Rita Gray Center for Childhood Development


Close developmental gaps

Childhood development is rarely even, and many children struggle with some aspects of growing up. For the child with developmental delays, social interactions are… (continue reading)

meet social milestones

Social and emotional intelligence are the core of a child’s well-being. Every child wants to know how to initiate and sustain playful social interactions. No child wants to be overwhelmed… (continue)

Foundation for success

Children who have developed confidence in their own agency are curious to learn and try new things. They are intrinsically motivated to work hard in order to master ideas and skills. (continue)


Our ultimate goal is for children to grow in the capacity to join in, and to know and value themselves, for who they are.

At each stage of development, children strive to gain mastery and confidence. These overarching goals will be greatly influenced by specific developmental delays, as well as unique aspects of personality and temperament. One child may struggle to express ideas, another to control impulses, and another to stick with a task. Whatever the individual challenges, each child desires to connect and communicate in ways that feel authentic and satisfying. We help children build on real strengths and interests, so that these attributes come to play the leading role in their lives.

Through play, children develop reasoning skills, flexible thinking, emotional understanding, and perspective taking. They learn about themselves and other children, and how to negotiate interpersonal relationships. Playgroups offer a secure and accepting environment for children to practice these skills, which then naturally extend to the classroom, and beyond. We help children develop strategies to problem solve with peers as they learn to take turns, share, and express ideas and needs. We allow time and space for children to navigate the back and forth, give and take aspects of social exchanges, while setting appropriate and safe limits. These experiences eventually teach self-regulation, and effective skills for peer communication. Our individual therapy sessions and developmental playgroups are predicated on the belief that with practice and support, each child can build emotional and social muscle.


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Rita Gray LMSW is a play therapist with over 37 years of experience. She excels at helping children understand their emotions, manage worries, and acquire skills necessary to flourish in a variety of social settings.

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Katharine D. Hellman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked as a school social worker and play therapist with children and adolescents. She has maintained a private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy with adults.

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Sarvjot marwaha-bahl

Sarvjot Marwaha-Bahl M.S. Ed. is an early intervention specialist who helps children to thrive in all facets of their lives. She works directly in the classroom to foster independence, as well as successful connection to other students.
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