Why Train with Profectum? The DIR-FCD™ Model Started Here!
Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model training started with the Clinical Infant Development Program, an NIMH clinical research study initiated by Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan in the 1970’s. This program was based at the Mental Health Study Center in Prince George’s County, where Dr. Serena Wieder joined in 1978 as the Clinical and Research Director.
Drs. Greenspan and Wieder’s work discovered the need for a humanistic model based on typical development in the context of the family and relationships. Autism was still rare with an incidence of 1/10,000 and certainly a mystery in 1979 when it became recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
Through the 80’s and 90’s Drs. Greenspan and Wieder developed the DIRFloortime® model that offered children with autism, PDD, and other emotional and developmental disorders, and their families, an emotional and relationship-based intervention to establish the foundations for a meaningful future.
Drs. Greenspan and Wieder worked with many other professionals concerned with early development and psychopathology in theory and in practice and presented and published extensively both individually and together. Some of their joint publications include The Child with Special Needs, Engaging Autism, Infant and Child Mental Health, and the Diagnostic Manual for Infants & Children. Click to watch a DIRFloortime® Introduction
Profectum’s faculty is comprised of 50+ professionals with more than 1000+ years collective experience working with individuals with special needs. Our multi-disciplinary faculty come from the fields of mental health, medicine, education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, developmental optometry, speech and creative arts. Profectum faculty will be intimately involved in your online discussions, mentoring, lectures and more.
Meet Our Talented Profectum Faculty
Marilee Burgeson, MA, CCC-SLP
Marilee Burgeson has been a Speech Language and Hearing Consultant for the San Diego County Office of Education since 1987 in a 0-3 early intervention program. She has been instrumental in developing an Autism Services team model that is transdisciplinary and has been recognized by the State of California as an exemplary program. She also has a small private practice. She has continued to be a lifelong learner and is trained in ABA and is a Hanen trained speech pathologist.
Marilee has been devoted to the DIR/Floortime model for many years and was certified in October of 2011. She is a seasoned trainer specializing in adult learning strategies and developed a model to teach the DIR model in the Hope Infant and Family Support program, with an emphasis in reflective practice. Marilee has participated on the San Diego Bridge Collaborative, which is a community based collaborative devoted to research and parent training for very young children showing early signs of ASD. Marilee graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders and Speech Science, majoring in Language and Learning Disabilities in 1978. She has worked in private and public schools as a Speech Pathologist and Learning Disabilities Specialist. Marilee believes that “you learn what you love”! The DIR model has certainly been a rich and passionate journey!
Sherri Cawn, MA, CCC-SLP, clinical director of Cawn-Krantz and Associates Developmental Therapies (with locations in Chicago and Northbrook, Il), has over 40 years of clinical pediatric experience specializing in the assessment and treatment of infants, toddlers, and school-age children. She is a leading practitioner of the DIR/Floortime® model in speech and language development and conducts trainings other professionals throughout the US and overseas on the concepts of this model. Sherri is the author of the self study DVD/Manual on the Assessment and Intervention of DIR/Floortime® produced by the American Speech and Hearing Association in 2011 and the self study DVD on the Assessment/Intervention of Developmental Language (2013)., In addition she is a co-author of Language Disorders chapter in the Diagnostic Manual for Infancy and Early Childhood and she is a co-author of the Profectum Parent Toolbox, (March 2016) an online free webcast series for parents and caretakers. Sherri is a senior faculty member of the ICDL DIR FT, the Profectum (DIR/FT) Academy Online Training Program and adjunct faculty at the Erikson Institute. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois.
Rosemary White has been an occupational therapist since 1972 and brings a wealth of clinical experience to every workshop she teaches throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Europe, South Africa, Uganda and Australia. Rosemary is a true clinician’s clinician! Rosemary received her neurodevelopmental therapy training in London with the Bobaths, her sensory integrative therapy training in Los Angeles with Dr. A Jean Ayres and her training in the DIRFloortime® model with Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, Ph.D. and the Faculty of ICDL. She currently owns and operates Pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy Services in Seattle, Washington. Rosemary has her certificate in the DIR model and has been senior faculty on the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disabilities (ICDL) chaired by Stanley Greenspan, M.D. and Serena Wieder, Ph.D., since 2002. Rosemary is on the clinical faculty at the University of Washington in the School of Nursing Infant Mental Health Certificate Program. Rosemary is also faculty in the ICDL Graduate School in the Ph.D. in infant and early childhood mental health and developmental disorders. This is an on-line Ph.D. program providing education to professionals throughout the world. Rosemary is also Profectum Foundation Faculty.
Dr. Swink’s three decades of clinical work, research and teaching has been devoted to children with special needs and their families since starting her pediatric training at the University of California, San Francisco and pediatric neurology/epilepsy residency and fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
Dr. Swink was introduced to the DIR model in 2003 and since completing her DIR FLoortime Institute Certificate in 2009, has been integrating principles of the DIR/FCD model into her work with children and families. Dr. Swink’s clinical practice focuses on young children with regulatory challenges, sensory based motor disorders, communication disorders and autism spectrum and related disorders.
At the Child Development Center at Marshfield Medical Center, Dr. Swink leads a multi-disciplinary team working to identify, understand and treat complex neuro-developmental disorders. Dr. Swink’s team strives to integrate the complexities of early development, individual differences and relationships into the assessment and treatment process of every child and family and to promote lasting and positive growth and change. Dr. Swink provides supervision and training to clinicians throughout the Marshfield Medical Center and the Marshfield Clinic pediatric residency training program.
Dr. Swink received her DIR Floortime certificate in 2009 and joined the senior faculty at the Profectum Academy in 2014. Over her career as a pediatrician, neurologist and developmental specialist, Dr. Swink has presented at numerous local and national pediatric, neurologic and developmental conferences and is currently teaching at the Profectum Academy.
Jehan Shehata-Aboubakr, BA, CCC
Jehan is the owner, director and senior clinician with Clinical Communication Consultants for over 15 years. A private practice overseeing for the last 10 years preschoolers and early school aged children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders and described with oral-motor speech and language disorders, social interaction and communication skill difficulties.
Jehan received her BA in Psychology with Honors from Cairo American University in 1972 and her CCC from Ain Shams Medical University; Unite of Phoniatrics and Communication Disorders in 1985.
She was affiliated with the Speech and Stuttering Institute, earlier known as the Speech Foundation of Ontario, Toronto Children’s Centre for Oral-Motor Speech Disorders from 1990 to 1999.
Jehan is member of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologist of Ontario and a long-standing and active member of the International association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, IALP, Zurich since 1986 and Ontario association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders O. A. F. C. C. D since 1997.
Diane has been a faculty member of the DIR® Summer Institute since 2002. In addition to her private practice, she is the mental health consultant and supervisor of the mental health department at Beth Osten and Associates, a multidisciplinary DIR model pediatric clinic. The mental health program includes DIR model coaching, individual therapy (children, adolescent and adults), family therapy and multidisciplinary group therapy. She has also helped develop and continues to supervise the Penguin Playgroup Program, a DIR model therapeutic playgroup program for preschool and kindergarten aged children at Beth Osten and Associates, as well as a practicum program for mental health graduate students. She provides individual and group (multidisciplinary and mental health) supervision to therapists within the clinic, as well as to many candidates within the DIR model certificate program. She is also the mental health consultant and supervisor at Soaring Eagle Academy, the DIR model school in Illinois for children on the autistic spectrum. Thus, in addition to DIR model intervention and psychotherapy, she has a strong interest in organizing, developing and working in therapeutic milieus for children and families. Prior to her involvement with the DIR model, she worked in various psychodynamic and developmental schools and programs. She has presented workshops at the ICDL November conference, as well as at various clinics, parent groups and schools.
Ricki Robinson, M.D., M.P.H. is co-director of Descanso Medical Center for Development and Learning in La Canada, California and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School Medicine of USC. She has been in private pediatric practice for nearly forty years, specializing in children with autism and developmental delays for over twenty-five years.
Dr. Robinson received her M.D. degree in 1973 from the University of Southern California. She trained in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, having served as Chief Pediatric Resident for CHLA in 1976. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics. In 1988 she received her MPH from the University at Berkeley School of Public Health.
She has been actively involved in the field of autism since 1990, developing multidisciplinary educational and medical programs for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and devoting endless hours in education, legislation and research efforts on a national level. Dr. Robinson has been at the forefront of leading grassroots autism organizations. She was a founding board member of Cure Autism Now (now Autism Speaks) and the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL), and most recently Profectum Foundation. She was a member of the Autism Speaks Scientific Review Panel for over eight years. Dr. Robinson organized and chaired the first nationally recognized task force to define the standard of care for clinical trials in autism. The results of this outstanding effort were published in CNS Spectrums (January 2004, Vol. 9, #1). Most recently she was appointed as Medical Director of Profectum Foundation, an organization devoted to providing multi-disciplinary education and training for parents, families and professionals working with individuals with ASD across the lifespan.
A nationally sought-after expert, she has appeared on the Today Show, The Talk, Larry King Live and Good Morning America Health in support of the needs of children and families with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is an internationally recognized speaker addressing the needs of children with autism and other developmental delays to parent, professional and lay audiences worldwide for the past two decades. She is also the author of the acclaimed book Autism Solutions – How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child (see www.DrRickiRobinson.com).
Lori Jeanne Peloquin, PhD
Dr. Lori Jeanne Peloquin is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She received her PhD from the University of Rochester and completed a Postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatrics and Developmental Disabilities at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where she also holds joint community faculty appointments in Psychiatry and Pediatrics.
For over 30 years, Dr. Peloquin has treated individuals with developmental and learning disorders and their families, focusing on children, teens and young adults with Anxiety, Regulatory, Sensory Processing, Developmental and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has given workshops on such themes as Sexuality and Autism, Autism and Anxiety, and How to Tell your Child about Having Autism Spectrum Disorder. She also mentors professionals in Mental health, Occupational, Music and Speech Language therapies, and allied fields.
Dr. Peloquin has been on the faculty of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders since its inception and was one of the first to receive a DIR/Floortime Model Certificate from them. She has been on the senior faculty of Profectum since 2011 when it began. Her writings include articles in the Autism-Asperger’s Digest on the DIR/Floortime Model. She was recognized as Outstanding Psychologist of the Year by the Genesee Valley Psychological Association for her leadership and contributions to the community.
Dr. Peloquin is married with two children and has a private practice in Rochester, NY.
Michele Parkins is an occupational therapist, specializing in working with children with sensory processing disorder and autism. She currently works with children and families at her private practice – Great Kids Place - in Rockaway, New Jersey using the STAR and DIR model. Prior to this she worked in schools for ten years infusing sensory integration, visual spatial, and DIR goals throughout daily activities and curriculum. Michele has been using, learning, and teaching the DIR model for over ten years. She is faculty of the STAR Institute and Adjunct Professor of Temple University where she educates therapists on SPD assessment and treatment. Michele is DIR and SIPT certified with advanced training in visual spatial capacities. She co-developed a unique handwriting program – Connect Experience Write® – that highlights the importance of affective engagement in learning as well as sensory integration using music and movement to teach letter formation and pre-writing skills. Michele is passionate about working with families and other therapists and she continues to do so as a clinician and educator.
Elizabeth Osten, MS, OTR/L
Beth Osten owns and directs a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic in the Chicago area, which specializes in the treatment of infants, children, and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders. She has more than 40 years of pediatric experience as an occupational therapist. Beth speaks nationally and internationally on the DIR/Floortime model for treatment of autism spectrum disorders and has over 15 years of experience training professionals in the DIR/Floortime® model through ICDL and Profectum. Beth has taught many courses related to early intervention, autism, infant motor development, and sensory integration. She contributed to the ICDL Diagnostic Manual for Infancy and Early Childhood and is a co-author of the Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP). Beth co-authored an ASHA certified training DVD, Assessment and Intervention of Communication in Children Birth-5: A Developmental Approach. Beth is currently completing a PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development through Fielding Graduate University.
Celebrate the Children’s founder, Monica G. Osgood, is an experienced behavioral consultant and therapist who specializes in using developmental approaches to support children with autism and other differences in relating and communicating. She is also the Founder and Director of the Developmental Center for Children and Families and Executive Director and a founding member of the Profectum Foundation. Monica has worked in homes, therapy centers, and private and public school settings for over 20 years. Some of her experience has included assessment and the development of intervention programs, curriculum and IEP development, and parent and professional training.
In 1998, Monica created the first public school program with the Developmental Individual Relationship-based (DIR model) approach as the core philosophy. In 2000, she was the first educator to join the senior faculty of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning(ICDL) to provide interdisciplinary training in the DIR model. During her time with ICDL, Monica served as faculty for all of their yearly training institutes, spoke at many of their conferences and had the opportunity to work closely and collaborate with Drs. Greenspan and Wieder to further develop the DIR model in school settings. In 2004, she collaborated with Lauren Blaszak to open a state-approved, DIR model school for children ages 3-21 in Denville, New Jersey, now serving over 70 school districts and 130 families.
Additional accomplishments include, many speaking engagements at conferences and participation in television, radio and newspaper interviews across the USA, Wales, Ireland and Amsterdam. Monica has appeared on Welsh Channel 4 and BBC1 documentaries, sharing the DIR model approach with British parents and professionals. Monica and the Celebrate the Children school were featured in a TIME Magazine cover story in May of 2006. She serves on the Advisory Board for 3LPlace and the National Advisory Council for The Centers for Exceptional Children. Monica also serves on the Economic Development Advisory Council and the Sustainable Economic Development Plan Steering Committee for her local Town Council. Finally, she collaborated with twice Grammy nominated children’s artists Dan Myers and Brady Rymer on an album and music video celebrating diversity in children with all abilities released April 2011.
Edi Nelson is an Occupational Therapist, specializing in development. She earned her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University in 2001. From her first day in pediatrics, she learned how to work with children and their families using the DIR model as well as sensory integration. She has worked in a multitude of different settings, including private practice offices, schools, and client’s homes. Edi has many areas of interest in development but is particularly passionate about how to activate and support the affective system to drive all areas of function and integration. She is dedicated to parent education, coaching and support, as well as advocacy for the children and families with whom she works. Edi has been fortunate enough to be mentored by master DIR clinicians from varied fields and has always had a great love of learning. This love continues as she thoroughly enjoys being a part of other practitioner’s journeys as an educator.
Kristin McNally, MS, OTR/L
Kristin McNally, MSR, OTR/L, IMH-E is a pediatric occupational therapist at Cooper House in Seattle, WA. Cooper House provides therapy and developmental support for young children and their families through mental health and occupational therapy services. It is also the home of the Fussy Baby Network® and Smooth Way Home™. Kristin earned her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2000. She has since practiced as a pediatric occupational therapist, specializing in sensory integration and the DIR® Model, or Floortime. Kristin is an assistant faculty member of the Profectum Foundation, where she provides training and mentoring. She specializes in treating children with developmental delays and disorders of relating and engaging. Kristin is driven to support early childhood development and to empower children and parents in their interactions through child directed play. Kristin is endorsed by the Washington Association for Infant Mental Health as a Level II Infant Family Specialist.
Dr. Michele Havens is currently the DIR Consultant to the Imagine Academy, a school for children with ASD, utilizing DIR-Floortime and ABA. Dr. Havens is a full time Professor at Kean University in Union, NJ, and adjunct at Montclair State University, in Montclair, NJ. She works privately as an advocate for families of children with disabilities, and is also a speaker at numerous conferences on special education, Autism and early childhood development. Dr. Havens was previously the teacher/coordinator/parent group facilitator of the Verona Preschool Intervention Program, a preschool disabilities program in Essex County, NJ.
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.
Steven Glazier, MA, Licensed Psychologist
Steven Glazier is a Licensed Psychologist who has been working with individuals with developmental, emotional and behavioral challenges for over 30 years. Since 1995, he has been in private practice, specializing in treating neurodiverse children with a developmental, relationship-based approach. He sees children, adolescents and their families virtually and in his suburban Philadelphia office, consults in preschools/schools and trains/mentors multidisciplinary professionals in the DIR-FCD Model. Steven is one of the first certificate holders in the United States in PACT (Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy), an evidence-based, parent-mediated approach.
He is a Senior Faculty member of Profectum Academy and he is designated an “Expert Practitioner” by the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders. Steven has been on the faculty of Widener University’s Early Childhood Mental Health Program and many advisory boards. These include: The Philadelphia Early Intervention Autism Committee, The Delaware Valley Chapter of the World Association for Infant Mental Health and the Center for Autism.
Susan Smith-Foley, OTD, MPA, OTR/L
Susan Smith-Foley, OTD, MPA, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in family-centered and school-based O.T. / DIR-FCD services. She is passionate about supporting the integration of the DIR-FCD Model into public schools including working with multi-disciplinary teams and primary caregivers. Susan completed a post-professional doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy (OTD) at The University of Kansas Medical Center in December 2018. She is the founder and owner of Avon Occupational Therapy, Inc. located in Avon, NJ. Susan is an Associate Faculty member of Profectum Academy and a member of its International O.T. Working Group.
Caroline Ferguson-Walsh, MS-LP(C), CCC-SLP
Caroline Ferguson-Walsh, MS-LP(C), CCC-SLP is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and founder of BEAR Pediatric Speech & Language Therapy, based in Chicago, Illinois. Caroline is a member of the American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA), Illinois Speech & Hearing Association (ISHA) and Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC). She holds a position as a Faculty Member of Profectum Foundation and is a DIR-FCD™ Expert Clinician, Tutor and Trainer. Caroline is a presenter for the Early Intervention Training Program at the University of Illinois and is a credentialed instructor for conferences, trainings and professional certification courses through Profectum. She is committed to community outreach and provides local and regional trainings on supporting families of children with communication disorders.
Caroline has worked in a multitude of settings including pediatric hospitals, early childhood facilities, schools, homes and private practice in the United States, Canada and Ireland. Her clinical focus includes providing assessments and treatment to children with developmental delays, autism and disorders of relating and communicating. Her work is supported by her training in DIR-FCD™, Hanen It Takes Two to Talk® and the Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S) Approach to Feeding. She is dedicated to coaching and supporting families to be an integral part of the clinical team.
Nora Dangiola, PhD, CCC-SLP
Nora D’Angiola is a speech-language pathologist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has specialized in Psycholinsguitiscs, in language development and language disorders, in programs of Transdisciplinary Assessment and Intervention in Early Childhood and in particular, in working with infants and children with pervasive developmental disorders. She has experience as a clinician as well as a university professor and researcher, both in Argentina as in the USA, where she has resided for more than 15 years. Nora has been an attending clinician at Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires and has been on the staff at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, and at the Pasadena Unified School District, CA. She has been a professor at UMSA (Universidad del Museo Social Argentino) in Buenos Aires, at CSUN (California State University, Northridge, CA ) and has been a research assistant at NPI, UCLA.
Nora is a member of ASHA (American Speech and hearing Association). She holds a DIR Certificate and served as a Training Leader at ICDL. She has co-coordinated numerous trainings in the DIR/Floortime Model in Argentina, both at FLENI and at UAI (Universidad Abierta Interamericana), in Buenos Aires and across the country. She provides DIR model-based interventions to children and their families and supervises and consults with professional teams working with children with special needs. She is a visiting professor at UMSA.
Socorro is Speech Language Pathologist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has been working since 1993 in assessment and intervention of children with challenges in communication, language and speech development. She currently works with children and families in her private practice, Redes Terapéuticas, with an interdisciplinary team. She has specialized in augmentative and alternative communication and in the Prompt Technique.
Socorro completed her DIR certification at ICDL and Profectum in 2012. She participates in numerous trainings in the DIR Model in Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina.
Linda Cervenka, MA, CCC-SLP
Linda Cervenka is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and works primarily with children and adolescence with autistic spectrum and related disorders utilizing DIR and development language models. She has a private practice in LaGrange, Illinois. Linda is also co-founder of Soaring Eagle Academy, an Illinois State Board of Education approved school serving students 5 through 21 years of age with autism and related disorders. Within the academy, Linda serves as an Expert Clinician, supporting staff and students in learning and growing within the DIR and Developmental Language Model. Linda received her Bachelor’s Degree from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL and her Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked for 30 years with children with special needs, in home based and clinic based therapeutic services and public and private schools providing consultation, training and support for children and families. Linda is a Senior Faculty member of Profectum and has presented nationally on the topic of developmental approaches to intervention for children.
Tal Baz, MS, OTR/L is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist who has practiced as a DIRFloortime® therapist, supervisor and consultant for more than fifteen years and works both nationally and internationally with families, clinicians, and various school systems. She has a clinical practice in Somerville, MA, and is teaching DIRFloortime® courses through the Profectum Foundation, nationally as well as internationally. Her special interests are in sensory-affective regulation, as it develops within the parent-child relational field. Tal has served on the DIR Faculty since 2001.
Georgina gained her Bachelor of Applied Science – Occupational Therapy from the University of Sydney in 1996. She has always worked in Paediatrics initially in an early intervention team, working with children with a variety of disabilities. She then pursued further training by traveling to the United States and England. While in America, she worked with a leading paediatric occupational therapist, Rosemary White OTR/L.
Under her supervision and the guidance of specialist practitioners she was able to develop her skills initially in the area of Sensory Integration and then the DIRFloortime®. During this time she received extensive training and experience within the fields of Sensory Integration, Auditory Integration and the (DIRFloortime®). She has been trained and certified in the Therapeutic Listening Program, The Listening Program, Samonas, The Lift Program and most recently with the Integrated Listening Program (ILS). She has been trained in the Wilbaarger brushing protocol, the Alert Program, Handwriting Without Tears and a variety of other programs during the years. She is a certified trainer through Profectum Academy in the DIR-FCD™ model and teaches basic courses throughout Australia and Overseas. Georgina is a director of the Keystone School which is a not for profit group working to build Australia’s first DIR School and through this has developed the Keystone Education Module which is used to educate teachers on understanding Individual Profiles and the social emotional needs of the children. Through this, they have developed a play based screening tool that they are using in both Preschools and Schools to support the teacher’s in identifying at risk children and how to support them in the classroom.
Georgina returned to Sydney in 2003 and established Kids World to provide these services to the clients within the Sydney metropolitan area. Over the past 14 years, Georgina has continued to develop her experiences in the field of autism spectrum disorders and sensory integration dysfunction. She has a passion for working with the children and their families, and feels that she continues to learn as much from them as they from her. In addition to her extensive clinical work, Georgina provides professional lectures and parent workshops to share her knowledge with others.
Georgina is married to Chris who made the move with her from the States, and supports and assists her with the practice. She has three beautiful girls; Mollie, Heidi, and Phoebe, who keep her busy in her spare time.
Maria has held a DIR Certificate since 2007 and served as a Training Leader at ICDL. She has co-coordinated numerous trainings in the DIR/Floortime Model in Argentina, both at FLENI and at UAI (Universidad Abierta Interamericana), in Buenos Aires and across the country. She provides DIR model-based interventions to children and their families and supervises and consults with professional teams working with children and adolescents with special needs. Maria has been invited to different conferences and lectures across the country to speak about the DIR Model.
Michele Ricamato, MA, CCC-SLP
Michele is a licensed speech and language pathologist, who works primarily with children diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. She has been in private practice since 1997 and worked in an early childhood school setting prior to that. Michele consults in many public school districts in Illinois and is one of three founders of a private school (Soaring Eagle Academy) for children with special needs that uses developmental language intervention and incorporates DIR® into its academic programming. Soaring Eagle Academy provides integrated programming to meet each child’s unique needs. Michele supports the curriculum development and implementation at Soaring Eagle Academy. Michele is a trainer and faculty for Profectum, an organization that uses the DIR® model as a framework for supporting children and families. Michele has a master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (1995). She also holds an undergraduate degree in communicative disorders from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California (1993).
Michele is also a mother of three children and has learned the most about development and language acquisition through her interactions and experience as a parent.
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.
Ruby Salazar is a child and family psychotherapist who has worked with children and families for over forty years. She is the Founder and Director of Pennsylvania Lifespan Services, a family-focused practice of developmental and mental health professionals with offices in Clarks Summit and Narberth, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Lifespan Services has nationally lead excellent care and provided services for many since 1982.
Mrs. Salazar received a BS from New York University and MSS from Smith College, followed by a post graduate psychoanalytic certificate in the treatment of children from the Karen Horney Psychoanalytic Institute, New York City.
Having practiced, consulted, published, lectured, and trained with a focus on developmental and family care, and taught at Columbia University, Marywood University, Keystone College and ICDL Graduate School, she currently is on the faculties of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Medical School, Fielding University, Profectum Academy (and was a founding member), The Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Fellowship Program at UMass Napa. Mrs. Salazar is PA Touchpoints site coordinator, having co-founded, the first medical Touchpoints program. She worked in the office of three PA governors as a child-care consultant and was appointed to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Council for Children. Mrs. Salazar was also appointed to the PA Department of Welfare Workgroup to establish Autism Assessment Policy and clinically directed both the ASD Comprehensive Assessment Project and the PA Department of Early Intervention Reflective Supervision Project. Proudly, Mrs. Salazar chaired candidate Obama’s first Autism Workgroup who drafted the bill which became ASD Federal Law.
Mrs. Salazar has received many professional awards, among them the first Sally Provence Award for excellence in infant and family practice from Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, Girl Scouts of America Professional of the Year award and National Guidance Counselors Association Professional Excellence award, all Washington, D.C.
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DIR® Certificate Courses for Professionals
DIR® model Emotional, Social and Cognitive Development programs for professionals offer advanced in-depth training in integrated, multi-disciplinary approaches to working with individuals and families with special needs. Several tracks are offered, each leading to more advanced levels of training for those who are interested in becoming supervisors and trainers.
DIR® Introductory Programs for Parents and Professionals
DIR® Introductory programs are perfect for professionals, parents, family members and anyone who wants to gain the foundations of understanding the individual profiles of individuals with diverse needs, strategies to help them (and you) develop stronger abilities for engaging, playing, thinking and communicating.
Our goal is to develop your competencies as a therapist/educator in conceptualizing the child within the DIR® model framework, setting goals for working with the child and family, implementing intervention strategies and the ability to think about how the a child’s intervention plan today impacts his or her future.
Commit to Excellence!
Receive your DIR® training at Profectum because:
- Profectum is the source of the highest quality DIR® training in the world
- Serena Wieder, creator of the original DIR® Institute, with the original, interdisciplinary DIR® faculty create and teach our courses
- You will gain a comprehensive range of the most progressive, research-based theoretical knowledge and broaden your ability to apply the model to a diverse range of developmental profiles and ages
- You will deepen the quality of your work, increase successful outcomes and your clients will benefit on many levels
- You will have the opportunity to learn alongside talented clinicians all over the globe
- You can choose from a range of training programs from introductory to advanced
- Upon completion of a certificate course, you will gain access to the following benefits:
- Your own profile page on our Provider Directory that will allow parents and colleagues to reach you
- Invitations to submit proposals to present Masterclasses
- Trainer certificate holders are eligible to provide tutoring and teach Profectum courses
Sherri Cawn, MS, CCC-SLP, from Chicago, leads this group of extremely talented clinicians from South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Singapore, Finland, Chicago, Florida, the state of Washington and Brooklyn!
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.