Current Course Schedule

The Spectrum of Play and Play on the Spectrum: Through a Dev-Ind-Diff, Relationship Model Lens (b-6)

The course examines the play of neurotypical and neurodiverse children and the impact of individual differences in sensory and motor processing on development and play. A core feature of the course is how to employ the Developmental-Individual Difference-Relationship Model (DIR/Floortime © ) to promote symbolic and emotional growth with children on the Autistic Spectrum. DIR builds the foundation for reciprocal interactions, joint attention and communication to develop the capacity to
express the full range of emotions, and to regulate anxiety and behavior using a teacher-caretaker mediated approach. This course presents the developmental spectrum of play and the manner in which play supports the formation of self-regulation, provides opportunities for children to experience agency, and is self-affirming. Play also addresses all areas of development simultaneously and is spontaneous and intrinsically motivated without the need for teacher-directed tasks. We will examine these themes as concept and practice. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to discuss challenges you may encounter related to children with whom you are working.
Term(s) offered: Spring and Summer
Format: online
  • Course Number
  • Focus On
    Ages Birth - 6 Years
  • Category
    Credit-bearing Courses, Early Childhood, Online
  • Registration Options and Cost
    $425 12.0 CTLE or 1.2 CEU
    $1,814 1.0 Credits


Spring 2024

  • Section 1:
    • Gilbert Foley
      Gilbert Foley
      Gilbert Foley, EdD, is associate professor of School/Child Clinical Psychology at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University, New York, NY, and Consulting Clinical Director of the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and Treatment Program of the New York Center for Child Development. He is co-author of “The Cognitive Observation Guide” and “The Attachment-Separation-Individual Scale,” Using the Supportive Play Model (Teacher’s College Press, 1995) and, most recently, with Dr. Jane Hochman, Mental Health in Early Intervention: Achieving Unity in Principle and Practice (Brookes, 2006). Mr. Foley earned his EdD in School and Counseling Psychology from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He graduated magna cum laude with a BA in psychology from Albright College in Reading, PA.
    • Serena Wieder
      Serena Wieder
      Dr. Serena 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 and has a private practice in NYC. She also co-founded the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders. 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 postgraduate case based training and work with parents. Dr. Wieder has co-authored many publications including: Engaging Autism (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2009), The Child with Special Needs (Perseus Books, 1998) and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (American Psychiatric Association, 2005) all with Stanley Greenspan, M.D.. Most recently, Dr. Wieder co-authored Visual Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling, and Movement (Profectum Foundation, 2012) with Harry Wachs, O.D.

I came away with "A wealth of new knowledge about DIR and practical information about how to apply. The content of this workshop was stellar. Serena and Gil’s expertise in the field is unparalleled."

"I took away Many amazing strategies to bring back to my own classroom and assist my students more."

I learned"How prevalent sensory disorders are and how it's mistaken for other early childhood disorders like ADHD and autism."