About the Therapist
Sandy Doctoroff, Ph.D.
Special Educator/Developmental Therapist/DIRFloortime® Expert Provider
I've worked in the special education field for over 40 years including providing direct services to children and families in varied settings and teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students. Over the years I've provided guidance to many parents and professionals regarding the needs and challenges of children from infancy through school age with a wide range of developmental and learning challenges.
I moved to Maine in 1998 to take a position as a faculty member in Special Education at the University of Maine and was affiliated with the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies for 16 years. In 2014 I retired from the University of Maine and started up Play Partners Maine. Prior to moving to Maine I was on the faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno and the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. I received my Ph.D. in Special Education from Vanderbilt University in 1991 after working for a number of years as a Special Education teacher and Early Interventionist in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas.
I'm certified in the DIRFloortime® model as an Expert Provider/Training Leader (the highest level of certification awarded through the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning/ICDL) and teach courses for ICDL to train other practitioners in the model. In addition to expertise in DIRFloortime®, I have extensive knowledge and experience in a variety of areas of practice including sensory integration, social skills interventions, communication/language intervention methods, applied behavior analysis, using visual supports, social stories, and other methods of supporting learning to meet children's individual needs.
My work is strongly rooted in the importance of relationships and emotionally charged interactions for developmental growth and learning (supported by a growing body of scientific evidence) which is at the heart of the DIR®/Floortime™ model. I have long valued play as the work of children and as the great integrator of all aspects of child development and this greatly influences my work with children. I bring a perspective of tremendous respect for the knowledge and intuition of parents and a belief in the capacity of all children to grow socially, emotionally, and intellectually when provided intervention based on their natural emotions, interests, and passions and tailored to their unique strengths and challenges.