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, ED.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Vincent J. Carbone 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.
Gerard Costa, Ph.D.
Gerard Costa, Ph.D. is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the New Jersey Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is the Founding Director of the YCS Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health, a training and consultation, clinical service and research center concerned with the optimal development in all areas of infants and young children within the context of their relationships. A member of the Advisory Board, DIR and Graduate Faculty of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL), he also serves as a national consultant and trainer for Coming Together Around Military Families (CTAMF), a ZERO TO THREE initiative to help families of infants and young children affected by deployment. Moreover, he is a certified faculty member of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center and former Head Start Director, having worked as a psychologist in Early Intervention for nearly 25 years. He has offered trainings throughout the United States and authored myriad book chapters, including one on infant mental consultation in Infant Mental Health in Early Intervention: Achieving Unity in Principles and Practice (2006), edited by Gil Foley and Jane Hochman, and recently co-authored chapters on pervasive developmental disorders (John Willey and Sons) and reflective practices (ZERO TO THREE Press).
Gilbert M. Foley, Ed.D
Gilbert M Foley, Ed.D. is Associate Professor of School-Clinical Child Psychology at The Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He also serves as the Consulting Clinical Director for the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and Treatment Program of The New York Center for Child Development. For 13 years he was Senior Clinical Supervisor at NYU School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Bellevue Hospital Center and had spent four years as Chief Psychologist in the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Pennsylvania where he also trained in child psychoanalysis. In 1990 he came to New York to serve as Senior Supervising Psychologist for the Infant and Early Childhood Program affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at Schneider Children’s Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Foley is currently a faculty member of The Parent Infant-Study Center at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York City and the DIR Institute, Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders, Bethesda Maryland.
Dr. Foley has devoted his professional career to integrating mental health with services for children birth to 6 who have disabilities. He was Project Director and Principal Investigator of the Family-Centered Resource Project, a federally funded model/demonstration and outreach project for 11 years that provided training and technical assistance to more than 3,500 early intervention professionals nationwide. Components of the family Centered Resource Project Model were replicated in more than 60 sites in10 states. At the Yale Child Study Center , where he served as a visiting faculty member, Dr. Foley was supervised and collaborated with the late Sally Provence, MD. His doctoral studies were completed at Lehigh University in School and Counseling Psychology. Dr. Foley has maintained a private practice over the years serving young children with developmental and psychosocial challenges and their families.
Dr. Foley has lectured widely both nationally and internationally and is the author of numerous articles and chapters and is co-author of the Cognitive Observation Guide, The Attachment-Self-Individuation Scale and The Supportive Play Model, published by Teacher’s College Press Columbia. Most recently with Dr. Jane Hochman, Dr. Foley edited Mental Health in Early Intervention: Achieving Unity in Principles and Practice published by Paul H. Brookes.
Sima Gerber, Ph.D., CCC
Dr. Gerber is Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Communications Disorders and Graduate Admissions Coordinator-MA Program in Speech Language Pathology at Queens College, of the City University of New York. She has extensive experience teaching and supervising students in clinical and academic settings. Dr. Gerber is particularly interested in the application of developmentally-based theories and social-pragmatic approaches to language intervention; pragmatic challenges across language stages; and the language and communication challenges of children on the autistic spectrum. She ran a model pre-school program for young children with delayed language development at the Gertz Speech-Language-Hearing Center of Queens College, and is a faculty member at the Institute for Infants, Children & Families, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services; Senior Teaching Faculty and Advisory Board member of the Interdisciplinary Council for Developmental & Learning Disorders; and an active member and officer of professional organizations in her fields.
Judy W. Lesch, EdD
Before joining New York Center for Child Development as Teacher Supervisor, Judith W. Lesch was Program Director for the Early Childhood Special Education programs at Bank Street College of Education in New York City. Dr. Lesch has been an Instructor/Advisor at Bank Street, teaching courses in curriculum, brain development, and a practicum on working with young children and families. While at Bank Street she worked as an early childhood staff developer in the New Beginnings Project with the Newark Public Schools, and as director of a two-year grant to train inner city preschool teachers in the use of play to support inclusion of children with disabilities. Prior to her time at Bank Street Dr. Lesch worked for 15 years in public schools in Westchester County as an early childhood special education teacher. An educational consultant and learning specialist, she is co-author with Judy Leipzig of The Study of Children through Observation and Recording for Children’s Resources International, and author of a chapter, “What Counts for Caring,” in Putting the Children First: The Changing Face of Newark’s Public Schools, edited by J. Silin and C. Lippman. Dr. Lesch has lectured and presented her research both nationally and internationally.
Serena Wieder, Ph.D.
Dr. Wieder is a well-known clinical psychologist who pioneered foremost approaches to diagnosing and treating infants and toddlers with mental health disorders and developmental challenges. She is co-founder and Associate Chair of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL) and Director of the DIR® Institute, an interdisciplinary competency-based training program for professionals. Dr. Wieder publishes extensively, including the recent Engaging Autism, as well as The Child with Special Needs and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, co-authored with Stanley Greenspan. Drs. Wieder and Greenspan also edited the recent ICDL Diagnostic Manual for Infants and Young Children and the earlier Zero to Three Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and produced a 20-hour Floortime video training series. They currently discuss child development topics on the Floortime Foundation weekly web radio program. Dr. Wieder’s research has focused on early intervention with high-risk infants and families and she is now conducting outcome studies on children with developmental and spectrum challenges. She continues to practice in Maryland, lecturing extensively nationally and internationally and providing consultation to clinical and educational settings starting DIR® programs.
Gordon Williamson, Ph.D., OTR
An occupational therapist and special educator, Dr. Williamson is Associate Clinical Professor in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at Columbia University. He has directed major national research and training projects at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, including Project BEAM, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Zero To Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families; the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and the Academy of Research of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Dr. Williamson’s research focuses on the coping patterns of young children and their families. He has lectured widely throughout the United States, South America and the Middle East. His recent books include, Coping in Young Children, Sensory Integration and Self-Regulation in Infants and Toddlers, and Promoting Social Competence.
“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,
Advisory Board Member