers a menu of training programs, ranging from introductory and special topic courses, which can be taken at any time, to multi-course programs for parents, para-professionals, administrators, certificate programs for licensed multidisciplinary professionals, and future affiliated graduate degree programs.

Profectum’s professional certificate program in the DIR-FCD™ model (also known as the basic course) features the work of 50+ faculty members who helped create the the DIRFloortime® approach and trained most of the current practitioners. Participants in this year-long program will benefit from the work of this faculty and receive a Profectum Academy professional’s certificate in the DIR-FCD™ model in his/her discipline. 

Profectum’s faculty invested 300+ hours in creating this completely new curriculum to deliver the knowledge a practitioner would need in a defined timeframe so that participants know exactly what to expect and when they can become certified.  Over time, this course will be continue to be expanded to add and tailor new materials to address the needs of different audiences (e.g., parents, early intervention workers, schools, etc.). Additionally, Profectum will adapt these training materials to create new courses for parents, school administrators, early intervention workers, etc.

Comments from people who previewed the training materials include:

“The faculty made comprehensive presentations and really helped to tie together new research and information with our foundations in the DIR model.”

“All the lectures were very informative and capturing.  Each presentation had a great balance between video, demonstrating the concepts introduced, along with personal stories that drove the point home.  Although some of the lectures focused on beginning levels, which I’ve been introduced to in the past, they shed light on things I had missed.  This past weekend helped to connect the dots for me.”

“I really just want to share with you and your faculty that in my opinion (as well as reports from our faculty and parents) that these sessions were absolutely the best EVER!!! So incredible, comprehensive, simple yet detailed, laid out so well, as well as having great video examples! Serena- I always think you are amazing but I know you re-worked this presentation and spent many hours doing so – it was so clear and concise that I got more out of it than I ever have.  I continue to learn so much and this was invaluable to myself, my parents , and my staff.  BRAVO, THANK YOU, AND KEEP MORE COMING!!!!!!!”

Here is a sample webcast from the professional certificate course, featuring Serena Wieder, PhD, who co-created the DIRFloortime® approach with Dr. Stanley Greenspan and founded and directed the DIR Institute. Dr. Wieder and Profectum’s 50+ faculty members have been working to advance the state of developmental intervention by creating the Foundational Capacities for Development (FCD™) to build upon the DIR® model approach to incorporate tools/interventions that are supportive of an individual’s development.

Establishing the foundation for emotional and cognitive development for the many children identified with autism today is more compelling than ever and needs to be guided by the best theory, principles and practices available as we strive to improve outcomes across the lifespan. Given the complexity and individual variations of autism and related developmental disorders, the guidance of a dynamic model that embraces the critical elements of development that can be applied in educational, family, clinical, and research settings is imperative. This presentation will introduce the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based model of intervention (DIR® model) which will set the course for Profectum Academy’s basic training series followed by lectures addressing the implementation of the model with individuals and families.

The DIR® model provides a developmental framework for interdisciplinary comprehensive assessment and intervention. It utilizes affect based interactions and experiences tailored to individual needs to establish the foundation for development. The “D” refers to fundamental capacities for joint attention and regulation, engagement across a wide range of emotions, two-way communication, and complex social problem-solving which underlie the development of symbol formation, language and intelligence. The “I” refers to individual differences related to sensory reactivity and regulation, visual-spatial and auditory/language processing, and purposeful movement. Challenges in these neuro-biological factors make it difficult to participate in the emotional interactions that enable mastery of the developmental capacities (the “D”). The “R” refers to relationships with caregivers that are the vehicle for affect-based developmentally appropriate interactions. Parents and families are central to this model because of their ongoing opportunities to support their child’s everyday functioning to carry out emotionally meaningful goals based on developmental levels. Cultural and environmental influences are also considered.

The three components of the DIR® model provide a framework for comprehensive assessments and interventions necessary for development. It enables educators, clinicians, and parents to design a program tailored to the child’s unique challenges and strengths. A range of unstructured and semi-structured interventions utilize relationship and affect based interactions to strengthen each child’s developmental capacities. The DIR model is also commonly known as the DIRFloortime® model, which is the central component of the DIR® model and is both a philosophy and a specific technique where parents and interveners follow the child’s natural emotional interests and create states of heightened pleasure in playful interactions tailored to the child’s unique motor and sensory-processing profile to strengthen the connection between sensation, affect, and motor action. The child’s evolving DIR® model profile determines the individualized intervention as he progresses and at the same time challenge the child towards greater mastery of social, emotional and intellectual capacities. The DIR® model is now complemented by the Foundational Capacities for Development (FCD™) which focus on further experiences and integrated interventions needed to function and learn across the life span.

Watch these sample webcasts from several of the professional certificate course sessions.