Professional Child Development Associates is a non-profit organization whose focus is on child development serving children from birth to 21 years of age, and families, when there is any concern regarding development or behavior, including children with a diagnosis of autism, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, premature birth, genetic syndromes, and/or other developmental or behavioral concerns. This comprehensive group of child specialists provides evaluation, consultation and intervention services, as a multi-disciplinary team, under the direction of Diane Cullinane, M.D., developmental pediatrician and Mimi Winer, R.N., M.S., child development specialist.
The multi-disciplinary team includes a developmental pediatrician, physical therapist, art teacher, psychologists, occupational therapists, child development/parenting clinical nurse specialists, marriage and family therapists, speech and language pathologists, child development specialists, behavior specialists, dietitians, developmental interventionists, music therapists and parents of children with special needs.
PCDA is certified by the State of California as a NPA – Non-Public Agency, serving children in public schools; and many programs and services are ‘Vendored’ by the Regional Centers, who provide funding for services for children with developmental delays or disabilities.
About PCDA (Spanish) About PCDA (Korean)
The idea of creating a multi-disciplinary organization to provide services for children with disabilities began in 1996 as two colleagues, Dr. Diane Cullinane and Mimi Winer, noted a need for services which included families, and served children in the home and community. At that time many children with developmental delays and disabilities were served in special segregated educational or therapeutic-based ‘school’ programs, beginning at 18 months of age. With a belief that social-emotional development and family relationships were of primary importance, PCDA began a range of services which addressed the child’s needs in natural environments, and included parents and caregivers.
A group of child development specialists from different disciplines who shared a similar philosophy about the importance of working with families came together to form Professional Child Development Associates With a focus on social-emotional development, all disciplines were able to contribute to the understanding of the child, and work together, rather than the typical isolated individual discipline therapeutic model.
Over the past 11 years, these programs and other services have continued to grow and flourish. We have added many new services in response to community needs. Over 4,000 children have now benefited directly from PCDA services, and more through our outreach and training programs.
In March 2008, PCDA became a non-profit organization. The past 17 years have shown what an outstanding success is possible following the core principles of parent involvement, multi-disciplinary team, and a focus on social-emotional development.
Include families in all aspects of care.
Work across disciplines and in a collaborative way to gain a more complete understanding of the child, and provide the most effective intervention possible.
Use an interactive play-based, relationship approach to promote development.
The services at PCDA are strongly influenced by the DIR® approach described by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder. The Individual Difference Relationship-based approach, which includes “Floortime™,” is a philosophy that emphasizes the centrality of emotion (affect) to all development. Functional emotional development, building from one stage to the next, provides the foundation for other learning, including language, cognitive, social, play and motor skills. The DIR® approach provides a framework for understanding behavior, and appreciates each child’s unique sensory profile, motor planning, auditory and visual processing, interests, and relationships.
The team of professionals at PCDA share a common philosophy about the importance of relationships, working in partnership with parents, and seeing each child as an individual. We take an interest in understanding a parent’s concerns, ideas, and priorities. PCDA has been on the forefront of introducing new services to the community based upon this philosophical approach to comprehensive care for children with special needs and their families.
*For more information on DIRFloortime®, visit: www.icdl.com.
Here at PCDA, we realize that many diagnoses rarely reflect the complexities of the individual. The infants and children who receive services at PCDA come from a wide variety of developmental backgrounds, each with their own specific concerns and diagnoses. While some may come to us with a diagnosis of autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or mental retardation, others may come with a complicated medical history or even a common/rare genetic disorder. For this reason, we view each child as unique, having their own individualized personality, interests, and challenges. Utilizing the DIR® framework of functional-emotional development as the guide to our intervention services, PCDA’s interdisciplinary team of professionals is able to address a wide range of developmental and behavioral concerns. Therefore, treating the child, not the diagnosis.
Although centrally located in Pasadena, PCDA’s reach to the community covers a large portion of the greater Los Angeles area, including the city of Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, West Covina, Downey, La Mirada and Whittier.