Floortime is a type of therapy where the parent or professional joins the child on the floor to engage with them at their level. They let the child lead and explore activities they enjoy. A related model, called DIR, builds on this therapy to build healthy social, emotional, and intellectual foundations. With that said, here is a concise DIR Floortime guide.
First off, the DIR model focuses on “Developmental.” DIR floortime aims at the development of communicative, social, and emotional skills. This method allows the child to think and play in creative ways. Plus, it allows room for problem-solving and reflective thinking.
Next, the “I” in the DIR model stresses the importance of recognizing individual differences. Each child engages with and responds to the world around them in different ways. Essentially, this means that each child’s journey can look different. For example, one child may avoid certain sounds or sensations because it causes them great distress. However, another child may seek out those sensations and engage with them while they play. To summarize, understanding these differences is crucial.
Finally, the “R” stands for relationship-based. Development is achieved through relationships. Parents, therapists, and peers are an important part of developing as a child. These relationships help children learn and grow. The DIR floortime method focuses on this aspect so the child receives the support they need.
Your Child’s Floortime
You can use the DIR floortime method at home as well. Observe your child’s behavior and tone before joining them on the floor for playtime. Then, follow their lead. Let them be in control and act as a helping hand for their playtime. You can build onto what they show you by asking them creative questions about their imaginations. For example, asking what they are building or where their toy cars are driving to. In conclusion, support them in how they want to play.
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