The Role of Play in Child Development

Fully Online Program Through Zoom

Friday, March 26, 2021   

Choose One or Both of the following Sessions:

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Foundations and Research
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Putting Theory into Virtual and In-person Practice  

Presented by: Lauren Tobing-Puente, PhD and Polina Shkadron, MA/SLP, MSNE, CFTP

Click here for the speaker handouts (the handouts are password protected and the password will be sent to you prior to the program)

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department and the Office of Continuing Education at Molloy University are pleased to welcome both Lauren Tobing-Puente, PhD and Polina Shkadron, MA/SLP, MSNE, CFTP, who will be presenting the topic, "The Role of Play in Child Development: Implications for Intervention", in two separate sessions on Friday, March 26, 2021. Each session is offered for .2 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level; Professional area). A certificate of completion will be issued at the conclusion of the each session. 

Course Description:
This two-part course will address the role of play in children's overall development with an interdisciplinary focus on language and social-emotional skills. The presenters, a licensed psychologist and a licensed speech-language pathologist, will explain how play is utilized as a primary modality for the treatment of children with developmental delays and disabilities, including the ways in which play is intertwined in parent-child psychotherapy sessions. The morning session will describe the history and neurological basis of play, its role in creating safe, supportive relationships, and the value of this foundation in the progression toward higher-level learning. The afternoon session will demonstrate how play is utilized as a primary modality of treatment with children, including parent-child work via both virtual and in-person therapeutic modalities.  Understanding the role of play within the context of a developmental and relational approach to treatment provides a strengths-based, child-centered approach to addressing children's "behavioral challenges." The benefits and challenges of virtual therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond will be discussed. Participants will have the opportunity to develop ideas for incorporating additional play-based strategies into their own work.  

AM Session Objectives:
1- Participants will learn three reasons why play is the neurological foundation for development.
2- Participants will learn three ways to use a play-based approach in speech-language therapy and psychotherapy in order to address language and social-emotional goals.
3- Participants will understand three benefits of parent-child intervention in promoting children's language and social-emotional development.  

PM Session Objectives:
1- Participants will learn five benefits and five challenges of the use of virtual therapy (using video) in speech-language therapy and psychotherapy and consider its utility post-COVID-19 pandemic. 
2- Participants will identify five benefits of play-based modalities using a developmental and relational approach to address children's challenging behaviors.
3- Participants will identify three play-based strategies to use in their own intervention practice with children with developmental challenges.  

Timed Agendas  

AM session: Foundations and Research (9:00am-1100am)
- 9:00-9:10    Introduction to course and review of course objectives
- 9:10-9:25     History of play in child development
- 9:25-9:40    Neurological basis for play
- 9:40-9:55    Functions of play in overall development, emotional processing and rewiring stressed brains
- 9:55-10:05   Role of play in individual and parent-child interventions: Past to present
- 10:05-10:20 Role of play in psychotherapy
- 10:20-10:35 Role of play in speech-language therapy
- 10:35-10:45 Putting it all together: Addressing cognition, language and social-emotional domains through play
- 10:40-10:55 Discussion/Question & answer
- 10:55-11:00 Closing remarks and course evaluation    

PM session: Putting Theory into Virtual and In-person Practice (1:00pm-3:00pm)
- 1:00-1:10     Introductions and objectives
- 1:10-1:15      Brief review of the morning presentation
- 1:15-1:20      "Traditional" in-office play therapy
- 1:20-1:50     The impact of COVID-19 and the rise of teletherapy
- 1:50-2:05     The importance of play in addressing challenging behaviors and unexpected reactions
- 2:05-2:35    Benefits of play-based modalities with a focus on relationship-based approaches
- 2:35-2:45     Developing additional strategies for your own interventions
- 2:45-2:55     Discussion/Question & answer
- 2:55-3:00    Closing remarks and course evaluation

About the Speakers:
Lauren Tobing-Puente, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Lauren Tobing-Puente is a licensed psychologist who earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in child and family therapy, from Fordham University.  She worked for many years in Early Intervention, preschool, and Head Start programs in addition to school, home and hospital settings for children with various developmental needs.  She is the former Clinical Coordinator of a large independent special needs school where she supervised a multidisciplinary team of mental health clinicians and evaluated and provided psychotherapy to students using  the DIR®/Floortime methodology.  Currently, in her private practice, Dr. Tobing-Puente supervises psychologists and provides evaluations and treatment for individuals, from toddlerhood to young adulthood and their families, school consultations, and provides consultation and training for an early intervention agency.  She is on the board of the NY Metro chapter of the National Autism Association (NAA) and facilitates their monthly support group for parents of children with ASD.

Speaker Disclosures Relevant Financial Relationships:
- sole owner of Dr. Lauren Tobing-Puente, Licensed Psychologist, LLC
- consultant to Early Childhood Associates
Relevant Non-Financial Relationships:
- member of the Board, National Autism Association-New York Metro chapter
- member of the American Psychological Association (APA) 
- member of the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA)

Polina Shkadron, MA, CCC-SLP, TSSLD, MSNE, CFTP
Polina is a speech-language pathologist and nutrition educator with over a decade of experience working with children and their families. She is the owner of Play to Learn, SLP PC, an established private practice in Forest Hills, as well as an adjunct faculty member at CUNY Queens College. Polina holds an MA in Speech-Language Pathology from Queens College and an MSNE from American University. She is a Certified Family Trauma Professional (CFTP) through the International Association of Trauma Professionals and is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding. Her experiences in the field of speech-language pathology span the gamut from early intervention through the high school population. Polina's interests and specialties include working with children with autism spectrum disorder, language learning disabilities, phonological impairments, and feeding challenges. She uniquely attends to the enhancement of the mealtime environment for children and families through individual and family nutrition counseling, parental empowerment, and self-efficacy. Polina has formed intricate connections between adverse childhood experiences, ramifications of toxic stressors, and the effects on children's social-emotional and executive functioning capacities in early development. Her overall goal is to educate children and their families on the major impact that foundational attitudes and beliefs can have on building lifelong skills.

Speaker Disclosures Relevant Financial Relationships:
- adjunct lecturer at CUNY Queens College
- sole owner of Play to Learn, SLP PC
- receives an honorarium for continuing education presentations Relevant Non-Financial Relationships:
- member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- member of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)
- member of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN)

Date and Time
The program will take place on Friday, March 26, 2021. You will be able to choose from one or both of the following Sessions:

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Foundations and Research

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Putting Theory into Virtual and In-person Practice  

Online Zoom Information 
This program will be conducted as a "live" online course using Zoom. It will be held on the same dates and times as indicated above.   You will be able to take the programs using any type of device that has internet access: PC, Mac, tablet, even a smartphone.   You will receive the Zoom link to join the programs via email within a week of the date of the programs.   If you are not familiar with Zoom please visit the following webpage prior to the course start date on "Joining a Zoom Meeting" at: More detailed information on Zoom can be found on the following link:

Continuing Education Credit: ASHA CEUs
This course is offered for 0.4 ASHA CEU's. (Intermediate level; Professional area).

Tuition Rates:
One Session Late Registration, After 3/12: $50
Both Sessions Late Registration, After 3/12: $70
Molloy Students: $10 each session, $15 for both (please register using your Molloy email)
Non-Molloy Students (please register using school email): $20 each session, $30 for both
Molloy Alumni 25% discount
Molloy Faculty and Staff: No Charge (please register using your Molloy email) 

Click here
to register online. Please note that if you are registering online, after you enter your charge card information you should click "Continue to Checkout" just once. It can take up to a minute or two for the charge to be processed. If you click more than once the system will void the registration and you will need to call the CE Office at 516-323-3550 to register.

To register by phone, please call 516-323-3550. We are working remotely, so please leave your name, phone number, a date/time to call you back and we will return your call.  Confirmation of your registration will be sent to you upon receipt of your registration.

Refund Policy
A full refund will be granted as long as you contact us one week prior to the start of each program. However, substitutions can be made until the day of the program at no charge.

Mailing List
To be placed on our mailing list, call Ramona Ali at 516.323.3553 or email 

If you should have any questions concerning registration or the program, call 516.323.3553 (We are working remotely from 11/25/20-1/19/21, so please leave your name, phone number a time to call you back and we will return your call)   or email

Communication Sciences and Disorders Department

Molloy's Communication Sciences and Disorders Department continues to offer a comprehensive undergraduate program in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology and also offers an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology. The M.S. program in speech-language pathology at Molloy University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Additionally, our Speech, Language and Hearing Center is located off campus in a new facility and continues to serve the community by providing an array of evaluation and treatment services.

The Speech, Language and Hearing Center is located at 30 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre and continues to serve the community by providing an array of evaluation and treatment services.

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Continuing Education and Professional Studies
1000 Hempstead Avenue Rockville Centre, New York 11571-5002