Professional Advisory Board

The New York Center for Child Development stands at the crossroads of current academic thought and best clinical practice in the delivery of services relating to child development. Our Professional Advisory Board is comprised of leading experts in the fields of general and special education; speech-language pathology; occupational therapy; and psychology. The Board actively advises, directs, shapes and informs our delivery of services, as well as providing on-going professional development and supervision to our staff. The following individuals currently serve on our Professional Advisory Board:

Vincent J. Carbone, EdD, BCBA-D
is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at Penn State University and is visiting professor in the doctoral program in Behavioral Education at Simmons College, Boston, MA. Dr. Carbone currently serves on the editorial review board of several peer-reviewed behavior analytic scientific journals. His research is published in The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and several other peer reviewed scientific journals. He is the director of a center-based clinic for children with autism in Rockland County, N.Y., 20 miles north of New York City.

Susan Chinitz, PsyD
is a psychologist with specialties in the areas of infant mental health and developmental disabilities in infancy and early childhood. She is the former Director of the Early Childhood Center, the Center for Babies, Toddlers and Families, and the Parent Infant Family Court project, all therapeutic programs for children birth to five years of age at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she was a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and the Patricia T. and Charles S. Raizen Distinguished Scholar in Pediatrics. Dr. Chinitz is currently affiliated with the Center for Court Innovation where she is spearheading an effort to integrate developmental science into Family Court practice for infants and toddlers. Dr. Chinitz is on the Board of the New York Zero to Three Network, the Community Advisory Board of the NYC Nurse Family Partnership, and has been a member of the Frontiers of Innovation initiative of the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. She has developed models of infant mental health service provision and developmental supports for children in primary pediatrics, preschool and childcare programs, and within the child welfare system, and has provided consultation and technical assistance to practitioners from other disciplines as well as other child serving organizations and government agencies. She has received the ACS Commissioner’s Child Advocacy Award, Women of Achievement Award from the Bronx Women’s Bar Association, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University.

Gerard Costa, PhD
is the founding director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers University- NJMS, and serves a Trustee, DIR and Graduate School faculty of ICDL (Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders). He serves as a consultant to ZERO TO THREE and sits on several non-profit Boards and the BUILD NJ Committee. He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University. Dr. Costa was awarded the Christian Kjeldsen Champion for Children Award by the NJ Child Care Advisory Council. He is a gubernatorial appointment to the New Jersey Council for Young Children, where he heads the Infancy and Early Childhood Mental Health committee.. He has a small clinical practice, is the author of articles and book chapters on autism and infant mental health and has presented throughout the United States.

Gil Foley, EdD
serves as Acting Clinical Director at the New York Center for Child Development in New York City and Visiting Professor at the Institute for Parenting at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. He is a retired tenured faculty member of Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology where he taught for 20 years in the Department of School-Clinical Child Psychology and coordinated the infancy-early childhood track. While serving as the Chief Psychologist in the Pediatric Department of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, he trained in psychoanalysis and also completed a fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center with the late, Sally Provence, M. D. Dr. Foley‘s clinical and teaching career has been devoted in large part to working with infants and young children with special needs and their families. He is the author of several books and numerous articles. His most current book with Dr. Jane Hochman, “Mental Health in Early Intervention” is published by Brookes. He lectures and consults widely.

Sima Gerber, PhD, CCC
is an Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Linguistics and Communication Disorders of Queens College, CUNY. Dr. Gerber has over 35 years of clinical experience, specializing in the treatment of young children with autistic spectrum disorders. Dr. Gerber is on the Advisory Board of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL), the faculty of the ICDL Graduate School, and the Board of Directors of the New York Zero-to-Three Network. Dr. Gerber has presented nationally and abroad on the topics of language acquisition and developmental approaches to intervention for children with challenges in language development. Dr. Gerber is the recipient of the award for Outstanding Service in the field of Speech-Language Pathology given by the New York City Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Louis DiCarlo Clinical Achievement Award from the New York State Association. Dr. Gerber was elected to Fellowship by the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association in 2006.

Connie Kasari, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles, Professor of Human Development and Psychiatry. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a NIMH postdoctoral fellow at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA. Since 1990 she has been on the faculty at UCLA where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses, and has been the primary advisor to more than 60 PhD students. She is a founding member of the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA. Her research aims to development novel, evidence-tested interventions implemented in community settings. Recent projects include targeted treatments for early social communication development in at risk infants, toddlers and preschoolers with autism, and peer relationships for school aged children with autism. She leads several large multi-site studies including a network on interventions for minimally verbal school aged children with ASD, and a network that aims to decrease disparities in interventions for children with ASD who are under-represented in research trials. She is on the science advisory board of the Autism Speaks Foundation, and regularly presents to both academic and practitioner audiences locally, nationally and internationally.

David H. Salsberg, PsyD
is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist in NYC and a Clinical Instructor at The NYU School of Medicine in the Departments of Pediatrics. Dr. Salsberg is the Director of Pediatric Assessment, Learning, and Support, a multidisciplinary group practice in NYC. He is the former Associate Director of Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, Department of Neonatology, and The Center for Children, as well as Coordinator of Psychosocial Services at The Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. In addition to therapy and treatment, his practice specializes in conducting neuropsychological and educational evaluations for children; as well as school consultation and advocacy. Over the past 20 years Dr. Salsberg has worked with children of all ages and their families with various physical, developmental, neurological, psychological and learning disabilities. In teaching and clinical work his primary focus is always on the proper assessment, diagnosis and appropriate school and treatment recommendations for each child.

Serena Wieder, PhD
is the Clincal Director of the Profectum Foundation and Founder and past Co-Chair, of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL). She founded and directed the DIR® Institute, a case based competency training program for multidisciplinary professionals, from 1999-2010. Dr. Wieder serves on the Board of Zero to Three – the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families and the Scientific Advisory Boards of First Signs. Dr. Wieder conducts national and international training on the DIR® Floortime Model, She has served as faculty in multiple training programs. Her research has focused on diagnostic classification, emotional and symbolic development and the long term follow up of children treated with DIR®. Dr. Wieder co-authored Engaging Autism, The Child with Special Needs, and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, with Stanley Greenspan; co-chaired the ICDL Diagnostic Manual for Infants and Young Children and the first edition of theZero to Three Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy. She is co-author of a book with Dr. Harry Wachs, Visual Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling, and Movement: Challenges in Autism and Learning Difficulties. Dr. Wieder practices in New York City.

young girls

“My role is to work directly with the teachers around their educational practice in the classroom. That includes developing curriculum, helping them plan their teaching practice – how they interact with the children, set up and provide materials for their classrooms – all the things that go into making a teacher.”

Judy W. Lesch, EdD,
Former Advisory Board Member

Out of respect for the privacy of our children, the photos on this website are not of children in our programs.