DIR® and DIRFloortime® is an inclusive, holistic, developmental therapy approach in supporting children with developmental and learning challenges.
Key aspects of this approach:
- A holistic approach, focusing on the integration of all developmental areas (i.e. social, emotional, motor, sensory, language and cognitive as well as the interplay of family relationships
- Applies play-based therapy and sensory-motor techniques as a foundation to support children in their development of functional skills
- Focuses on building strong foundational skills at the earlier levels of development, such as engaging with others, social reciprocity and purposeful communication to support later stages of development such as problem solving, connecting ideas and developing a sense of self.
- Parents are considered the most integral part of this approach
- Supporting the child in becoming a regulated, intentional and logical thinker
- Supporting children in their exploration of their emotions and developing a sense of self
- Encourages the child to be driven by internal emotions through natural interactions with caregivers within familiar environments, rather than being driven by a “reward system”.
DIR stands for Developmental, Individual difference, Relationship-based.
Developmental relates to the Functional Emotional Developmental capacities (FEDC’s) that are the foundation for the child’s development and learning.
Individual difference relates to the child’s unique processing abilities. That is, the unique way that each individual takes in and responds to sensations/stimuli (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, movement) and their ability to plan sequences of actions.
Relationship-based relates to the relationship between the child and parent as well as the interplay between other people within the child’s life (grandparents, siblings, teachers, therapists etc).
The Floortime technique is the delivery method, and embraces the strategy of following the child’s lead during spontaneous interactions and play sessions. It is play-based and generally occurs on the floor as this is where children first start exploring their world.
“Learning first occurs as a part of emotional interactions; it involves the spilt -second initiatives that children take as they try to engage other people, interact with them, communicate and reason with them,” Dr. Stanley Greenspan