DIR / Floortime™ Model

Therapy for Children with Autism/Special Needs

Once a child has mastered all six milestones, he has the necessary basic tools for communicating, thinking, and coping emotionally. The child is capable of warm and loving relationships. He is ready to relate logically to the outside world. He can verbally express a wide range of emotions (including love, happiness, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, jealous, and others) and is able to recover from strong emotions without losing control. His ability to use his imagination to create new ideas expands. He is flexible in his interactions with people and various situations, better equipped to tolerate changes and even some disappointments.

Some of our children, in particular those who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder require an intensive therapy regime. Some of these children participate in a DIR/Floortime™ program as one aspect of their comprehensive program, which may also include Special Education or Early Intervention programs, Speech Therapy, Biomedical treatments, and Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA). However, other parents choose to participate in a more intensive DIR/Floortime™ program. This involves coaching ‘home therapists’ in addition to the child’s parents in the DIR/Floortime™ approach, enabling the child to benefit from a more intensive home program (up to 2-3 hours per day). ‘Home therapists’ are student therapists or extended family members who are able to provide the family with 2-3 hour sessions on a few occasions per week. ‘Home therapists’ attend sessions and receive coaching in how to use the DIR/Floortime™ approach with your child. We are able to provide coaching and assistance in setting up this program in your home. If you would like more information on this, please contact the office.

Dr. Stanley Greenspan writes in “The Child With Special Needs” (1998):

“Relationships are critical to a child's development. By engaging with a child in ways that capitalize on his emotions, you can help him want to learn how to attend to you; you can help him want to learn how to engage in a dialogue; you can inspire him to take initiative, to learn about causality and logic, to act to solve problems even before he speaks and moves into the world of ideas. As together you open and close many circles of communication in a row you can help him connect his emotions and his intent with his behaviour (such as pointing for a toy) and eventually with his words and ideas ("Give me that!"). In helping him link his emotions to his behaviour and his words in a purposeful way, instead of learning by rote, you enable your child to begin to relate to you and the world more meaningfully, spontaneously, flexibly, and warmly. He gains a firmer foundation for advanced cognitive skills.”

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