DIRFloortime® is an evidence-based treatment model developed by Stanley Greenspan, M.D. and Serena Wieder, Ph.D. designed to help children master the basic foundations of relating, communicating, and thinking. Intervention is carried out through emotionally meaningful interactions in which you follow your child’s lead during play and daily activities. The model focuses on key developmental processes such as self-regulation, reciprocity (back and forth interactions), joint attention, and symbolic play that are of prime concern in improving the functioning of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental/learning challenges.
DIR® stands for:
D = Six Functional Developmental Capacities (or milestones) that develop during the first four years of life including shared attention and regulation, engagement and relating, two-way purposeful communication, social problem solving, creating symbols and using words and ideas, and logical thinking. Determining children’s functioning within these capacities and providing the “just right challenge” to help children climb the developmental ladder is a major focus of our work in the DIR®/Floortime™ model.
I = The Individual ways each child takes in, regulates, responds to, and comprehends sensations such as sound and touch and plans and sequences actions and ideas. Difficulties based in the child’s individual biological make-up, particularly those involving sensory processing and regulation, motor planning and sequencing, and auditory and visual-spatial processing have the potential to derail or constrict development of each of the core Functional Developmental Capacities. In the DIR®/Floortime™ model we seek to understand each child’s unique processing profile and to use that information to design an individualized comprehensive intervention program.
R = Learning Relationships with parents, caregivers, teachers, therapists, and others who tailor their interactions to the child’s individual differences and developmental capacities during Floortime™ sessions. Floortime™ is a specific technique to follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards greater and greater mastery of the Functional Developmental Capacities.