Parents & Caregivers

Supporting Families

We at ICDL know that when a parent is searching the web and reading our website, there are probably more questions and emotions that are present than any web page could ever address. We know that most parents are reading our website because they are looking for answers to help their child. There may be an autism diagnosis that has been given or a parent may have been told that their child has a "special need." It can be a very difficult, complicated, confusing, and draining process as a parent to seek out answers and resources. We have found though, that no matter the exact situation or diagnosis, there is one common theme that parents come to us with - they just want their child to be happy and they want to know how best to help their child continually strive towards their fullest potential. DIRFloortime has been used for well over two decades now and the results from clinical practice and research have been impressive. Bottom line: It works! At one time in the past, all we had were behavioral approaches such as ABA. These approaches clearly do not provide all the answers and have significant limitations. Many autistic self-advocates and autism experts have also spoken out strongly about a wide range of negative effects of ABA. As we have learned more and more about child development, we have learned how effective developmental and relationship-based methods like DIRFloortime can be. It is a huge step beyond just controlling behaviors. It is about promoting growth and development in a deep and meaningful way.

Free Virtual Floortime Consultations for Parents

ICDL is currently offering free 45-minute virtual (live online) Floortime consultations for parents (space is limited). 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 or the ICDL Intensive Floortime Therapy Program. This is a unique opportunity to 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 (space is limited and available on a first come first serve basis).

Free Parent Support Meetings

These are drop-in support meetings to help support families that are using Floortime with their children. Parenting a child with special needs can be challenging, but it can still be filled with lots of joy and love. Daria Brown from Affect Autism will lead these sessions. Daria is a parent and holds an Advanced Certificate in DIRFloortime. Come to one or come to is up to you. Start at any point. We are here for you when you need the support, guidance, or just to share stories and experiences. These meetings are open to parents from anywhere around the world! Click here to see meeting dates and times and to register today.

Play Partner Course

ICDL offers a 4-hour course for parents and caregivers on becoming a dynamic play partner with your child. Click here to view the next course offerings.

Free Live Online Mini-Seminars for Parents

ICDL is offering bi-weekly parent webinars on various topics related to Floortime. These are free live webinars to explore important topics related to child development, DIR, and the use of Floortime. Top experts from ICDL will lead these webinars including staff from the ICDL therapy center. We hope you will join us. Click here to register.

For on the Floor Video Series (Free)

Dr. Gil Tippy, a DIRFloortime Expert, is creating a series of short 4-minute videos on fun Floortime activities. Click here to watch these helpful short videos.

Virtual Floortime Coaching

ICDL offers virtual Floortime consultation and coaching through our therapy center. ICDL has mastered the use of online learning and education. Through a coaching model, we are able to help parents gain insights into their child(ren) and find ways to effectively promote their child's development and create more joy, engagement, regulation, and connection in the home. To learn more and schedule an appointment please email or click here to sign up for a free consultation to get started.

DIR 101 Courses Reduced to $49 for Parents

The regular price for DIR 101 courses for parents start at $109. ICDL knows that many families are facing financial challenges right now, so we have reduced the price to as low as $49 USD for select DIR 101 courses Click here to view the courses and to see which ones have the reduced prices available.

An incredible resource for parents developed by ICDL's Parent Advocate

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.

Helpful Links

There are many incredible resources on the internet and in many communities that can help parents. We encourage you to take a look at the resources and information shown below and see what makes sense to you as a parent.

What is DIR®?


What is Floortime?

My Child is More than Just a Behavior: A short commentary by Jeffrey Guenzel, ICDL's CEO

Educational Intervention

DIR® Home Programs

Interacting with Autism: A very informative site with many videos that are educational, moving, and inspiring.

Autistic-Like, Graham's Story: A story of two parents helping their child with Autism-like challenges.

Being in the Moment by Mike Fields

Self-regulation is different than self-control. Read this helpful guide on Self Regulation by Stuart Shanker

Autism the Musical

Could It Be Autism?: A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps. By Nancy D. Wiseman (2006) Broadway Books

Basic Intervention and Treatment Information

Interdisciplinary Evaluation

Do you need to find a Floortime professional?

Find professionals, parents, schools, an other centers and organizations that work

within a DIR framework and/or use DIRFloortime as an intervention and support.