What is DIR®/Floortime™?
Based on new insights into the development of the mind, DIR®/Floortime™ is a pioneering approach to identifying, preventing and treating mental health, developmental and learning disorders in young children, including those on the autism spectrum. It focuses on social-emotional functioning as the basis for all other aspects of development, and on relationships as the vehicles for promoting children’s capacities to relate, communicate and think.
Central to the DIR®/Floortime™ model is the role of the child’s natural emotions and interests, which are crucial to learning interactions that enable the different parts of the mind and brain to work together to build successively higher levels of social, emotional and intellectual capacities. “Floortime” is a specific technique, involving “getting down on the floor” with a child, following his or her lead and challenging him or her to master each development level and move to higher ones. Floortime also utilizes various problem-solving exercises and typically involves a team approach, including speech and occupational therapy, educational programs and, when appropriate, biomedical intervention.
DIR®/Floortime™ emphasizes the critical role of parents, training and involving them in creating on-going therapeutic learning interactions with their child.
NOTE: The “D” in stands for “Developmental”, the “I” stands for “Individual Differences” and the “R” stands for “Relationship-based”.