DIRFloortime® (Floortime) was started by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, and is an evidence based approach that has become increasingly popular and used by a range of therapists including Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and Psychologists, to help children with a range of developmental disorders, including diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and other communication disorders.
Floortime is a relationship-based therapy for children, where the parent or therapist gets down on the floor to the child's eye level to play and interact together. That way, the child feels more comfortable and the adult follows the child's lead. Often times, Floortime is an alternative to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and is sometimes also used in combination with ABA therapies.
The goal of Floortime is for adults to help children expand their “circles of communication.” The parent meets the child at their developmental level and builds on their strengths. This model helps to promote development by encouraging children to interact with parents and others through play. It is believed that this interaction will help children reach milestones in their emotional development.
Therapists and parents engage children through the activities each child enjoys. They enter the child's games and follow their lead.
Floortime therapy aims to promote development in several areas including:
Therapists also teach parents how to direct their children into more complex interactions as the child progresses. This process, called “opening and closing circles of communication,” is central to the Floortime approach.
It is important to note that Floortime does not work on a child’s motor, speech or cognitive skills in isolation. It instead addresses these areas through its focus on emotional development.
Largely speaking, the Floortime method inspires children with Autism to push themselves to their full potential. It hence develops “who they are,” rather than “what their diagnosis says.”
Many of our Dynamics' therapists are trained in the Floortime approach across professions: Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Educational Therapists. We believe that Floortime is a powerful approach to help children on the Autism Spectrum, and children who can benefit from positive interaction with adults and peers.
If you are interested in Floortime, it is a good idea to speak about this therapy with your Paediatrician or alternatively book an appointment with one of Dynamics' trained therapists to find out more about this approach.