The best descriptions of the DIR/Floortime® come from the founder of the model, Dr. Stanley Greenspan as seen in the video shown here. We are parents who searched everywhere for the best approach for our own child’s developmental challenges.
The Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model provides a clear set of functional emotional developmental capacities (“D”) that all children progress through as they develop, albeit differently and uniquely. We need to see where our child is at in order to begin to meet our children where they are at, developmentally.
Every child is born with different nervous systems (“I”) that process information coming in through the senses in unique ways. Until you address the individual profile of your child, you will be unable to determine the best way to help your child. And unless you use a respectful approach, you cannot maintain the safe, warm, and nurturing relationship (“R”) that will help your child relate with you.
Once we see the child’s individual challenges, we can tailor our relationship with that child in order to foster interactions that are pleasing to the child.
Floortime is a play-based practice in which you play with your child for numerous 20-minute intervals in a day—even around everyday activities such as during meals or running errands. It is a way of interacting with your child in order to help move him/her forward, developmentally.
By following what interests our children, we harness their positive affect to engage them, interact with them, problem-solve with them, help them form symbolic meaning, and form logical bridges between ideas.
These foundational capacities form a base from which academics can be taught.
Please follow this link to a much better description of DIR/Floortime from The Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning.
Please also see Dr. Joshua Feder’s website which is a great resource for information about DIR/Floortime.