What is DIR/Floortime?
DIR/Floortime is a relationship based therapy that places relationships at the forefront of development and supports each child based on their individual differences. This model was created by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, MD, and Dr. Serena Wieder, PhD., and stands for Developmental, Individual Relationship- based framework. DIR places affect-based interactions and experiences tailored to each child’s individual needs, with Floortime as the relationship based approach to therapy. This model is founded on the idea that emotion is at the center of development. Affect is the emotional component of behavior. We use each child’s ideas, interests, and the things that spark their pleasure as a window into connection, regulation, and motivation.
We meet each child at their current developmental level and build upon their unique strengths and interests. DIR/Floortime helps each child with their foundational developmental building blocks, including regulation, engagement, joint attention, communication and reciprocity, motor skills, ideation and execution, and social problem solving. Our goal for children with developmental challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, is to build an optimal foundation for lifelong learning, relating, and connection.
We start by observing closely how they interact with their environment and caregivers so we can tune into his or her emotional world. We observe their communication styles, their motor planning, their sensory preferences, and their interests so that we can use their preferences as a way in to draw him or her further up the developmental ladder. By following their lead, this aids in connection to help challenge him or her to move up the developmental ladder in areas such as language, thinking skills, and motor abilities.
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