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DIR® FLOORTIME™ASSESSING AND SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN WHO HAVE DIFFERENT TRAITS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH
Infancy and early childhood is a period that is important in terms of emotional, social, language, cognitive, motor, and sensory perception regulation development. It is essential for developmental approach to consider the relationship between the baby/children parent, family, and environment, while observing the infant/child
Dr. Stanley Greenspan, Child Psychiatrist, suggests transforming the relationship between children and their family into interactive relation that contains trust and pleasure and play. Briefly, with the approach called FLOORTIME™ by Dr. Greenspan, shows that parents understand their children better and it is possible to support their development, while it is easier to cope with every day problems of children. Dr. Greenspan has various published scientific articles and books about FLOORTIME™ which is the product of his long years of work that is supported by NIH (National International Health Organization). Later on, he started to apply this approach with children who have severe difficulties and their families, while he developed the model DIR® FLOORTIME™ with Psychologist Serena Wieder.
DIR® FLOORTIME™ presents multi-dimensional system to support the assessment and development of babies and children, who show different developmental characteristics. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), developmental retardation, Down Syndrome, speech and language disorders, attention, emotional and impulsivity problems are the children, who are part of this group.
DIR: It is developed by gathering the first letters of the words the developmental, individual and relationship based, which summarize what kind of an approach it is for assessment and therapy of the model
If we were to summarize the developmental levels briefly:
These developmental characteristics are important to develop academic skills as well as establishing and maintaining social relationship automatically.
HOW DOES THE ASSESSMENT APPLIED IN DIR® FLOORTIME™?:
-Detailed information is obtained about child’s development since birth by interviewing the family.
Starting from level of 0-3 months within FEDL Functional Emotional Development Levels, child’s performance and the level of his performance are determined according to the observation. With this, it executes what affected and restricted child’s performance in these levels.
-Child’s individual differences and the way he copes with these differences are assessed according to the observation. Affects of the way the child assesses the information perceived through senses, sensory sensibilities and general development are determined. This is the essential part of assessing individual differences such as, overreacting to certain sounds, inability to touch slippery and flexible materials, unable to touch different surfaces, disliking when the child is touched, and having hard time to tolerate grainy foods.
- The child’s strong aspects and aspects those are needed to be supported are determined by monitoring peer interaction and socialization skills of the child.
DIR model is presenting various scales that depend on observation, in respect of the developmental road map, so the babies and the children with different developmental characteristics could be assessed. Professionals who have completed their educations in different lines of work such as psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists could use DIR model within their occupational education and they could apply the assessment and choose appropriate goals to support the development.
The essential part of therapy is to have mutual interaction with the child while maintaining a relationship, which evolves warmth, love and trust. FLOORTIME™ can be summarized as interacting and playing with this principle while supporting child’s emotional, social, and intellectual development.
What is FLOORTIME™?
HOW DOES THE FLOORTIME PRACTICED?
Many mothers and fathers emphasize the importance of emotional and social bond by using the expressions such as, “I understood that I am a mother”, “I feel that there is a bond building between us” after meeting with this technique.
WHO CAN PRACTICE THE FLOORTIME?
However, if you wish to create your child’s therapy program by implementing FLOORTIME™, you will need a therapist who can identify the educational goals by doing an assessment and maintain your education by working with you and your child. This therapist may belong to any one of the various occupational groups such as psychologist, speech and language therapist, and educator. However, this therapist should be a clinician who has received the proper trainings from ICDL in order to become a sufficient practitioner.
As Günışığı Child Center team, we received and still receiving FLOORTIME™ training and our FLOORTIME™ team members are composed of different occupational groups such as speech and language therapists, clinical psychologists and developmental psychologists. We are pleased to be pioneer FLOORTIME™ in our country. As a team, we are maintaining our training by attending the summer institute programs that are provided in USA and we are receiving clinical supervision from the professionals, who are in abroad by video conference connections. Additionally, Rosemary White OTR (ICDL faculty), occupational therapist and ICDL trainer, has supported our work by providing clinical supervision and conducting seminar in İstanbul in 2009 and 2011, in order to aid us to understand better the individual differences of children as we create their programs.
The professionals, who desire to become a FLOORTIME™ therapist, may attend online courses provided by icdl.Please visit www.icdl.com for detailed information. We are proudly announce the first DIR Floortime Introductory Course in Istanbul at April 13-14 2013.
Overlook at the Psycho-educational Process and Results in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) evaluate the behaviors that are based upon IQ, pre-academic skills and reaction. However, DIR FLOORTIME evaluates and supports the development in a functional way. In National Research Council, 2001, the importance of being able to initiate communicational skills of one self in functional activities and generalizing the language skills in different environment and activities, in order to evaluate development, is emphasized.*
*Lord Catherine; Mc Gee, James(ed) Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council. Washington DC: National Academy press (2001) p217.
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