Mary Gianatasio has almost 20 years of experience working with children in many different settings. While teaching at a preschool, Mary recognized her connectedness to children with neurodiverse profiles. She soon found her way to a developmental play-based clinic called LEEP Forward and helped develop its programs for almost a decade. Mary created an integrated and inclusive program for preschool aged children to prepare them to enter into mainstream Kindergarten programs in and around Chicago where she was born and raised.
Mary works closely with families and schools to help create a strong foundation of support for children with disabilities, sensory and regulation differences and autism. At the heart of her practice is the DIR/Floortime model; a very connected, relationship-based developmental approach that differs greatly from traditional behavioral models.
Mary has a BA in Developmental Psychology from St. Xavier University and a PsyD in Infant and Pediatric Mental Health. For many years, she has attended the ICDL - DIR Floortime Institute. She is currently a certified DIR/Floortime Clinician through both ICDL (Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders) and Profectum Academy. Mary Also holds certifications in The Listening Program (TLP), and NeuroNet, and has completed the Clinical Training Fellowship for Social Thinking in Boston, MA. She is committed to the practice and philosophy of DIR/Floortime and continues to participate in collaborative work with esteemed professionals in the fields of Pediatric Mental Health, Developmental, Occupational and Speech Therapies.
Most of all, Mary believes deeply in her work and is a fierce advocate for children with different neurology and prides herself in having respectful and neurodivergent-affirming practices. Mary lives in Southern California with her husband three very young children. They help her to continue to learn and grow every day.