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Floortime (DIR)

Floortime is a specific therapeutic technique based on the Developmental Individual Difference Relationship Model (DIR) developed in the 1980s by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. The premise of Floortime is that an adult can help a child expand his circles of communication by meeting him at his developmental level and building on his strengths. Therapy is often incorporated into play activities on the floor.

    The goal of Floortime is to help the child reach six developmental milestones that contribute to emotional and intellectual growth:
  • - Self-regulation and interest in the world
  • - Intimacy or a special love for the world of human relations
  • - Two-way communication
  • - Complex communication
  • - Emotional ideas
  • - Emotional thinking

In Floortime, the therapist or parent engages the child at a level the child currently enjoys, enters the child's activities, and follows the child's lead. From a mutually shared engagement, the parent is instructed how to move the child toward more increasingly complex interactions, a process known as ?opening and closing circles of communication.? Floortime does not separate and focus on speech, motor, or cognitive skills but rather addresses these areas through a synthesized emphasis on emotional development. The intervention is called Floortime because the parent gets down on the floor with the child to engage him at his level. Floortime is considered an alternative to and is sometimes delivered in combination with behavioral therapies.

Who provides Floortime?

Parents and caregivers are trained to implement the approach. Floortime-trained psychologists, special education teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists may also use Floortime techniques.

What is a typical Floortime therapy session like?

In Floortime, the parent or provider joins in the child's activities and follows the child's lead. The parent or provider then engages the child in increasingly complex interactions. During the preschool program, Floortime includes integration with typically developing peers.

What is the intensity of most Floortime programs?

Floortime is usually delivered in a low stimulus environment, ranging from two to five hours a day. Families are encouraged to use the principals of Floortime in their day-to-day lifestyle.





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