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What is dir therapy?

5 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

Description The floortime or Developmental, Individual-differences, Relationship-based model is a developmental model for assessing and understanding any child's strengths and weaknesses. Wikipedia

Answer # 2 #

In this post we will explore the various types of floor play, including DIR Floortime, for children of all ages, as well as explain why playing on the floor with your child is important. Play age and stage of development guides DIR floortime as well as floor play in a general sense.

First, let’s cover what we mean by floor play. In this blog post, what we mean by floor play is just that: play on the floor!

Children will play just about anywhere – most are skilled at making any landscape their personal playground. The most commonly accessible playground, however, is the floor! So much play and movement can happen on the floor, which makes it a perfect location for developmental milestones to occur in little ones. Older children continue to be drawn to the floor as they sit down to play with trucks, dolls, and build forts.

When babies and infants are on the floor, they can develop and learn during tummy time, but also while on a play mat in a variety of positions.

Older babies strengthen their bodies and learn how their movements are in their own control while playing on the floor. They learn about the world around them this way. They gain motor skills and begin to engage with toys through play on the floor.

Toddlers develop social emotional skills, refined motor skills, strength, coordination, and eye-hand coordination skills through floor play.

Older children build more strength, endurance, postural control, social emotional skills, confidence, self-regulation, and executive functioning skills through floor play.

There are so many benefits to getting down on the ground with your child an engaging in floor play, no matter the age!

Related, this article on parallel play describes additional information on play at different ages and stages.

Why should I put my baby on the floor? Isn’t it dirty? How do I keep them safe down there?

Check out this post on Floor Play for Babies for a specific floor play idea for young children.

Isn’t it dirty? Some floors are dirty. Some houses have dirt floors. Never take for granted that your patient has a great/clean environment to play on the floor. Provide a washable tablecloth, sheet, blanket, or large mattresses on the floor to encourage movement.

In fact, playing on the floor with our children is so important that a model was born from it, called DIR Floortime.

DIR Floortime stands for Developmental, Individual-Differences, and Relationships. It is a model used primarily to guide caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As you can imagine, this model guides parents to use the most important place for child-led play,…the floor!

The DIR Floortime model emphasizes the importance of following a child’s lead, joining them on the floor, at their height, playing with them based on their choices.

Many programs for Autistic children are designed to help them change, in order to act more like children without Autism. However, this can be an area of concern. Floortime therapy encourages acceptance and appreciation of who the child is, and highlights that caregivers can best support the child by following their lead.

Through this type of interaction, caregivers can build strong relationships, and improve the social-emotional skills of the child.

DIR Floortime training is a certification process that teaches and promotes an approach to intervention. The training is appropriate and targeted for therapy professionals working in preschool through school-aged students. Through the DIR/Floortime principles, therapy professionals learn and intervene through practice, self-reflection, and mentorship, while meeting the needs of their clients in different environments and settings.

Although DIR Floortime interventions are primarily used as a model to better understand and build relationships between an ASD child and their caregiver, I find it a great model for any child-adult relationship.

Learn more about DIR Floortime principles on their website.

Playing on the floor with your child not only leads to gains in motor development, but as DIR Floortime and various researchers report, playing on the floor is also integral to the development of social and emotional skills! It’s a win-win-win.

As your baby ages into a toddler and into a child, they will continue to benefit from playing on the floor with you.

Infants and Babies

Floorplay activities for babies is a good resource to check out when it comes to development and the infant/baby. It’s during the early years that the young baby support development of motor, sensory, and cognitive skills. It’s important to engage with your baby during floor play time, both when laying in tummy time or on their backs or sides.

Babies should be interacted with during floor time play, and not just placed on the floor with some toys or a play mat.

Some activities for this age include playing on the floor and engaging with baby by:

During the vast stages of baby development, floor play is about engaging with your little one. Tummy time can still be a challenge for this age, but keep going! This is a great age to engage with eye contact, physical contact while supporting emotional development and continued motor and cognitive skills.

Spend a lot of time talking to baby during floor play. Use different tones of voice, and make sounds with your mouth and tongue when talking and playing to baby. This is a great way to develop auditory processing skills, too.

Floor play during the first year can include (among many other play ideas) a means for motor skill development too:

For older children: toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids, floortime is a fantastic way to support development through engaging with the little one in a respectful and playful way. Floorplay is fun! It’s a joyful way to support a young child’s development.

When it comes to specific activities and play ideas, the most important thing to remember is to make the play time meaningful. This looks like themes or activities that align with the individual’s interests.

Consider the following when coming up with floor time activities:

While floortime can cover any topic or theme, the most important piece is getting down on the floor with the child and playing! Let the play be guided by the child and

The best part of floor play, is how easy and inexpensive it is to support your child by playing on the floor with them. You don’t need the “best” toys or even any traditional toys at all. Your body, voice, household objects (blankets, paper, remote control, books), creativity, and a positive attitude will go for miles.

For even more ideas of how to play with your infant or child on the floor, check out this great post for toddler play ideas.

Rajkumari Sareen
Answer # 3 #

DIR/Floortime (also known as floortime or DIRFloortime®) is a play and relationship-building therapy for autistic and neurodivergent children. Floortime is also helpful for people with a traumatic background. As the name suggests, the parent or therapist plays with the child on the floor.

DIR/Floortime therapy is designed to help parents build stronger relationships with their child in a playful and engaging environment. DIR/Floortime is based on the idea that a child’s development is affected by their environment, relationships, and interactions. This therapy is used to help children develop their social, emotional, cognitive, and communicative skills.

One unique aspect of DIR/Floortime is that anyone can get certified and trained. Parents and caregivers play an important role in DIR/Floortime because they are responsible for providing a supportive and encouraging environment for their child to explore.

Many parents work with developmental health professionals like occupational therapists, speech therapists, and psychologists who have the DIR/Floortime certification. Therapists and teachers who are certified in DIR/Floortime can help create activities and provide guidance on how to best support your child’s development.

It has become more common! While some families try DIR/Floortime on its own, it can be done in combination with other therapies, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Many families enjoy incorporating exercises from DIR/Floortime with other therapies. Many therapists and providers like to include DIR/Floortime’s play and child-led approach into their practices.

DIR/Floortime is exclusively child-led. ABA is usually therapist-led. They are both usually in a play-based format, but ABA may also be in a more formal setting, such as sitting at a desk. DIR/Floortime focuses on building relationships. ABA focuses on changing behavior.

Insurance usually covers ABA more than DIR/Floortime. The nature of ABA is to collect data which then allows them to prove to insurance its effectiveness. DIR/Floortime research has been ongoing for 32 years. Since floortime is a developmental therapy, there is less data collection and more qualitative information. With the lack of data collection insurance needs, it’s harder to “prove” it’s effective like ABA. Because insurance is less likely to cover DIR/Floortime, ABA therapy tends to be more commonly used.

Some research supports DIR/Floortime as a practical approach for improving the unique, individualized challenges autistic children experience. One 2013 study found improvements in turn-taking, communication, and cause-and-effect understanding.5 More research is needed to solidify DIR/Floortime as an evidence-based practice. However, many families report a positive experience.

Your home or a playground are popular options for DIR/Floortime. Here are a few options for you to consider:

One DIR/Floortime session usually lasts 20 minutes at a time. Many families do multiple 20-minute sessions each day doing DIR/Floortime activities. The intention is for learning (and play) to become embedded into a family’s daily routines and activities. In DIR/Floortime, everything becomes a learning opportunity by finding the balance between following a child’s lead and challenging them to acquire new skills.

Families can spend a few months to several years working with a trained DIR/Floortime professional. Parents are encouraged to continue DIR/Floortime exercises after therapy has ended until children are young adults. DIR/Floortime can continue into adulthood, though it often looks different than it does with young children.

Unlike many other types of care for children diagnosed with autism, DIR/Floortime is typically not covered by insurance or Medicaid. This is primarily due to insurance considering DIR/Floortime an experimental treatment. There are exceptions: states like New Jersey and Minnesota have started covering services. Check with your insurance and ask if DIR/Floortime is covered under your plan.

While you are likely to pay out of pocket, many families consider DIR/Floortime an affordable option for therapy. Instead of a medical practitioner providing direct care, parents and caregivers receive coaching and learn how to care for their children. Parents attend training sessions and use techniques with their child in their home, making it more cost-effective. A DIR/Floortime 16-week training program can start around $900.

If you’re considering DIR/Floortime therapy for your child, check with your insurance provider to identify whether it is a covered service. Beaming Health is also building a directory of DIR/Floortime providers and other top-rated local autism experts covered by your insurance.

Once you find a therapist or certified professional you want to work with, here are a few things you need to know:

Maximo Carson
Structure Maintainer
Answer # 4 #
  • 1 Observation. Both listening to and watching a child are essential for effective observation.
  • 2 Approach - open circles of communication.
  • 3 Follow the child's lead.
  • 4 Extend and expand the play.
  • 5 Child closes the circle of communication.
  • Food.
  • Transportation.
  • Empathy and nurturing of others.
Roma upmvc
Answer # 5 #

The goal of treatment is to help the child master the healthy emotional milestones that were missed in his early development and that are critical to learning.  Building these foundations helps children overcome their symptoms more effectively than simply trying to change the symptoms alone.

Floortime, a vital element of the DIR/Floortime model, is a treatment method as well as a philosophy for interacting with children (and adults as well).  Floortime involves meeting a child at his current developmental level, and building upon his particular set of strengths.  Floortime harnesses the power of a child’s motivation; following his lead, wooing him with warm but persistent attempts to engage his attention and tuning in to his interests and desires in interactions. Through Floortime, parents, child care providers, teachers and therapists help children climb the developmental ladder.  By entering into a child’s world, we can help him or her learn to relate in meaningful, spontaneous, flexible and warm ways.

– ICDL Website

DIR/Floortime is an approach to supporting the learning of children with autism.  It’s based on the idea that these children are delayed in social and emotional development, and that they can be helped to proceed in their growth through the stages that all children experience.  Social and emotional development are foundational to all areas of learning, and so as the child progresses in emotional regulation, communication and the ability to connect socially, they are able learn in other ways as well.

D – Developmental – the child is helped to progress on a path of normal development.

I – Individual Differences – each child with autism has unique strengths and challenges.  Attention must be given to these differences in the planning of learning activities.

R– Relationship-Based – All children develop and learn through relationships with parents and other trusted adults.  We use the techniques of DIR/Floortime to make the most of those relationships.

Floortime is just one part of DIR, especially important in the early stages.  It is a misconception that doing DIR/Floortime means that the child is in control of all activities.  Rather, caregivers use the child’s interests as a starting point to build relationships, social skills and understanding.  As the child progresses, he or she is challenged to also follow the lead of others and enter a reciprocal exchange of ideas and collaborative activities.

The developmental stages described by Dr. Greenspan include attention, engagement, two-way communication through gestures and language.  We gradually introduce problems for the child to solve, and we encourage the use of imagination and ideas.

Each level builds and works with the previous levels.  Just like you can’t build a new story on a building without having stable lower floors, we can’t progress to new levels without continued attention to all the stages that come before.

Understanding DIR/Floortime

The “I” in DIR: Knowing Your Kid

Level 1: Self-Regulation and Managing Emotions

Level 2: Engagement and Relatedness

Level 3: Two-Way Communication

Level 4: Social Problem Solving

Level 5: Words, Ideas, and Imagination

Annet Topper
Concept Artist