What is Floortime?
What is Floortime?
Floortime (also known as DIRFloortime) 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.
Floortime All the Time Everywhere
Children with ASD require intensive intervention to help them overcome the aspects of ASD that can be disabling. Left alone, they will often not initiate interaction unless they need something. When they are left alone too much, they are missing out on the opportunity to discover the joys of a shared world. Therefore, children with ASD can benefit from "Floortime all the time and everywhere". Floortime can be done anywhere in the house, in the backyard, in the supermarket and at the playground. It can be done with other children (siblings or peers) or just with an adult. It can be done at any time of the day, after supper, in the bathtub, or cuddling in bed. It can be done in the car, or when doing laundry, washing the dishes, all the time, everywhere. One of the wonderful aspects is that most of this is done in the every day natural environment with the caregivers and child. With good Floortime coaching for you as the caregiver, you do not necessarily need professionals in your home all the time to implement an intensive intervention. The key requirement is that both you, and your child, enjoy these moments. For more ideas, read chapter 15 of Engaging Autism. If you are interested in beginning Floortime coaching, please contact the ICDL Therapy Center in Livingston, NJ, USA at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide onsite and virtual coaching for parents from all over the world.
Following the Child's Lead and Challenging the Child at the Same Time
The DIRFloortime approach is based on the fact that EMOTION is critical to the growth of the mind and brain. Following the child's lead means following their emotions. What is of interest to your child? What gives them pleasure? Whatever it is, your child's interest is your clue, your window into what they are feeling. The first step is for you to observe closely so that you can tune into their emotional world. Once you have figured out what their interested in, you can use that to draw them further up the developmental ladder (refer to the six functional emotional developmental capacities page for more information). Following your child's lead by understanding their interests tells you the best way to challenge them to move up the developmental ladder.
Floortime: What it really is and what it isn't A Paper by Dr. Greenpsan