DIR/Floortime Model ®
DIR/Floortime® is an integrated approach to services is based on the Developmental Individual Difference Relationship-based model (DIR) also referred to as Floortime, developed by Stanley Greenspan, MD and Serena Weider, Ph.D. Central to this model is the role of the child’s natural emotions and interests and to use these interests during intervention to progress the child’s social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.
The “D” is the developmental portion of the model and it is critical to understand where the child is from a developmental perspective in order to plan for treatment. The “I” (individual differences) potion of the model describes the child’s own unique biologically based abilities. These include how a child takes in, regulates and then responds to the information around them. Abilities such as sensory processing and integration or planning and organizing motor movements all affect the ways in which the child develops and learns. DIR is a model is a strength based model and uses the child’s strengths to support their challenges and build on the developmental capacities.
Parents/caregivers are an integral part of the intervention and parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to participate in sessions in order to learn about the child’s “I” (individual differences) and how the “I” is affecting the parent/child relationship, or the “R”. Once parents/caregivers have a good understanding of their child’s individual differences, through their relationship, the parent can support the child’s development.
Goals of the DIR/Floortime ® Model include supporting the child to:
• Process experiences and information (e.g. sensory processing, motor planning, sensory modulation, language)
• Master the stages of relating, thinking and communication
• Engage in learning relationships
• Build bridges between ideas and think critically