Conference Presenter Bios

Milagros Cordero: A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Milagros Cordero is founder of ITTS For Children, Cordero & Associates.  Licensed, registered occupational therapist with over 45 years of experience working with children and adults with developmental disabilities, she is very interested in working with the parents. Her basic training in occupational therapy (BSOT) is from the University of Puerto Rico. Her Master’s degree in Pediatric Occupational Therapy (MSOT) and a Doctoral degree in Special Education EdD) are from Boston University. Dr. Cordero is a certified senior clinician and faculty member through the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL). Additionally, Dr. Cordero is a member of Comunidades Inclusivas, an initiative for Spanish speaking professionals spearheaded by Dr. Cecilia Breinbauer, which focuses on respect, integrated education and emotional attunement in the area of inclusiveness. Dr. Cordero is also certified in Therapeutic Listening, SAMONAS and Tomatis sound therapies

Galina Itskovich: Galina Itskovich is Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice with 18 years of experience providing individual and family psychotherapy for adults and children, as well as working extensively in the field of infant mental health. Her postgraduate training includes Family Therapy and  DIRFloortime certificate programs. In the past, Galina Itskovich worked as a clinician and, later, as a clinical supervisor at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, For 11 years she worked as the founding program director at G&Y KidsPower, the Early Intervention agency. In 2013, she joined ICDL in capacity of a training leader. Galina Itskovich pioneered DIRFloortime in Russian speaking countries; she presently serves as the clinical consultant at ICDL. Presented on the application of the DIRFloortime model at the international forum “Every Child Deserves a Family” (2013, Russia) and at the ICDL annual conference (Atlantic City, 2015). Other interests include creative writing and literary translation; she is a regular contributor to the journal “Psychologies.ru”

Eunice Lee: Eunice is a Registered Social Worker with dual Master's degrees in Social Work and Special Education from Columbia University and Bank Street College of Education. She was a member of the clinical treatment team at York University's Milton & Ethel Harris Research Initiative working on one of the first published randomized control studies on the efficacy of DIR®-based therapy on young children with autism.  In addition to private work with families, Eunice facilitates workshops in DIR®, play-based learning, and self-regulation for school boards and organizations across Canada, United States, China, and South America.  She has been an active member of the ICDL community since 2006 and has taught and mentored educators and therapists as a Training Leader since 2011.  Eunice is especially interested in coaching and the role of parents/caregivers in DIR® and will be starting a Ph.D program in Developmental Psychology and Education at University of Toronto this fall.

Christopher Gauthier: Christopher M. Gauthier is an actively exhibiting artist that teaches photography at Illinois Central College. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University in Photography in 2003 and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1997. In 2013, Christopher was awarded the Utah Visual Arts Fellowship for his project, Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism and the Autism Council of Utah’s Individual of the Year award.  In addition to traditional exhibition venues, he regularly presents his work at conferences, workshops and symposia.  Christopher currently sits on the Board of Trustees for The Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL) and the advisory boards of the US Autism and Asperger Association, and the Madison House Autism Foundation. His photography can be found in the permanent collections of the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson MS; Webster University, The Netherlands; and in the Koltsovo Airport, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation.  

Karen Levine: Karen Levine, Ph.D., holds an academic appointment as Lecturer in Psychology, Harvard Medical School and is a practicing Psychologist in Lexington MA. She was the co-founder and co-director of the Autism program at Boston Children's Hospital in the 1990s.  With Naomi Chedd, she authored 3 books, Replays: Using Play to Enhance Emotional and Behavioral Development for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (JKP, 2009), Treatment Planning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Individualized, Problem-Solving Approach (Wiley, 2012) and Attacking Anxiety (JKP, 2015). She has also authored and co-authored numerous articles and book chapters including a chapter in the ICDL Clinical Practice Guidelines with Dr. Greenspan and others, Children with Special Needs in Bilingual Families. Dr. Levine's focus is on developmental, relationship-based treatments. She developed Replays, a developmental, play based approach for treating anxiety, phobias and dysregulation in children. She is the recipient of the 2012 Lesley University Autism Hero Award, and the 2010 Federation for Children with Special Needs Founders Award. She is an ICDL DIR/Floortime Training Leader and Expert DIR® Floortime™ provider.

Dr. Josh Feder: Dr. Joshua Feder is an Associate Clinical Professor at University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor at Fielding Graduate University, and a Senior Associate Member of the International Network on Peace Building with Young Children. Dr. Feder develops programs, conducts research and works with clinicians, caregivers and children to promote regulation, social communication, and learning. He is engaged in peace building through support to early childhood development in regions impacted by conflict. Dr. Feder advocates nationally and internationally on issues related to peace building, informed consent, and Evidence Based Practices, and he serves as Medical Director at SymPlay, developing interactive technology and distance learning systems to support relationship-based interventions. Dr. Feder’s work is posted on circlestretch.com. Contact Dr. Feder at joshuafedermd.com.

Dr. Kingkaew Pajareya: Leading DIRFloortime researcher Dr. Kingkaew Pajareya is the founder and leader of Floortime Thailand.  She has built a multi-site Floortime program providing services throughout much of Thailand with an interdisciplinary team of over 40 professionals.  Dr. Pajareya is the lead researcher of several published research studies on Floortime including a compelling randomized controlled trial study on DIR/Floortime.  Learn how Dr. Pajareya has accomplished so much and brought Floortime to hundreds of families in Thailand and learn about her cutting edge research. 

Steven Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, the New Yorker, the MIT Technology Review, Nature, Salon, Shambhala Sun, and many other publications. He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (Avery 2015), which Oliver Sacks called a “sweeping and penetrating history…presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.” The book became a widely-praised bestseller in the United States and the United Kingdom, and won the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction, a California Book Award, and a Books for a Better Life award. It was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2015 by The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, The Independent, and many other publications. In April 2016, Silberman gave the keynote speech at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day. He has given talks on the history of autism at Yale, MIT, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Imperial College London, and many other major institutions. His TED talk, “The Forgotten History of Autism,” has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 25 languages. His article “The Placebo Problem” won the 2010 Science Journalism Award for Magazine Writing from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Kavli Foundation, and was featured on The Colbert Report. His writing on science, culture, and literature has been collected in a number of major anthologies including The Best American Science Writing of the Year and The Best Business Stories of the Year. Silberman’s Twitter account @stevesilberman made Time magazine’s list of the best Twitter feeds for the year 2011. He is proud to be a member of the PEN American Center.

Silberman also won a gold record from the Recording Industry Association of America for co-producing the Grateful Dead’s career-spanning box set So Many Roads (1965-1995), which was Rolling Stone’s box set of the year. His liner notes have been featured in CDs and DVDs by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the Jerry Garcia Band, and many other groups. As a young man, he was Allen Ginsberg’s teaching assistant at Naropa University. He lives with his husband Keith in San Francisco.

Christine Harkness is a special education teacher and autism consultant who works to help children and families find magic moments in their everyday interactions. She is beginning her twenty first year working in the public school setting. Additionally, she is an Expert Level DIR/Floortime practitioner and training leader, executive director of Magic Moments Summer Camp, and PhD candidate in Fielding University's Infant and Early Childhood Development program. She lives in Upstate NY with her two beautiful daughters.

Emily Rubin is the Director of the Educational Outreach Program at the Marcus Autism Center, an academic affiliate with Emory University and an NIH Autism Center of Excellence. She is a speech-language pathologist specializing in autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and related social learning disabilities. As a former adjunct faculty member and lecturer at Yale University, she has served as a member of their Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She recently participated as a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Ad Hoc Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a committee charged with developing guidelines related to the role of speech-language pathologists in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of ASD.  She is a co-author of SCERTS, a criterion referenced assessment tool and framework for social and emotional development.  She lectures internationally and provides consultation to educational programs developing programs for social and emotional learning and engagement in the classroom setting.

Beth Champ is the Director of the Young Adults in Transition Program at The Community School. Before joining The Community School, Beth was the Associate Director for Career Counseling at Emory University, working primarily with graduate students. Prior to transitioning into counseling, Beth worked as a strategy consultant in the health care field. Beth has an M.S. in Counseling from Georgia State University, as well as an M.S. in Chemistry and an M.B.A. from UCLA. She is licensed as a professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Georgia and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has an Advanced DIR Certificate from the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders and has presented locally and nationally on such topics as sexuality and autism, and higher level thinking in adolescents and young adults.

 Marla J. Souder is a licensed clinical psychologist and Founder and Director of ICAN and Paytons Place in Fort Wayne, IN. ICAN & Paytons Place is a multidisciplinary diagnostic and treatment clinic supporting individuals from infancy to adulthood from the DIRFloortime perspective. ICAN & Paytons Place focuses on integrating families into the treatment process, and strong collaboration with other providers, caregivers, schools, and the community. She is an Expert DIR/Floortime Provider/Trainer and a Pet Partner Team with Payton, a Certified Therapy Dog who specializes in working with children with Autism. Payton is an important part of many Floortime sessions. Dr. Souder & Payton travel the United States giving presentations about their work together. Dr. Souder completed her postdoctoral training at Riley Children's Hospital, has worked in clinical settings, and was an Autism Consultant to a large public school in Indianapolis, IN for 5 over years. Dr. Souder works with children and adolescents birth through young adulthood. She has significant experience providing assessments and therapy with individuals experiencing Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s Disorder, ADHD, learning difficulties, anxiety, mood issues, social struggles, gifted learning, medical issues, and family stressors. Dr. Souder has significant experience collaborating with and completing educational and autism assessments for school districts. Dr. Souder is also on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Indiana. Payton and Dr. Souder volunteer regularly in the community, especially at events supporting children and individuals with Autism.

 Kathleen Platzman is a Licensed Psychologist. Her private practice focuses on both assessment and treatment of infants/children and other family members.  She specializes in developmental challenges, attachment, trauma, learning challenges, trauma, and general coping struggles.  She offers services that include  consultation, assessment, psychotherapy, treatment planning, mentoring and supervision. She is Director of Clinical Training for the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders.  She serves on the Board of the Hirsch Academy, and is on the teaching faculty of Fielding Graduate University.

Dr. Platzman received her doctorate in 1983 from the University of Chicago, Committee on Human Development. In 1992 she completed respecialization in Child and Family Psychotherapy from Georgia State University.  She was licensed in 1993.  Prior to private practice, Kathy was part of a research team at Emory University that conducted research on the long-term developmental consequences of prenatal drug and alcohol exposure and early environmental neglect.

Melanie Feller is a developmentally based pediatric speech pathologist and clinical speech supervisor. She is a certified DIRFloortime® practitioner/training leader, and is the first speech pathologist in the United States to be certified to provide Shanker Self-Reg™.  Ms. Feller is the owner of Alphabet Soup Speech Consultants, LLC and the Director of Continuing Education and Mentoring for the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning. She specializes in working with children under 5, working those under 18 years of age on the Autism Spectrum, and in providing independent evaluations for parents having challenge with their child’s school based speech services.

David Nelson is the Executive Director of The Community School in Decatur, Georgia. Dave is involved in every aspect of the entire program, including teaching and support, curriculum design, and administration. He is a licensed counselor (LPC) who specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults, and their families with a focus on developing the interactive, emotional, and learning capabilities of all individuals. He also specializes in helping parents understand and address the variety of issues in nurturing the growth of a challenging child.

 

Based on his experience using Stanley Greenspan’s Developmental, Individual-difference, Relationship-based approach (DIR/Floortime) with his own son who was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder at age three, he changed careers to begin working with children facing developmental and learning challenges. Dave has an M.S. in Counseling and an M.A. in English Literature from Georgia State University, as well as an M.B.A. from Duke University. He is licensed as a professional counselor in the state of Georgia. He has a DIR expert certificate and is a DIR Training Leader. He is also part of Floortime Atlanta, a professional group of clinicians in the Atlanta area who use the DIR approach.

Andra Munger is the Director of the Interactive Learning Center in Massachusetts. She studied psychology and education at Clark University. She holds a doctorate degree in Biomedical Science with research experience in learning and brain development. Andra received an N.I.H. grant to study the development of the nervous and immune systems at the National Institutes of Health. Andra’s interest in child development led to her study at Antioch University. There, Andra received a Waldorf Teaching Certificate and taught students in Waldorf School classrooms from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade.

In 2001, Andra collaborated with David Stevens, Ed. D. at the Cognitive Development Center of Lexington. There she worked with staff members as well as members of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders to implement new approaches to improving learning for students with special needs.

Melissa Grosvenor received her Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Rush University in Chicago and her Doctoral degree in Infant and Early Childhood Development from Fielding University. Melissa is credentialed through the state of Illinois in Infant Mental Health and has been a training leader with ICDL since 2012. She currently runs a DIR based practice in Chicago, Illinois.

Amanda Binns is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and is currently a PhD Candidate at University of Western Ontario. She has been a training leader in the ICDL DIR certificate program since 2010 and is adjunct faculty at Fielding Graduate University.  Amanda has a small private practice in Toronto and is co-founder of the blog www.peekaboostplay.com . She has presented to and worked with teams of professionals locally, across North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East & Asia