What is Floortime?
Floortime (also known as DIRFloortime®) is an approach used to promote an individual's development through a respectful, playful, joyful, and engaging process. It uses the power of relationships and human connection to encourage the development of the capacities for self-regulation, engagement, communication, shared social problem solving, and creative, organized, and reflective thinking and reasoning. It is based on the DIR® model for human development. It is used worldwide by teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, mental health professionals, parents, and many others that are caring for individuals with developmental challenges or other related needs. It is an evidence-based approach to promoting human development that is used with individuals of all ages...especially children on the autism spectrum.
Autism and Floortime at Home: Anytime and anywhere
Children with developmental differences such as autism often require fairly intensive support to help them overcome the aspects of autism 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. Also, helping a child with autism is not about getting them to behave "normal". It is about helping them grow and develop. Therefore, children with autism can benefit from "Floortime anytime and anywhere." 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, anytime, anywhere. One of the beautiful aspects is that most of this is done with the caregivers and child in the everyday natural environment. With good Floortime coaching for you as the parent or caregiver, you do not necessarily need professionals in your home all the time to provide intensive therapeutic support.
If you are interested in beginning Floortime coaching, you can click here to learn more about the DIR Home Program or search for a local provider in your community on the DIR DIRectory.
Sign Up for a Consultation
You can sign up for an individualized virtual consultation to learn more about Floortime and how it may be able to help you and your child(ren).
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 they're interested in, you can use that to help them further grow and develop (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 develop and grow.