Helpful Information about DIR/Floortime

Clinician-Directed Therapy vs. Child-Directed Therapy

  • Child-directed therapy (what is used during Floortime) ensures that the child is partaking in activities that interest him or her.
  • The child will not view therapy as “work” because he or she will enjoy whatever he or she is working on.
  • Clinician-directed therapy methods are often not easily transferrable to real life situations.
  • Children sometimes have trouble staying focused during clinician-directed therapies because the activities they are working on do not motivate them.

Floortime is more than just play therapy.

  • Play is only one portion of Floortime
  • Parents must engage the child through play and then should begin to challenge him or her.
  • Critical thinking, creativity, and spontaneity should all be practiced and encouraged through Floortime.
  • Simply letting the child lead and play without challenging his or her interactions and creativity will not be beneficial.

Although Floortime seems to draw upon on the more social and emotional aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders, your child can grow intellectually as well.

  • Critical thinking and communication are two objectives of Floortime, which are fundamental for building intelligence.
  • Mundane tasks such as drilling flash cards and memorizing lists of words, do not build intelligence or problem solving skills.
  • Back and forth human interaction, which is a prominent aspect of Floortime, is what promotes intellectual growth.

DIR/Floortime can be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy.

  • Floortime’s emphasis on social and emotional growth versus focusing on specific skills leaves room for other forms of therapy such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behavior.
  • Because semi-structured play is involved, the child may view this time as a “break” from other forms of therapy he or she may be receiving.

These aspects should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not DIR/Floortime is right for your child. These facts may also be helpful while directing the therapy. For a full description and background of DIR/Floortime, please see “Background and Effectiveness of DIR/Floortime.” For specific instructions, please see “How To Administer DIR/Floortime.”