Serena Wieder, Ph.D.
Dr. Wieder is the Clinical Director and a founding member of the Profectum Foundation, dedicated to advancing development and infant mental health through training and educational programs. She is a Board Member of Zero to Three, on the Advisory Board of NYZTT, serves as adjunct at Adelphi University, and provides consultation and training to numerous international and national programs, including DIR-Israel.
As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Wieder pioneered approaches to diagnosing and treating infants and toddlers with infant mental health and developmental disorders, starting with her work with Stanley Greenspan on a six year NIMH study reported in Multi-Risk Families. This led to co-chairing the Task Force on the first edition of DC 0-3 and developing the DIR Model. They later published The Child With Special Needs, Engaging Autism and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Healh. Dr. Wieder also developed approaches to integrate visual-spatial knowledge to advance emotional and cognitive development published in Visual Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling, and Movement with Harry Wachs, O.D.. She publishes numerous articles, lectures and presents extensively, both nationally and internationally, on developmental approaches to relationship based parent-mediated intervention. Her current research interests concern fidelity in DIR intervention and follow up studies of children treated by the DIR Model, and is writing a book on symbolic development.
Infant Mental Health and Development: Two Worlds or One?
Autism Needs an Integrated Approach
Developmental science is shifting away from behavioral reductionism to a relational developmental perspective long embraced by the DIR (Developmental, Individual Difference, and Relationship based) Model. DIR introduced major paradigm shifts from behavioral frameworks to dynamic developmental and relational systems that integrated the principles of IMH. Promoting relationships and emotional development tailored to neurobiological individual differences in affective, regulatory, sensory and motor processes are essential for building the foundation for lifespan relating and learning. Current research on Parent Mediated Interventions (PMI) and biomarkers of ASD supportive of DIR’s relational approach to autism intervention will be presented.