ICDL Graduate School Program

PhD, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Disorders

This program is designed for graduate students interested in further developing their aptitude in working with infants and young children with mental health and developmental challenges.

The significant advances in our understanding of infants, young children, and their families over the past 30 years has created a new foundation for research and clinical practice.  A number of disciplines have contributed to this growing body of knowledge including: psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, speech pathology, occupational and physical therapy, social work, education, and counseling.  The goal of the ICDL Graduate School is to enable students to master the insights of each of the contributing disciplines, understand the range and variations of healthy and disordered functioning in the early years of life, implement a unified developmental approach to research and clinical practice, and serve as leaders for future generations. The program is offered through a distance learning format and is available to qualified applicants throughout the United States, as well as other countries.

The ICDL Graduate School has created an innovative combined instructional method that allows professionals to take long distance courses and apply their concepts through integrated practicum in their area of residence. Furthermore, online courses are supported by audiovisual material, online forums, and weekly videoconferencing, to promote a learning process based on interaction and networking.

Travelling is not required but the ICDL Graduate School facilitates face to face meetings throughout the year. Students are encouraged to attend the ICDL Annual Conference every year, with signifcant discounts available. The students are expected to receive a full understanding of the nature of infant and early childhood mental health, develop-mental and learning disorders, and of the social environment, including family dynamics, parents’ mental health, and cultural differences that all influence infant and chil-dren’s development.

It is the first degree of its kind nationally or internationally to offer students the opportunity to master an under-standing of the different aspects of early development in both their normative and disordered forms, and to construct a fully comprehensive approach to assessment and intervention in the early years of life by working closely with all family members. The curriculum addresses the needs of a large community of children and families in the United States and elsewhere who require a more comprehensive and integrated approach to early development and early intervention.