The DIR® Institute

ICDL's Flagship International DIR Floortime Institute

DIR® Home Program Summer Special - Save 15% with SUMMERSAVE15 promo code

The DIR® Institute is a revolutionary institute focused on supporting both parents and professionals. For parents, the DIR Institute is designed to guide and educate parents about how to implement a DIR program and how to utilized Floortime techniques and strategies. For professionals, the DIR Institute works to ensure trained DIR professionals are providing the best possible services through mentoring and accreditation.

ICDL is committed to continually expanding the world's knowledge and understanding of DIR. DIR is a well-established and evidence-based approach that has been utilized for over 30 years. While DIR is well established and has fundamental principles that have not changed, the approach continues to develop as our understanding through clinical practice, science, and listening to perspectives from the autistic self-advocacy community expands. The DIR® Institute provides the opportunity to learn how to effectively implement Floortime from top experts that know the deep roots of the model and also are well-versed on the latest science and research.

Free Virtual Floortime Consultations for Parents

ICDL offers individualized virtual (live online) Floortime consultations for parents. This is for parents that are new to Floortime or parents that know about Floortime but are interested in learning about developing a DIR® Home Program. This is a unique opportunity to individually meet with a Floortime expert to gain insights and explore implementing Floortime strategies with your child. We will happily review videos of you interacting with your child to discuss his or her functional emotional development and to explore the Floortime parent coaching process so you can see how parent coaching and a Floortime program can help. Click here to see available times and to schedule an appointment (This is limited to one consultation per family and space is limited and available on a first come first serve basis).

Services for Professionals and Organizations

DIR® ACCREDITATION

DIR® ACCREDITATION is a process by which programs, practices, organizations, or schools can show that they are implementing DIR® practices and policies in a way that ensures to their community that they are providing actual DIR® services and high fidelity Floortime (Floortime that is consistent with the evidence-based therapeutic model). To learn more, please visit our DIR® ACCREDITATION page.

DIR® Professional Mentoring

The DIR Institute offers both organizational and individual mentoring. If you are interested in DIR® ACCREDITATION or organizational DIR mentoring, please email us at institute@icdl.com to get started. If you are seeking individual professional mentoring, you can learn more and sign up by clicking here. Individual mentoring is for DIR professionals that have taken at least DIR 101 and DIR 201. If you have not taken any DIR professional certificate courses yet, the DIRFloortime® Training Program is the place to start.

Services for Parents

DIR® Home Program

Autism and Child Development Home Programs with Parent Education and Coaching. This service coaches parents on how to create and implement an effective DIR Floortime® Home Program. This is available to families anywhere in the world! You can sign up for a free consultation to learn more or you can sign up online for the DIR Home Program today using the below link.

ICDL welcomes families from throughout the United States and internationally. We look forward to serving you.

What Parents come to us?

We serve the parents and caregivers of children, teens, and young adults. Most of the children are diagnosed with autism or have other developmental challenges, but the services are for all children whether considered neurotypical or neurodiverse. The Developmental, Individual-differences, and Relationship-based model (DIR®) is our guiding philosophy. We believe every child has incredible potential and through an engaging and respectful process, we can help you help your child achieve success others may have told you is not possible.

Floortime Coaching for Parents

The best way to learn how to implement Floortime with your child is through coaching. We can provide parent coaching in our center and/or to anyone anywhere in the world through our live online platform. The cost is reasonable and the process is very effective. Do you want to try it out? Sign up for a free 1-hour consultation and then send us a link to a video of you playing with your child(ren). We'll then provide some initial coaching right away in that first hour!

Everyday Floortime

Floortime All the Time and Everywhere

Did you know Floortime can be done anywhere? We will help you learn skills that can be used in the house, backyard, supermarket, and at the playground. Also, you do not need a professional in your home for hours on end. This is something you can do at home with your child while engaging in every day events and tasks.

  • Floortime can include everyone - other children, siblings, peers, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, etc.

  • Floortime can be done at any time of the day - after supper, in the bathtub, or cuddling in bed!

  • Floortime can be done in the car, when doing laundry, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and washing the dishes – ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE.

Our team of experts will help you challenge and expand your child’s development through a respectful, playful, and joyful process that will keep your child engaged. The key requirement is that you and your child enjoy these moments!

DIR is Evidence-Based

Click here to read a short summary of the recent research and guidance supporting DIR.

Our Philosophy

We believe every individual has the potential to grow and develop. We also understand the important role parents, caregivers, and families have in raising, supporting, and teaching a child with developmental difficulties. Through a DIRFloortime® approach, we help families gain insights into their child’s development and functioning. Through these insights, families then are empowered to take real action to help their child reach his or her fullest potential.

What Makes Floortime Work?

The D.I.R. Floortime approach is based on the fact that emotion and social-emotional experiences (relationships and interactions with others) are critical to the growth of the mind and brain. For many people with developmental challenges such as Autism, social-emotional experiences can be challenging. In Floortime, we get this emotional process going by first “following the child’s lead.” (Please note, this applies to adolescents, young adults, and even adults as well.) Following your child's lead means following his or her interests and strengths that are driven by their emotions.

  • What interests your child?

  • What makes your child feel happy, sad, frustrated, withdrawn, etc.?

  • What makes your child meltdown or tantrum?

  • What struggles does your child experience at home, in school, or out in the community?

Whatever it is, your child's interest is your clue. It is your window into what he or she is feeling and thinking. We can help you learn how to follow your child's lead to help them overcome what may be most difficult or may be holding them back.

American Academy of Pediatrics

In a January, 2020 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics entitled "Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder", they stated, "Intervention for young children also may be derived from developmental theory, which is focused on the relationship between the caregiver’s level of responsiveness and the child’s development of social communication.296,318320 Through interaction with others, children learn to communicate and regulate emotions and establish a foundation for increasingly complex thinking and social interaction. Therefore, developmental models designed to promote social development in children with ASD are focused on the relationship between the child with ASD and his or her caregiver through coaching to help increase responsiveness to the adult (ie, the interventionist or parent or caregiver) through imitating, expanding on, or joining into child-initiated play activities. This approach may address core symptoms of ASD, such as joint attention, imitation, and affective social engagement.296,297,321,322

Developmental models for intervention are focused on teaching adults to engage in nondirective interactive strategies to foster interaction and development of communication in the context of play. One such approach is known as DIRFloortime (The Developmental, Individual Differences, and Relationship-Based model). " Click here to view the full report.

We have found that often times Pediatricians are not as familiar with DIRFloortime since it is a newer approach than ABA. The inclusion of Floortime in this report can be very helpful information as you discuss your options with your pediatrician.