One clinical technique utilized at TLC for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disability, and their families, is DIRFloortime (Floortime). Floortime is based on the Developmental, Individual-differences and Relationship-based (DIR) model that emphasizes the power of nurturing relationships and emotional connection with secure adults to promote a child’s healthy development and well-being.
In practice, DIRFloortime includes a parent or caregiver on the floor engaging with his/her child, with facilitation from a clinician. This playtime allows a parent to understand the child’s unique perspective, interests, needs and desires. Floortime is child led, meaning while there is a goal for therapy, the session follows the child’s lead as he/she begins to develop independence. With coaching from a TLC clinician, the parent learns to respond to the child in a way that challenges and promotes development while the child continues to lead. This way, a child’s development begins to evolve naturally resulting in mastery of new skills and abilities. This model recognizes that opportunity for progression of development is maximized when the child is interacting with an adult who he or she has an emotional relationship with.
It can seem like so long ago that we were children and remembering what it was like to play as a kid can be difficult! The DIRFloortime model allows for the natural development of play skills between caregiver and child. And the TLC environment has all of the fun toys to facilitate play! One long term goal of this technique is for caregivers to develop the confidence and skills to be able to put themselves on their child’s level and engage in a developmentally stimulating way at home, without clinician input.
The Floortime approach is integrated across all of TLC’s services. Clinicians utilize a DIR informed child led approach to facilitate a child’s internal motivation to explore, grow and develop during all therapy sessions. Your child’s clinician will inform you when it would be a good time to participate in your child’s therapy session. Get ready to have fun on the floor with your child and bond in a supportive and empowering environment!