Serena Wieder, Ph.D. – Clinical Psychology
Clinical Director, Profectum Academy
Dr. Serena Wieder is a clinical psychologist who has pioneered the foremost approaches to diagnosing and treating children with developmental and mental health challenges , including autism spectrum and sensory processing disordrs. Dr. Wieder developed the DIR Model with Dr. Stanley Greenspan. At this time she is the Clinical Director of the Profectum Foundation that offers advanced training to multidisciplinary professionals in life span development and parent education programs. She was the Co- Founder of ICDLand also serves on the Board of Zero to Three.
Dr. Wieder recently published Visual Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling, and Movement with Harry Wachs, as well as Engaging Autism, The Child with Special Needs, and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, co-authored with Stanley Greenspan. They also chaired the Diagnostic Manual for Infants and Young Children and the first edition of Zero to Three’s Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy. Dr. Wieder has published and lectured extensively on the DIR Model, Autism, emotional and symbolic development, putting development back into education, and assessment and treatment approaches. Her current research involves outcome studies on children with developmental and spectrum challenges. She now lives in New York City where she continues her practice, provides consultation to clinical and educational settings, and lectures extensively both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Richard Solomon, M.D
Medical Director and Founder of The Play Project
Richard Solomon is the Medical Director and founder of The PLAY™ Project (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters), The Ann Arbor Center for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. He is Board Certified in Pediatrics Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and has nearly 20 years experience working with thousands of children with autistic spectrum disorders as a developmental and behavioral pediatrician. The PLAY Project’s mission is to train agencies and families in play- based interventions for young children with autism. PLAY Project centers are now serving families in twenty three states. In 2008, Richard published a pilot study of PLAY Project entitled, “Evaluation of a Parent Training Program for Young Children with Autism: The PLAY Project Home Consultation Program”. Solomon R, Necheles J, Ferch C, Bruckman D, (2007) Autism Vol 11(3) 205-224. In 2005, he was awarded Phase I NIMH Grant for a controlled study of The PLAY Project. Completed in 2007. Awarded Phase II, 3 year, $1.85 million NIMH randomized controlled trial 2009. ‘Professional of the Year’ ARC Pennsylvania (1998) for work in the field of autism while at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Allegheny General Hospital Campus 1989-1998. He is on the Editorial Board for the following journals: Pediatrics Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders Certified DIR model Faculty. Colleague of Stanley Greenspan MD and Serena Wieder PhD. Member, Children with Disabilities Committee, Michigan Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, University of Michigan.
Elizabeth Torres, Ph.D.
Rutgers, State University of NJ Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology/Computational Neuroscience
Elizabeth Torres is a Computational Neuroscientist who has developed theoretical models of sensory-motor integration and motor control since the late 90’s. Her models have been translated to clinical applications across neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, as well as applied to other neurological disorders. She holds a multi-disciplinary tenure-track Associate Professorship at Rutgers University. Her lab has created new dynamic behavioral biomarkers of Autism, sub-typed Autism severity and identified autistic female traits to help increase early detection reliability. More recently these findings are being used to implement new concepts for earlier intervention and extended to include neural correlates with novel metrics to objectively track change in the developing child. She has published her work in important peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of Neurophysiology, and Experimental Brain Research and disseminated her findings in the open access platforms of Biomed Central, Plos One and Frontiers. Her edited research topic in Frontiers in Neuroscience has attracted worldwide interest and gained the attention of Nature Reviews Neuroscience in September 2013.
Co-Director, Cognitive Connections
A popular speaker,Sarah Ward regularly presents on the topic of executive functions to a variety of professional and parent organizations. Her innovative and effective approaches have been featured on National Public Radio and she is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Massachusetts General Hospital Expertise in Clinical Practice Award and Faculty in Excellence Award. In addition to working directly with students in her private practice, she has presented to and consulted with more than 450 public and private schools in Massachusetts and across the United States and internationally on how to implement executive function strategies into the classroom setting.
- Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, May, 2005.
- Recipient of the Faculty in Excellence Award from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, May, 2002 and 2011.
- Recipient of the Partners in Excellence Award from the Massachusetts General Hospital , December, 1998.
- Recipient of the Stephanie Macaluso Expertise in Clinical Practice Award for the Massachusetts General Hospital , June 1998.
LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION
- Licensed Speech and Language Pathologist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Certificate of Clinical Competence of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Sherri Cawn, MA, CCC-SLP
Cawn-Krantz and Associates
Faculty, Profectum Academy
Sherri Cawn is clinical director of Cawn-Krantz and Associates Developmental Therapies of suburban Chicago, 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 trains other professionals throughout the United States and overseas on the concepts of this model. She is a frequent invited presenter at professional events .
Sherri is the author of the self study DVD/Manual on the Assessment and Intervention of DIR/Floortime Model produced by the American Speech and Hearing Association (2011). She is co-author of the Language Disorders chapter in the Diagnostic Manual for Infancy and Early Childhood (2005). Sherri is a senior faculty member of the ICDL DIR/FT Model Training Institute and the online Profectum Academy DIR model Training Programs and she is an adjunct faculty member at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois.
Beth Osten, MS, OTR/L
Beth Osten and Associates
Beth Osten, MS, OTR/L, has more than three decades of pediatric experience. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Beth’s graduate studies focused on sensory integration theory and practice, as well as on infant motor development. She brought this expertise to her practice in clinical, research and academic settings, including Beth Osten & Associates, Michael Reese Hospital, the Illinois Institute for Developmental Disabilities, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Beth specializes in sensory processing and motor disorders in infants and young children, including children on the autism spectrum. She helped to develop the Test of Infant Motor Development (TIMP), a diagnostic motor evaluation for premature and young infants. Currently, Beth is a faculty member with the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders’ DIR model Certificate Program. Beth lectures on other treatment models and pediatric conditions. She has presented both nationally and internationally on topics including infant motor development, care to the high-risk infant, sensory integration, treatment of autism spectrum disorder, handwriting, and the DIR model.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Celebrate the Children
Monica Osgood is co-founder and Executive Director of Celebrate the Children School and Director of the Developmental Center for Children and Families. In 1998 Ms. Osgood created the first public school program based solely on the Developmental Individual Relationship-based (DIR model) approach. In 2004, she collaborated with Lauren Blaszak to open a state-approved, DIR model school for children ages 3-21 in Northern New Jersey also based on the DIR model framework.
Additional accomplishments include many speaking engagements at conferences and participation in television, radio and newspaper interviews across the USA, as well as in Wales, Ireland and Amsterdam. She has appeared on Welsh Channel 4 and BBC1 documentaries, sharing the DIR model approach with British parents and professionals. Ms. Osgood and the Celebrate the Children school were featured in a TIME Magazine cover story in May of 2006. Most recently, she collaborated with Grammy nominated children’s artists Dan Myers and Brady Rymer on an album and music video celebrating diversity in children with all abilities.
Lorell Marin, MST DT
Executive Director and Founder of LEEP Forward
As the Executive Director and Founder of LEEP Forward, Lorell holds a Masters of Science in Teaching degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She is also a credentialed Developmental Therapist in the state of Illinois. She has an advanced certificate in DIR/Floortime and a certicate as a Developmental Therapist from Profectum. Lorell Marin founded L.E.E.P. Forward when she saw a gap in the services for children with special needs aged 3-5 once they aged out of early intervention. Lorell deeply believes in the potential of every child and focuses on the relationship model to support the children, families and therapists of L.E.E.P. Forward. Before founding L.E.E.P. Forward and becoming the mom of 2 girls, she enjoyed challenging extreme sports like skydiving, bungee jumping, plane gliding and running a marathon
Erika Larson, M.Ed. DT
Program Director and Parent Liaison of LEEP Forward
As the Program Director and Parent Liaison of LEEP Forward, Erika Larson holds a Master’s degree in Special Education, a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Theatre Studies and is a credentialed Developmental Therapist in the state of Illinois. She has an advanced certificate in DIR/Floortime and ran a thriving developmental and educational therapy business in the northern suburbs before merging her business with LEEP Forward. She has been working with families in their homes for the past 12 years and is often asked to consult with parents around the topics of development, education and best parenting practices. She specializes in helping children on the autism spectrum, those with ADHD, developmental delays and general anxiety and depression. Also a mom of two precocious boys, Erika is a true “problem solver” and adores helping parents find solutions so that “every day can be a good day.”
Diane Selinger, Ph. D.
Diane Selinger is clincal psychologist who works with children, adolescents, adults and families. She is the mental health Consultant at Beth Osten and Associates, a multidisciplinary DIR clinic in Skokie, Illinois and at Soaring Eagle Academy. Diane has been practicing DIR for many years, originally serving as a DIR Institute faculty member, and currently as a Profectum faculty member.
Psychotherapist at Beth Osten and Associates
Jordan Sadler, MS, CCC/SLP
Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Infiniteach
Christopher Flint began his career as a special education teacher specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Since leaving the classroom, Christopher has trained over 12,000 parents and teachers throughout Illinois and across the United States on best practice autism strategies. He is developer of Ready 2 Learn, a printed curriculum designed especially for students with ASD and has led the creation of autism accessibility kits for public institutions, including O’Hare Airport and libraries across the country. Christopher is also the Founder of AACTION Autism, a nonprofit providing autism training and resources to partner organizations in developing countries. Christopher currently serves as the Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer for Infiniteach, developing iPad apps embedded with best practice autism interventions.
Co-Founder of Connect Experience Write (CEW)®
Carrie Davis, a graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, has been practicing pediatric occupational therapy in both school and private-practice settings for over fourteen years. She currently evaluates and treats children with sensory processing disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities, executive dysfunction and autism. She is DIR® and SIPT certified, with advanced training in auditory training programs (iLs and Therapeutic Listening), visual-spatial development and handwriting programs. Carrie has mentored and supervised occupational therapy fieldwork students, and integrates her background learning with current knowledge in order to individualize treatment plans that will help her clients to effectively and efficiently achieve their goals.