What is Floortime?

Floortime (also known as DIRFloortime®) is an intervention 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 that was developed by Stanley Greenspan, MD and his colleagues. It is used worldwide by teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, mental health professionals, parents, and many others that 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 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 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 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 livingston@icdl.com. We provide onsite and virtual coaching for parents from all over the world.

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 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.

More Resources from Dr. Stanley Greenspan

Floortime: What it really is and what it isn't

The DIRFloortime Model Explained by Dr. Greenspan

Initiative: A Floortime Essential

Click here to view our DIRFloortime® course catalog and register for a course today.