Julie Carnes
, M.A. L.P.C. 404-329-5020


Julie Carnes obtained a B.A. in Special Education with a minor in Psychology in 1976 and received Montessori certification in 1977. She taught Montessori for 13 years, working with children from the ages of 2 to 7. For 10 years she served as the Educational Director at Arbor Montessori School, serving 200 students from preschool through middle school. In that capacity, she counseled students, parents, and teachers and helped plan programs to meet the developmental needs of the children. She completed her M.A. in Psychology/Counseling in 1998 and began working with children individually as well as continuing to work with the school. Now Julie is working in private practice with Floortime Atlanta, counseling children and
parents using the DIR model. She is the School Counselor at The Hirsch Academy (www.hirschacademy.org) and does observations and consultations with other schools as well.

Milagros Cordero, Ed.D., OTR/L 770-393-9901


Dr. Milagros (Mili) J. Cordero is a licensed, registered occupational therapist with board certification in Pediatrics. She has over 30 years of experience treating children with developmental disabilities.  Dr. Cordero received her basic training in occupational therapy from the University of Puerto Rico .  Her Masters degree in Pediatric Occupational Therapy and a Doctoral degree in Special Education are from Boston University . She is certified in the use of SAMONAS and Tomatis sound therapies. Dr. Cordero is member of the national DIR faculty and serves as vice-chair to Georgia ’s State Interagency Coordinating Council for the Babies Can’t Wait Program, the professional advisory council of the National Cornelia De Lange Association, and the board of the Frazer Center in Atlanta , Georgia .  She lectures extensively nationally and internationally on issues related to pediatrics.  Dr. Cordero is founder and President of ITT’S for Children, a professional group that assists and empowers parents to develop a better understanding of the strengths and needs of their children and to enhance their children’s development to the full extent of their capability. Dr. Cordero also has multiple academic appointments and trains occupational therapists in children’s therapy.

Barbara Dunbar, Ph.D. 404-378-1423


Dr. Dunbar is a licensed psychologist. She specializes in assessment and treatment of young children with developmental and learning disorders. Her focus is on working with children with autistic spectrum disorders and their families. For the past 10 years she has worked closely with Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Wieder, and is part of the national DIR faculty.

Dr. Dunbar received a master's degree in special education from Tufts University and a doctorate in psychology from Georgia State University. She has been a preschool teacher and learning disabilities specialist, and continues to consult with preschool and elementary teachers on developmental variations in learning. Dr. Dunbar has worked extensively with infants born at high risk, and for 15 years directed the long term developmental follow up program for Emory's high risk nursery. With Mary Beth Stark, she directed a 3 year pilot program for young children with social and communication disorders and their parents.


Dave Nelson
, M.S., L.P.C. 404-295-0073


Dave Nelson is a licensed counselor who works with children, adolescents, and their families. Based on his experiences with his own son (who is now a young adult), he changed careers to work with children facing developmental and learning challenges. His work focuses both on developing the interactive, emotional, and learning capabilities of children and on helping parents understand and address the variety of issues in nurturing the growth of a challenging child. He is also the director of The Community School (www.thecommunityschool.net) in Decatur, a program that addresses the needs of adolescents with learning and social differences. He has an M.S. in Counseling and an M.A. in English Literature from Georgia State University, as well as an M.B.A. from Duke University.

Kathleen A. Platzman, Ph.D. 404-373-8335


Kathleen is a Licensed Psychologist. Her private practice focuses on both assessment and treatment of infants and children with a wide range of developmental disabilities. She specializes in working with individuals with autistic spectrum disorders and their families. Services offered include infant and child assessment, child and family psychotherapy, treatment planning, consultation to families and schools, group and drama therapies. She is a faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders.

Dr. Platzman received her doctorate in 1983 from the University of Chicago, Committee on Human Development. In 1992 she completed a respecialization in Child and Family Psychotherapy from Georgia State University. She was licensed in 1993. For the past twenty years, she has conducted research on the long-term developmental consequences of prenatal drug and alcohol exposure and early environmental neglect.

Mary Beth Stark, M.S., CCC-SLP 404-386-1324


Mary Beth Stark is a licensed speech and language pathologist specializing in social communication disorders in children. Major focus has been on working with children with autistic spectrum disorders and their families, utilizing the DIR model. Treatment considers the unique communication patterns of this population, stresses the importance of verbal and nonverbal language skills, and understands the significance of pretend play as it relates to developing language ability. Mary Beth has been a practicing speech and language pathologist for the past twenty-five years, working in private practice, the public schools and home health care, both as a therapist and a consultant. Under the direction of Barbara Dunbar, she taught a three year pilot program for young children with social and communication disorders and their parents. Mary Beth earned her bachelors and masters degree from Bradley University.