DIRFloortime Therapy

What makes DIRFloortime work?

The DIRFloortime approach is based on the fact that emotion and social-emotional experiences (relationships and interactions with others) are critical to the growth of the mind and brain. For many people with developmental challenges such as autism, social-emotional experiences can be challenging. In Floortime, we get this emotional process going by first “following the child’s lead.” Please note, this does not just apply to children-- it applies to adolescents, young adults, and even adults as well. Following your child's lead means following his or her interests and strengths that are driven by their emotions.

  • What interests your child?

  • What makes your child feel happy, sad, frustrated, withdrawn, etc.?

  • What makes your child meltdown or tantrum?

  • What struggles does your child experience at home, in school, or out in the community?

Whatever it is, your child's interest is your clue. It is your window into what he or she is feeling and thinking. We can help you learn how to follow your child's lead to help them overcome what may be most difficult or may be holding them back.

DIRFloortime is based on understanding & promoting human development.

"There is no greater feeling than being understood." -Dr. Stanley Greenspan

The goal in DIRFloortime and the DIR approach to development is to understand each unique child's individual profile and then promote the developmental process to help the child reach his or her fullest potential. It is a developmental model focused on understanding the biological challenges that may be hindering the developmental process while implementing respectful and joyful strategies that support the development of the child's Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities. This is done through a process that is based on developing an intrinsic desire or motivation to attend, communicate, and learn.

DIR and DIR professionals see behaviors as primarily a manifestation or result of processes that are going on inside the child's mind and body. We work to address the core deficits while strengthening the core capacities of relating, communicating, and thinking, not simply targeting the external behaviors.

What does a Floortime session look like?

All Floortime sessions are different because we follow the child's lead, which ultimately helps drive our session's focus. Sessions are play-based and child-led, but don't let this fool you! "Child-led" does not mean that we just let the child do what they want... it means we work diligently and methodically to notice what they notice, set safe boundaries, share joy, acknowledge their needs, respect their opinions, and empower them. We work through the functional emotional developmental capacities to expand engagement and promote development.

Sessions can take place in your home, at your child's school or childcare center, in your child's classroom alongside peers, or out in the community. A typical session lasts one hour and is tailored to meet each child's unique & individual needs.

What are the Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities referenced in Floortime?

The FEDCs are used in DIRFloortime to assess a child's emotional development. You can view the FEDCs as a "ladder," meaning children will typically go up and down the ladder throughout the course of an interaction. There are six core functional emotional developmental capacities that are essential for a person to be able to engage, relate, communicate, think, and reason. These six core FEDCs are:

  • Capacity 1: Self-Regulation & Interest in the World

  • Capacity 2: Engaging & Relating

  • Capacity 3: Purposeful Two-Way Communication

  • Capacity 4: Complex Communication & Shared Problem Solving

  • Capacity 5: Using Symbols & Creating Emotional Ideas

  • Capacity 6: Logical Thinking & Building Bridges Between Ideas

Interested in DIRFloortime for your child?

Schedule a Floortime Evaluation today!

Click on the "Contact Us" link above and go to "Floortime Evaluation" to fill out the Floortime Evaluation form.

The evaluation consists of 3 parts:

  • The first part is a casual, informal meeting with you and your kiddo. This can take place virtually or in person at a location of your choice. I'll find out more information about you and what you're looking for while I get to know your child. This will take about an hour.

  • The second part is the main component of the evaluation. I'll use the Functional Emotional Assessment Scale while observing your child in their natural environment. This can be in your home, in their classroom at school, or in the community. I'll follow their lead while introducing several engaging games & activities to assess functional emotional capacities. This part lasts about an hour and a half to two hours.

  • The third & final component of the evaluation is where we discuss your child's strengths and their unique individual profile. If you decide that you are interested in pursuing DIRFloortime therapy, then we will discuss a therapy plan and individual goals for your child based on the FEAS and their emotional capacities that targets their strengths. Please note, you are NOT obligated to pursue DIRFloortime therapy following the evaluation! I am happy to refer you to other individuals if you feel like you'd like to go a different route.