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Deborah Sussman, PhD - Fielding Graduate University. New York, NY, US

Deborah Sussman, PhD Deborah Sussman, PhD

Doctoral Faculty - Infant & Early Childhood Development - School of Psychology | Fielding Graduate University


Early Infant and Child Development


Deborah Sussman, PhD, has been working with adults and children for over thirty years as a practicing Occupational Therapist. Her interest is in supporting the emotions and regulation of caregivers and children during functional activities. She is certified in the Sensory Integration Praxis Test and specializes in sensory processing disorders and parent-child interactions.

Dr. Sussman provides educational programs to parents, educators and therapists. She is a certified DIR/Floortime Expert Trainer Leader through the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders. She graduated from Boston University, Sargent College in 1981 and received her PhD at Fielding Graduate University IECD program in 2016.

Dr. Sussman is the owner of Debbie’s Playce, located outside New York City, in Rockland County. Debbie’s Playce is a center that offers full support to caregivers and children with neurodevelopmental challenges in functioning with daily life.

She enjoys gardening, knitting, exercise, and music.

Industry Expertise (5)

Training and Development

Professional Training and Coaching

Mental Health Care

Program Development


Areas of Expertise (5)

Observational Assessment


Development and Function

Coaching and Mentoring


Accomplishments (2)

Therapist of the Year (professional)

(2008) Rockland Institute for Special Education

Certificate of Achievement (professional)

(2008) County of Rockland, New York

Education (2)

Fielding Graduate University: PhD, Infant and Early Childhood Development 2016

Emphasis: Mental Health and Development Disorders

Boston University, Sargent College: BS 1982

Sargent College of Allied Health, Occupational Therapy

Affiliations (2)

  • American Occupational Therapy Association : Member
  • Interdisciplinary Council for Developmental and Learning Disorders : Member

Event Appearances (4)

What is a disability and what is developmental?

(2010-2020) Workshop for Parents and Schools  Various

Sensory Integration for Professionals

(2013-2020) Professional Seminars  Various

Sensory Integration in the Classroom

(2005-2020) Educator Seminars  Various

DIR Floortime Developmental Individual Relationship

(2012-present) Introductory, online and face-to-face courses in Developmental Individual Relationship  Various