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About Floortime

What is DIR Floortime?

The Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-based model is a multi-faceted approach for children with autism.

What is DIR Floortime?
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In the 1980s, Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Weider looked at the autistic population and noticed their strengths, in addition to the need for a new approach to building social relationships and engagement. DIR looks at a child’s development according to Dr. Greenspan’s Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities, which reflect predictable development across the lifespan.

Dr. Stanley Greenspan is also the founder of the International Council on Development and Learning, also known as ICDL, formed in 1990. ICDL continues to train professionals, coach parents as well as provide a variety of programs to promote understanding and education for parents and professionals.

Kinder Growth is a company that has been developed with the support of ICDL. We are a DIR Accredited company and continue to follow all the guidelines and updates created by ICDL. We aim to bring the benefits of floortime to the home environment, the child’s most secure environment.

Kinder Growth is a company that has been developed with the support of ICDL.

The Floortime model is what it sounds like!

The therapist gets down on the floor to play and interact with the child over the child’s interests of activities. During these sessions, the therapist helps support the child’s regulation while climbing up the developmental ladder, to create more joyful and positive experiences for the child.

When we delve into DIRFloortime we see that it’s not so hard! DIRFloortime can be done anywhere at any time, and all day every day.

Check out this great introductory video to Floortime from Dr Stanley Greenspan

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How It Works

Floortime takes place in a calm, familiar environment. The child’s home is often the most ideal for Floortime therapy. During a session, the therapist joins in the child’s activities and follows the child’s interest and ideas. The parent or provider then engages the child in increasingly complex interactions. Sessions emphasize back-and-forth play. This helps build the foundation for shared attention, as well as engagement and problem solving.

How It Works

Evidence Based Backed By Research

Floortime has gained in popularity, largely due to its success. There have now been many independent studies performed that have had very positive results supporting the effectiveness of floortime therapy. Additional research can be seen here.

The Floortime Approach
and Methodology

DIR stands for Developmental, Individual Differences and Relationship-Based.

Developmental

Understanding where your child is developmentally will help you identify what areas need to be targeted. The Floortime approach has 9 Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities. The goal is to identify what Capacity your child is functioning at and which capacities require support. We aim to “fill in the gaps”. Using this information, we strengthen the current capacity to lead them to the next capacity. This is done through relationships and play.

Developmental
  • Regulation and interest in the world
  • Engaging and relating
  • Purposeful 2-way communication
  • Complex communication and shared problem solving
  • Using symbols and creating emotional ideas
  • Logical thinking and building bridges between ideas
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Gray area thinking
  • Reflective thinking and internal standard of self

This refers to identiying a child’s unique way of processing the world. We think about their sensory differences, their individual strengths and abilities.

Individual Differences

  • Sensory Profile:
    auditory, visual, tactile, taste, smell, physical
  • Social Emotional:
    interaction, cooperation, self confidence, sense of community
  • Congnitive:
    problem solving, abstract thinking, learning
  • Communication:
    expressive, receptive, pragmatic language
Individual Differences

Relationship-Based

Understanding where your child is developmentally will help you identify what areas need to be targeted. The Floortime approach has 9 Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities. The goal is to identify what Capacity your child is functioning at and which capacities require support. We aim to “fill in the gaps”. Using this information, we strengthen the current capacity to lead them to the next capacity. This is done through relationships and play.

Our Administration

Stephanie Peters OTR/L DIRFloortime Expert Training Leader

Clinical Director

Stephanie Peters MS, OTR/L is Kinder Growth Therapy’s Clinical Director and an occupational therapist who hopes to cultivate a joyful experience that helps empower families to realize their greatest potential. After graduating from Sacred Heart University in 2012 with her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, she has achieved her certification as a DIR/Floortime Expert Training Leader with ICDL and is certified in the evaluation and treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder by the Sensory Treatment and Research Institute. She has co-authored the article, “Combining DIR/Floortime and Sensory Integration for Children with ASD” which has been published by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Stephanie has experience in a variety of pediatric settings and populations including parent coaching, Early Intervention, brain injury and cognitive rehabilitation, school based therapy, aquatic therapy and outpatient practices.

Sari Levin MsED DIRFloortime Advanced Certification

Clinical Supervisor

Sari is the Clinical Supervisor at Kinder Growth. As the Clinical Supervisor, Sari oversees family and therapist relationships as well as provides parent training and support to our families. Sari’s wide range of experiences with the Autistic population has fostered her love for the work that she does.

As a child, Sari always had a passion for engaging and building relationships with the neurodivergent population. Throughout her school years, she supervised different programs to support children with special needs and their families. Sari continued on to receive a Masters in Special Education in Early and Middle Childhood through Daemen College in New York. After multiple years of teaching in the “School for Children with Hidden Intelligence “, Sari found her love for DIRFloortime. Sari has been trained through the International Council on Development and Learning (ICDL) and is an Advanced DIRFloortime coach. She continues to follow her passion for DIRFloortime through working with children and supporting their families.

Amy Sellers

Billing Director

Amy graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in service management. She has worked in hospitality and customer service since. Amy found her passion by helping families that had children diagnosed with Autism find the help they needed. Amy uses her role to make sure that every family has access to someone that will listen and help them answer as many questions as possible. In her free time she loves being outside, swimming, and spending as much time with family as possible.

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