Profectum 2023 International Conference
DIR® Addresses Visual-Spatial Processing
An Overlooked Domain Impacting Function Across Developmental Pathways
Sunday, January 29 and Sunday, February 5, 2023
Visual-spatial processing is a domain unto itself. It has a dynamic role in the integration of multiple developmental pathways including movement, navigation, perception, sensation, and body scheme formation. It is also a force in the organization of symbolization, regulation, emotions, directional language, interpersonal distance, the construction of knowledge and a sense of agency and security.
This conference is an in-depth examination of this overlooked and under-addressed dimension of development in concept, implication and application to practice across disciplines and all developmental domains including, mental health, occupational and physical therapy, speech and language, education, creative arts, and developmental optometry, pediatrics, neurology, and neuroscience. DIR® embraces this complexity and diversity, and offers a comprehensive but unifying theory and integrated model that promotes foundational developmental areas of functioning, takes individual neurobiological differences in sensory and motor processes into account, and promotes the power of relationships to advance developmental progress and mental health.
This is your opportunity to understand various visual-spatial and movement strengths and challenges that are often missed. Learn practical strategies to apply at home, clinic, and classroom to realize individual potential and enhance developmental outcomes.
Conference Committee: Serena Wieder, PhD, Conference Chair; Gilbert M. Foley, EdD, IMH-E, Conference Co-chair
Carrie Alvarado, PhD, OTR; Cortney Grove, MA, CCC-SLP; Mehrnaz Green, OD, FCOVD; Maureen Karwowski, OTR/L; Bari Keller, PsyD; Karen McDowell; Ricki Robinson, MD, MPH; Traci; Swink, MD; Rosemary White, OTR/L
Cindy Harrison, MSc Reg CASLPO
Cynthia Harrison is the President of CommuniCare Therapy, a rehabilitation company that provides speech language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, registered dietetics, and social work. She is a speech language pathologist and her area of clinical focus is the provision of assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with autism, disorders of relating and communicating, global developmental delays and their families and is a well known public speaker who trains and educates clinicians and parents in North America and abroad. She holds a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Vermont and a post graduate certificate in the DIR model. She is very active in her community and serves on a number of Boards and community associations.
Cortney Grove, MA, CCC-SLP
Cortney Grove is a pediatric speech and language pathologist providing home and school visits in Chicago, Illinois. Her clinical specialties include autism, receptive and expressive language disorders, word-finding challenges, apraxia of speech, language-based learning disorders, reading comprehension, and social communication and cognition. Cortney provides in-depth speech and language evaluations and sees clients from infancy through high-school. She provides speech therapy privately in Chicago area as well as through telepractice. Cortney offers consultative services to families who want guidance about their child’s communication development in addition to their primary therapy team. She provides parent coaching and mentors speech therapists, occupational therapists, and developmental therapists about communication, language, and social interaction.
Karen McDowell is an educator with over 25 years experience working with the adolescent and young adult population. She is an assistant faculty member of Profectum Foundation and strives to implement a comprehensive developmental curriculum into both her classroom environment and therapy work. As a Lead Teacher and Young Adult Program Coordinator at Celebrate the Children school for 13 years, she has contributed to innovative curriculum and strategies with the unique needs of individuals in mind while promoting opportunities for growth and development in both group and individual settings. Karen facilitates a weekly young adult group for several years with intensive focus on social and emotional strengths and challenges. Areas of interest and study include executive functioning, visual spatial processing, emotional regulation, and problem solving and she has provided workshops around the country on these developmental areas. Karen strives to provide programs that entice thinking, collaborative problem solving, effective communication, and positive coping strategies to support success, independence, meaningful and fulfilling experiences, and happiness within the demands of the 21st century.
Dr. Wieder is the Clinical Director and a founding member of the Profectum Foundation, dedicated to advancing the development and infant mental health of all children, including children, adolescents and adults with autism and special needs through training and educational programs. She also co-founded the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders with the late Stanley Greenspan. Dr. Wieder is a Board Member of Zero to Three and also serves on Advisory Boards to various programs serving infant mental health and other special needs. She established DIR-Israel and provides consultation and training to international and national programs.
As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Wieder has pioneered important approaches to diagnosing and treating infants and toddlers with infant mental health and developmental disorders. She co-developed the DIR Model with Stanley Greenspan, edited two diagnostic manuals for infants and young children, and created models for interdisciplinary post-graduate case based training and work with parents. She has co-chaired and organized national and international conferences integrating development, neuroscience and intervention approaches for nearly 20 years. Dr. Wieder also developed approaches to integrate visual-spatial knowledge to advance emotional and cognitive development. Her research interests concern follow up studies of children on the Autism Spectrum who have received DIR comprehensive interventions and the evaluation of training and educational programs.
Dr. Wieder co-authored Engaging Autism, The Child With Special Needs and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health with Stanley Greenspan, M.D. They also co-edited Infants in Multi-Risk Families as well as the ICDL Diagnostic Manual for Infants and Young Children (DMIC) and the original Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC 03). Most recently, Dr. Wieder co-authored Visual Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling, and Movement with Harry Wachs, O.D. She has published numerous journal and book chapters and presents at multiple conferences nationally and internationally.
At this time, Dr. Wieder also has a private practice in NYC for diagnosis, treatment and consultation regarding complex developmental and mental health challenges.
Stacy, a hometown girl, loved to play with children and was fond of those with special needs since she was a little girl. These qualities led her to the University of Pittsburgh in hopes of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist. With nearly 25 years of practice, she has nationwide pediatric experience in a variety of settings learning from accomplished colleagues in Sensory Integration and Neuro-developmental Treatment. She holds a variety of certifications including a Profectum Fellowship in DIR/FCD, Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests, Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome and Integrated Listening Systems. Stacy was introduced to DIR over 15 years ago and currently, she is involved in teaching and mentoring for Profectum on the path to becoming a trainer to continue to share the DIR/FCD model to other professionals. Stacy also enjoys presenting nationally on the importance of family-centered therapy and relationship-based work and recognizes the strong mental health component needed to effectively support children and families. She is the co-author with Dr. DeLana Honaker OTR, FAOTA and Ruby Salazar LSCW, BCD to the chapter “Putting Families First: Family Occupations and Family-Centered Therapy” in the recent Foundations for Pediatric Practice for the OTA as well as has published her research on the re-test reliability of the semi-structured interview and assessment Family LIFE (Looking Into Family Experiences) in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Her research and graduate studies at Texas Woman’s University on families and children paved the way for her private practice, Embrace the Child®, Ltd. In her practice, she believes through using DIR/FCD Model and her own Family-Centered Therapy Model across settings, clinicians can impact occupational therapy and can richly improve quality of life for children and families. Her practice was acknowledged by Barbara Corcoran of the acclaimed The Corcoran Group and ABC television’s Shark Tank who identified Stacy’s passion as the cornerstone for success in her business to serve the children and families of Pittsburgh and beyond.
Although all providers in this directory have completed one or more of Profectum’s certificate training courses on the DIR-FCD model, the providers listed in this directory are independent contractors. Providers are not agents nor are they employees and nor are they under the control of Profectum Foundation. Providers are solely responsible for the quality of the services you receive.