DIR® Floortime™ was developed by child psychiatrist, Dr Stanley Greenspan and can be utilised by therapists, parents and teachers. The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR®) Model is a framework that holds relationship and following the child’s lead as key foundations to developing a child’s social-emotional well-being.
Thus, DIR® Floortime™ goes hand-in-hand with sensory integration and has been successfully incorporated into occupational therapy sessions. DIR® Floortime™ can help children who struggle with anxiety, poor self-esteem, motor planning difficulties, emotional difficulties, and behavioural and social difficulties to interact more appropriately with their environment and with others.
The therapeutic environment builds on a child’s strengths, whilst challenging them to develop the skills that they struggle with. Interaction is encouraged by creating a warm, nurturing and enticing environment. In order to develop these skills, one uses one’s senses, emotions and motor skills.
By encouraging this interaction, the child is able to develop emotionally, socially and intellectually. The therapist aims to meet the child where they are at, whilst helping them to: develop their capacities to remain calm and regulated; share joint attention and engage with others; initiate and respond to communication; engage in shared problem solving and display intentions; think symbolically; use ideas to communicate needs; express and explore emotions and think logically.