The International Council on Development and Learning

Thank you to all that attended the 2024 international DIR® Conference!

The conference brought together hundreds of professionals and parents from fifteen different countries to engage, connect, and learn with DIR®.  

Courses Are Available Live Online

& Around the World

ICDL has the original and official DIR® and DIRFloortime® (AKA Floortime®) training program. Beginning with the DIR 101: An Introduction to DIR® and DIRFloortime® all the way through our DIRFloortime® Expert Training Leader course, we offer DIRFloortime® courses throughout the world and live online.  The faculty is amazing and the courses are incredible.  All courses are open to professionals and the DIR 101 and select other course options are available to professionals and parents.  In addition to the DIRFloortime® courses, ICDL also offers an array of DIR-related continuing education short courses for professionals.  

The International DIR® Institute is a unique teaching institute that brings together top DIR experts from around the world to provide services and supports to parents and professionals.  One service for parents is the DIR® Home Program which is a virtual Floortime coaching program to help parents implement Floortime at home.  Our experts can help parents help their children by using a respectful, joyful, and EFFECTIVE home program.  Families can also attend Floortime Intensives at the ICDL DIR® Institute in Livingston, NJ, USA where families come for week-long intensive programs with their children and receive Floortime coaching from top experts from ICDL.   For professionals and organizations, the DIR® Institute manages DIR® Accreditation and provides both individual DIRFloortime® mentoring for professionals and organizational DIRFloortime® mentoring and coaching services.  

4 Floortime Families

About ICDL 2021.mp4

D.I.R. Floortime (also known as Floortime) is an intervention that is used to promote an individual's development through a respectful, playful, joyful, and engaging process. It uses the power of relationships and human connections to promote engagement, communication, positive behaviors, and thinking. It is based on the DIR® model that was developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and his colleagues.  It is used around the world by teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, mental health professionals, parents, and many others that care for individuals with developmental challenges or other related needs.  It is an evidence-based approach to promoting human development that is used with children, young adults, and even adults...especially those on the autism spectrum.

Go to our page for Parents and check out the resources. Among many of the services available to parents, we offer free online support sessions for parents led by the founder of Affect Autism.  Don't miss out on seeing the Affect Autism website.  Affect Autism is our parent peer support and education partnering website to provide many great resources from parents by parents.  

Parents' Perspectives on DIR and ICDL...

Discovering DIR Floortime was a confirmation of my natural instinct. To experience and nurture my angel naturally allowed him to shine. -Parent, proud mother of two angels 

I, for the first time, feel empowered as a parent to continue to support my son's developmental growth! - Parent, Participant in an introduction to DIR Floortime® course

We just feel so supported by everyone there [at the therapy center]. We’re exactly where we need to be. It’s been better and more than we imagined and hoped.  -Parents and recent clients at The DIR® Institute completing a Floortime intensive program with their children

Did you like Amythest's "What is Autism" video?  Go to our Advocacy page to see her What is ABA? is so important to hear the perspectives of those on the spectrum.  Also, you can visit our About Autism page for more information too. 

ICDL offers the original and official DIR® and DIRFloortime® certificate courses. Don't get misled by others. DIR, DIRFloortime, and Floortime are trademarks of ICDL, Inc. in the United States and/or internationally. ICDL has an approved network of trainers and training centers around the world. Make sure your course is approved by ICDL and meets our quality, fidelity, and curriculum standards. Questions? Just e-mail us at or call us at 301-304-8834.

Pronunciation Note

"DIR" is an initialism form of an acronym meaning that each letter is stated rather than pronouncing it as a word. So, "DIR" is pronounced "D" "I" "R". "ICDL" is the same way and each letter is stated rather than pronouncing it as a single word.

With DIRFloortime® professionals in over 50 countries around the world, you can search the DIRectory for professionals from just about anywhere.  Search for DIR® professionals, review their listing, and contact them all from one place.  

 Stanley Greenspan, MD (1941-2010)

ICDL Founding President

Stanley Greenspan was the founding president of the International Council on Development and Learning and founding president of Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. He was Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School. As a foremost authority on clinical work with infants and young children, Dr. Greenspan was a recipient of many national and international awards including the American Psychiatric Association's highest award for child psychiatry research. He was also the author or editor of over forty books which have been translated into over a dozen languages.

Listen to Dr. Greenspan

We are lucky to have hundreds of web radio podcasts that Dr. Greenspan led.  In these podcasts, you get to hear straight from Dr. Greenspan.  It is a unique and wonderful opportunity.  

ICDL's New Board President

Emile Gouws, PhD

Emile Gouws, Phd is a researcher and autistic self-advocate. He has served as a director on ICDL's Board of Directors since 2021.  He is a Postdoc fellow in the Department of Inclusive Education at the University of South Africa (UNISA).  He is the vice-chairperson of the National Executive committee of Autism South Africa, a representative of underrepresented groups on the Commonwealth Disabled Peoples Forum, the first and only elected as a member from Africa on the Autistic Research Committee of INSAR (International Society for Autistic Research), and has spoken and represented the perspectives of autistic individuals at dozens of conferences and events including multiple ICDL conferences and the UN State of the Parties Conference.

Emile was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the age of three and a half years. He grew up as a non-speaking autistic for much of his childhood. When he was about 15 years old, he began to use spoken language. From early on, his parents...

The History of ICDL

ICDL was originally incorporated in 1990 as the Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Developmental Disorders in Children. In 1997 the name was changed to the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders and in 2004 a slight, but meaningful, alteration to the name was registered as Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning.  Most recently in 2022, to reflect the broad international impact the organization is having, ICDL is now doing business as the International Council on Development and Learning.  

The organization was originally formed with the following mission: "To engage in, conduct, support and disseminate programs, research, seminars, and publications on the prevention and treatment of emotional and developmental disorders in infancy and childhood." The focus of the organization has grown over the years with the specific focus on training professionals and parents on DIR® emerging as central to much of the work of ICDL. As such, ICDL's current mission statement is "To make a positive impact on people's lives by promoting and championing a relationship-based developmental approach."

Following the name change in 1997, Dr. Serena Wieder partnered with Dr. Greenspan to lead the development of conferences, trainings, and materials to more formally train professionals and parents in DIR and Floortime. Dr. Serena Wieder co-authored many publications with Dr. Greenspan including Engaging Autism and The Child with Special Needs. She played a key role in the development of Floortime and is a valued leader in the field of infant and early childhood development with unique expertise in addressing developmental challenges in children.

In addition to Drs. Greenspan and Wieder, many of the predominate leaders in the field have been a part of ICDL over the years.  This includes....