We’ve been reviewing each of the functional emotional developmental capacities (FEDCs) in this Stumbling blocks… series. We are now at the cusp of where a child breaks away from living in the concrete world and moves into the abstract world.

Just to review the first four functional emotional developmental capacities, we first want to share attention with our regulated child, engage and relate, have meaningful emotional interactions, and then sustain the back-and-forth while being able to problem-solve together.

Please watch this fantastic video of a very talented special education teacher connecting with any child he meets.

If you didn’t ‘get’ the early developmental capacities before, I hope you will get it after watching this video. He demonstrates them in such a straight forward way, without even mentioning DIR/Floortime. But he is describing the essence of what we do in Floortime. Note how he creates a safe, warm relationship with each child by following the child’s interest and connecting with the child based on this interest.

Note how he gets the back-and-forth interaction going because he appeals to the child’s interests. Also, notice how he ups the challenge with the first boy as he moves from calling out shapes to asking questions, and gets a good rhythm going! Then notice how he adapts to the next child’s level of communication, non-verbal, and gets the circles of communication going.

I couldn’t have said it better myself: “If I remain flexible, I can form a bond with anyone.”

Thank you to ADAPT Manitoba for this information!

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This week we now move into the fifth developmental capacity, once see evidence of the first four capacities with our child. Children will tend to have islands of higher capacities while still having ‘holes’ in the lower capacities. We always want to work on solidifying the earlier capacities as much as we can before working on the higher capacities. But when we have the opportunity, and things are ‘cooking’, here are some tips for promoting and supporting this fifth more sophisticated capacity.

This week’s VIDEO presents highlights from the full BLOG post, Stumbling blocks in Floortime at FEDC 5: Helpful strategies for symbolic understanding and creating ideas. The purpose of the VIDEO blog series is to review the key concepts of DIR/Floortime in a more digestible format for parents and those new to the DIR model. To view the VIDEO or full BLOG post, please click on the respective button above. There you can find the Key Take-Aways PDF as well.

Do you have an example of how any of these strategies have worked for you or do you have other strategies? If so, please share them with us below in the Comments section. Also, if you found this helpful, please share this post by clicking on the Facebook or Twitter buttons below.

Until next week… here’s to affecting autism through play!

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