Jeanne White, LMFT
For over 25 years, Jeanne has worked with families and their children to help them achieve their highest developmental and emotional outcomes. Jeanne is a licensed MFT who has also worked in private practice and worked with child development specialist teams providing services to young children with autism. In addition, Jeanne was Program Director for a children's mental health program called A Childs Path which provided therapeutic support and case management for extremely high-risk children and their families. Since 2007, Jeanne has been Co-Director of CDPL, and is DIR®Assistant Faculty through Profectum organization.
Most recently, in February of 2021, Jeanne became the sole Director of the Center for Developmental Play and Learning. Jeanne and the entire staff at CDPL are inspired by Patricia's legacy and lifelong work to carry on the important developmental work of CDPL in her honor.
Kendra Wessling, M.S.
CDPL Program Manager
Kendra Wessling has worked with children and families affected by autism and related developmental delays for the past 10 years. Because she values partnering with parents and families, she pursued her master's
in clinical pyschology ('09). This has allowed her to work with many different children, such as at-risk youth, foster children, and other emotionally/socially impacted children. She has undergone training in a variety of methodologies for children and has found DIR/Floortime to be an integrative, family-centered, individualized approach that can be
applied to a wide array of neurodiverse populations! She is pleased to have been part of the CDPL team since 2011, soon after she moved to Santa Barbara. Currently Kendra is the Program Manager of CDPL, assisting in all aspects of the administration of CDPL's program, training of staff, presentations and outreach. Kendra is also one of our DIR Clinical Supervisors.
Kristina Fluitt, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapy Clinical Supervisor
Kristina is an Occupational Therapist and talented DIR Clinician. She completed her undergraduate education at Westmont College where she double majored in English and Liberal Studies. Her BA in Liberal Studies provided her with an in depth understanding of child development and teaching. Kristina completed her masters in occupational therapy at San Jose State University. She is a licensed and registered OT and has a passion for working with children. She has DIR training through Profectum, and in 2016 presented at the Profectum Conference on a DIR Sibling group that she co-led with Jillian Boccardo. Kristina loves planning events for the company, including the annual Halloween Festival. Currently Kristina is now a Clinical Supervisor for our DIR team at CDPL.
Senior Child Development Specialist and Trainer
Becky joined the CDPL team in 2009. She was an Early Childhood Educator before working for the Learning Enrichment Autism Program (LEAP) for the Santa Barbara County Special Education Office. This is where she had the opportunity to be trained in the DIR/Floortime Model by Pat Marquart. She continues to work in the Early Start Infant and Preschool Plus programs for SBCEO, where she is able to use the DIR Model in her work with children ages 0-6. She is a co-facilitator for our CDPL Summer Playgroup Program. Currently Becky is providing services to CDPL families and is mentoring newer practitioners in the methods of DIR/Floortime.
Child Development Specialist
Since graduating from UCSB in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Studies, Ryan has been working in special education classrooms with elementary and middle school age students. He has a passion for helping children recognize their full potential and has maintained impactful relationships with many of his former students. After joining CDPLs team in October of 2020, Ryan has been enthusiastic to engage with children through Floortime play. Ryan continues to dedicate his life towards helping children develop cognitively, emotionally, and physically. In his free time, Ryan enjoys surfing, scuba diving, and hiking the various parts of California
DIR Trained Clinician
Nitaña joined CDPL in 2020. She is grateful to have worked with and learned from Pat Marquart before she passed away. Nitaña is currently working towards her master’s degree in counseling psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She earned her bachelor’s degree in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA. Nitaña has worked as a transitional kindergarten teacher’s aide, a dance instructor, a camp counselor, and a mentor at afterschool programs. She has completed parent trainings at the Autism Treatment Center of America, professional development trainings at the Northern California Regional Play Therapy Conferences, in addition to other parent and child classes and courses in neurodiversity. Nitaña loves connecting with children and celebrating their unique gifts and personalities. She feels very fortunate to work with the dedicated team of professionals at CDPL.
Child Development Specialist
Abby Handley is a child developmental specialist at CDPL who graduated from Westmont College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has a passion for working with children and families in Santa Barbara. She is specifically interested in parent-child relations, early childhood development and individualized sensory profiles. Since finding DIR, she has loved the way it seeks to work with the child through their own interests and puts emphasis on the importance of the relationship with a child as a bridge to understanding and working on developmental levels. Abby has had experience working in ABA therapy and therapeutic riding but finds such joy in Floortime and its unique model. Abby is looking to into further education through Occupational Therapy programs as well as finishing up a DIR professional’s certificate. Abby has been with CDPL for two and a half years.
Bi-Lingual Child Development Specialist
Liz joined the CDPL team as a Developmental Specialist in 2017. She completed her undergraduate education in Communication disorders and Sciences at Cal State Northridge and is currently working toward becoming a licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant at Loma Linda University. Liz has a passion for working with children and their families and building relationships together. Liz has worked helping children since 2012 and has worked as a Respite Provider, Early interventionist as well as ABA. She feels fortunate to have found the CDPL and their amazing staff and been trained by both Jeanne and Pat in the wonderful DIR/Floortime model.