DIR is the Developmental, Individual-differences, & Relationship-based model It was developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan to provide a foundational framework for understanding human development. It explains the critical role of social-emotional development starting at birth and continuing throughout the lifespan. It also provides a framework for understanding how each person individually perceives and interacts with the world differently. The model highlights the power of relationships and emotional connections to fuel development.
While the DIR model helps us understand and promote the positive development of all children, DIR and DIR/Floortime are most commonly utilized with children with educational, socialemotional, mental health, and/or developmental challenges. DIR/Floortime has become most widely known as an approach to support children with with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Our Therapists proudly hold certifications and training in the DIR/Floortime Model. Floortime (or DIRFloortime) is a specific technique to both follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards greater and greater mastery of the social, emotional, and intellectual capacities. With young children these playful interactions may occur on the floor, but go on to include conversations and interactions in other places. DIRFloortime emphasizes the critical role of parents and other family members because of the importance of their emotional relationships with the child.
The DIR Model is a comprehensive framework which enables clinicians, parents and educators to construct a program tailored to the child’s unique challenges and strengths. Central to the DIR Model is the role of the child’s natural emotions and interests which has been shown to be essential for learning interactions that enable the different parts of the mind and brain to work together and build successively higher levels of social, emotional, and intellectual capacities. It often includes, in addition to Floortime®, various problem-solving exercises and typically involves a team approach with speech therapy, occupational therapy, educational programs, mental health (developmental-psychological) intervention and, where appropriate, augmentative and biomedical intervention. (modified from http://www.icdl.com/dir)
Please be sure to ask your therapist about purchasing weighted blankets, listening CDs, Interactive Metronome program, thera-Band, and any of the sensori-motor equipment that will facilitate your child’s treatment and well being.