Neil Samuels Developmental Therapy
Neil Samuels Developmental Therapy
A DIR/Floortime based approach for children diagnosed with ASD and other Developmental based challenges.

I offer to all families with typical and non-typical developing infants. toddlers, adolescents and adults a comprehensive fully evidenced-based peer-reviewed approach based upon the DIR/Floortime model (Developmental, Individual Processing and Relationship based differences). DIR/Floortime was founded in the mid 1980's by world renown child psychiatrist and former head of NIMH, Mental Health Study Center and the Clinical Infant Development Program, Stanley Greenspan, M.D.. and Serena Weider, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychologist).  It is a fully scientific evidenced-based, peer reviewed neurodevelopmental model that comprehensively and systematically addresses  your child's primary developmental capacities or milestones. Beginning in infancy, there are six primary core Functional Emotional Developmental milestones that are typically achieved during the first three years of life.  Each developmental milestone represents a critical stage that every child must adequately master before moving ahead with increasingly socially complex nuanced engagement, thinking and communicating.

Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and/or other biopsychosocial developmental and social communication challenges often have varying degrees of difficulty in mastering and/or fully integrating these six primary core developmental milestones. However, all individuals, particularly when intervention is begun early, can partially to often entirely master and integrate these peer-typical developmental milestones once their functional emotional developmental capacities and individual sensory-affect-motor processing differences are properly biopsychosocially assessed and warmly and systematically engaged.

I consistently guide you and your family during each session to learn how to go to your child’s level and engage your child around his/her natural intent or affective interests. This begins with a Developmental focus on understanding and encouraging optimal arousal with your child to pleasurably attend to his/her environments; increased comfort and ability to regulate/co-regulate interactions during simple  back and forth two-way reciprocal social-emotional problem solving scenarios around his/her needs, desires and requests (e.g., food, toys, play) with emerging use of basic gestures and utterances increasing toward more complex two-way social-emotional problem solving scenarios with expanded opening and closing circles of communication using simple words and phrases.  

As your child moves up his/her Developmental ladder, this is further facilitated during more complex play that supports your child's ideation/imagination (e.g., feeding, sleeping , waking, interactions with character figures).  A further  elaboration of the latter capacity involves more nuanced complex sequencing  of symbolic sequences (e.g., a logical flow and connection of ideas transacted between character figures, such as, Where are they going ? How do they feel? Are they angry, sad, mad, scared? Why?, etc).  The latter interactions allow for new and more complex ideas and challenging emotions that are safely supported, guided and acted out through play.

Social Language Development: The focus throughout all sessions and activities is on  guiding you, as well at times if needed other clinicians, to developmentally engage your child in peer competent receptive and expressive social pragmatic language/communication skills, beginning with simple to complex emotional reciprocal gestures to single to combined utterances; emerging phrases and full sentence usage.  For older children and adolescents who have mastered these above milestones, deeper critical reflective thinking skills, multi-causal thinking, gray-area thinking and thinking from an emerging set of deeper or internalized values (i.e., more complex back and forth perspective-taking) becomes the focus of the child/primary caregiver session in conjunction with more complex social-pragmatic language skills.

I also regularly consult with developmental pediatricians, pediatric neuropsychologists, developmental psychologists, occupational therapists, oral motor therapists, physical therapists, nutritionists and other professionals where there is required more specific attention to a specific area of concern or challenge.  Therapy sessions are conducted in the family home setting.  For clients where distance/travel time is prohibited, facetime or skype sessions are available as an option.  In addition to in the home family sessions, video recording during sessions, as an additional point of reference, review and assessment of daily therapist guided family implemented skills can be provided. All initial phone consultations are quite extensive and non-fee based.