Floortime is a relationship-based therapy for children with autism. The intervention is called Floortime because the parent gets down on the floor with the child to play and interact with the child at their level. The goal of the approach is for adults to help children expand their “circles of communication” through meeting the child at their developmental level to build on their strengths.
Why choose Floortime for your child?
Floortime is different from the traditional way of learning where the child needs to follow a structure to learn. In this approach, the Floortime practitioners consider the child’s developmental level as well as their unique characteristics and sensory preferences holistically. Floortime practitioners assist children in building their milestones for learning and relating to their environment by establishing a relationship based on child-led play and intrinsic motivations. Through expanding periods of mutual engagement, Floortime practitioners support the child’s participation in more complex play, socialization, and problem-solving skills.
Who can provide Floortime services?
Different types of professionals seek special training in the Floortime technique including: Speech Therapists and Early Intervention Therapists. Parents and caregivers can also learn Floortime techniques from workshops and as they work together with the child’s Floortime practitioner.
6 Key Functional Developmental Milestones in DIRFloortime:
1. Regulation and interest to the world: helping the child be calm, attentive, and interested to his environment.
2. Engaging and relating: promoting a child-directed way of learning through following the child’s area of interest to strengthen engagement.
3. Purposeful two-way communication: building the child’s intentionality to develop his communication skills.
4. Complex communication and shared problem solving: learning to solve age-appropriate social problems using complex communication (e.g. mix of words, gestures, facial expressions).
5. Using symbols and creating emotional ideas: using short phrases or simple sentences to convey intentions or feelings.
6. Logical thinking and building bridges between ideas: challenging the child to connect ideas together through expanding pretend play skills.
3 Main Principles of Floortime
1. Following the child’s lead to join their world, harness motivation, and help the child feel more in control.
2. Challenging to move up the developmental ladder, by helping them regulate emotions, engage in purposeful two-way communication, and exhibit problem solving skills.
3. Expanding without taking control to encourage creativity, abstract thinking, and understanding dynamic patterns.