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Engagement and Communication, DIR Floortime for children with autism

I have been trying to introduce DIR Floortime for a long time to parents. We put a lot of effort into making parents understand its effectiveness. In the beginning, most parents were skeptical about whether playing with their children would be a therapeutic method. We are continuing education to understand DIR Floortime in our clinic. Dr. Greenspan was also confident that autism spectrum disorder could no longer be a feared disease with early intervention and proper application. I want to say the same thing. Autism is a disease that can be improved and cured from my study. I have seen countless children living happily with peers, taking off the harness of disability. I hope that more children will escape the bondage of disability in the future.

What is DIR Floortime?

DIR Floortime is an intervention application that helps foster development through respect for the child, enjoyment, and participation in play. It uses the power of interpersonal relationships to promote self-regulation, engagement, communication, shared social problem-solving, and the development of creative, organizational, and reflective thinking and reasoning skills. It is based on the DIR® model that Dr. Stanley Greenspan and his colleagues developed. It is used worldwide by teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, mental health professionals, parents, and many people caring for individuals with developmental disabilities or other related needs. It is an evidence-based approach that promotes human development in children, young adults, and adults, particularly those on the autism spectrum.

Floortime all the time, everywhere

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) require intensive intervention to overcome the disabling aspects of ASD. When left alone, they often don’t initiate interactions unless they need something. If they are too isolated, they miss out on the opportunity to discover the joys of the shared world. Thus, children with ASD can have “floortime always and everywhere” with them. Floortime can be done anywhere at home, in the backyard, at the supermarket, or on the playground.

It can be done with other children (siblings or peers) or with adults. Floortime can be done any time of the day, after dinner, in the bathtub, or cuddling in bed. It can be done anywhere, anytime, even in the car, doing laundry or washing dishes. One of the surprising things is that most of this happens in natural environments where parents and children share their daily routines. As a parent, you only sometimes need a professional at home to implement focused interventions with great floortime coaching for your kids. The most critical aspect of floortime is that both parents and children enjoy the moment.

Following the child’s lead and challenging the child at the same time

The DIRFloortime approach is based on the fact that emotions are essential for the growth of the mind and brain. Following a child’s lead means following their feelings. What is your child interested in? What gives them pleasure? Whatever it is, a child’s attention is a clue and a window into their feelings.

​The first step is to observe so that you can tune in to their emotional world. Once you’ve figured out what your child is interested in, you can use it to bring your child to the next level of development. Following your child’s lead by understanding their interests tells you the best way to challenge your child to climb the developmental ladder.

By Kwon, Hyun Jeong (DIR Floortime Expert Training Leader)

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