What is DIR Floortime?
Floortime is a developmental comprehensive program to promote development aiming to help infants and children with developmental challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The objectives of DIR Floortime is to build a healthy foundation for social, emotional and intellectual capacities rather than focusing on skills and isolated behaviours.
How does DIR Floortime work?
Floortime is a specific technique in which a Floortime therapist or caregiver gets down on the floor to interact with the child to master each of their developmental capacities.
Children diagnosed with ASD require intensive intervention. ASD children, if left alone, will not initiate interaction unless they need something. When left alone, they are not discovering the joy of a shared world. For this reason, children with ASD require “floor time all the time, everywhere”. Floortime can be done in any setting, eg. Home, playground, backyard etc. It can be done during playdates, with siblings or adults at any time.
The main focus is that you and your child enjoy these shared moments together.
Floortime is also about following the child’s lead AND challenging the child at the same time. DIR/Floortime model is based on the idea that EMOTION is critical to the growth of the mind and brain. Thus following the child’s emotion, the child’s interest, what gives him joy and pleasure. The first step is to observe the child closely so that you can tune into his emotional world and build a relationship with the child.
Dr Stanley Greenspan’s 6 developmental stages/ milestones addressed in DIR Floortime:
- Self-regulation and shared attention ( interest in the world)
- Engagement and Relating
- Two-way intentional communication
- Purposeful problem-solving communication
- Creating and elaborating Ideas
- Building bridges between ideas (logical thinking)