My passion is children, adolescents, and adults with difficulties in relating and communicating who fall within the broad category of disorders that includes Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), attention disorders, sensory, motor and regulatory disorders, Learning Disorders and Difficult Oppositional/Defiant Behaviors. Using my training as a certified DIR/Floortime educator and coach I will conduct a comprehensive assessment and develop an intervention program tailored to the unique challenges and strengths of clients and their families. The objectives of the DIR/Floortime Model are to build healthy foundations for social, emotional, and intellectual capacities rather than focusing on skills and isolated behaviors. The Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-based (DIR/Floortime) Model is a framework that supports parents, school educators and families warmly relating and focusing on the natural emotions and interests which has been shown to be essential for learning interactions that enable the different parts of the mind and brain to integrate and build successively higher levels of social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.
The Floortime techniques follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards greater and greater mastery of the social, emotional and intellectual capacities. We develop a comprehensive treatment plan with wrap around support, connecting home and school/other out of home environments and we put that plan into action to strengthen the client’s capabilities and ensure positive growth for the future.
Having a child who has a developmental diagnosis or is struggling at home or in school can be a frightening experience. When your kids are defiant and oppositional or refuse to go to school, that can also be a scary isolating experience for parents. The world of therapeutic choices can seem overwhelming and very expensive. In a supportive and gentle manner, I can act as a guide to help you organize and implement a treatment plan that will give you hope.
DIR/Floor Time Theory:
People with autism, like everyone, need to engage in warm, connected relationships that support development of relating, communicating, and learning. This includes all parts of a child‟s life: parent and child, teacher and student, and children with peers. DIR/Floortime® builds these relationships, fostering social-emotional Developmental progress, taking into account the Individual abilities and challenges of the person (sensory, motor, communication, thinking), and leveraging our Relationships with others as they are the most important way we learn and grow together.
DIR/Floor Time Intervention:
In DIR/Floortime®, every time we talk, play, or teach we start by seeing if the other person is calm enough to do things with us. If not, we help the person settle down. Usually that means just waiting a bit and seeing what the person is doing (following the person‟s lead). Sometimes, it means doing other things with the person to help them calm down. The next thing we do is woo the person into an interaction, usually by either joining in or playfully getting in the way of the other person. We look for the „gleam in the eye‟ that comes when you know the other person knows that you are both being playful. When we do this, the other person usually does something different, and so we keep doing things to see what the other person does. We try to keep these circles of interaction going, and as we do this we build a real, growing, learning bond with the other person. We can do this with all sorts of people, from children who seem to only flap their hands to people who can talk really well but get stuck with things like making friends. We do DIR/Floortime all day, every day. It‟s fun when we play – and with young children that is often on the floor – but it can be done in the car, at the store, in class, at home, and in any situation. DIR/Floortime helps people react better to change and to the things that bother them, from scratchy clothes or loud noise to challenging peer situations. DIR/Floortime can help people learn how to care about other people and think about how other people feel. A growing body of research evidence supports DIR/Floortime as a useful way to think about and help people with autism and autism-like problems.
DIR/Floor Time Goals:
DIR/Floortime® goals follow functional, developmental, emotional levels to assist the person in improving and mastering necessary developmental skills.
I. Self-Regulation and Attention
Goal: Take in sights and sounds and maintain shared attention
II. Engagement and Relating
Goal: Woo another and be wooed, stay engaged through emotions in warm interaction
III. Use Affect to Convey Intent – Two Way Communication
Goal: To do this for requests, emerging back and forth interactions
IV. Behavioral Organization and Problem Solving
Goal: Continuous flow of affective interactions with people for shared social problem solving
V. Creates and Elaborates With Symbols
Goal: Represents ideas and emotional themes in play and other interactions.
VI. Emotional Thinking: Logical –Abstract
Goal: Bridges ideas, elaborates and can reflect on actions, motives, aware of time and space