DIR/Floortime: From Research to Practice

We were recently invited to attend the Floortime Coalition of California’s Fourth Annual DIR/Floortime® Conference: From Research to Practice, in Lafayette, California, and thought our community members might be interested in what the conference speakers had to say. (We are sharing rather than endorsing DIR-specific information.)

For those unfamiliar with The DIR® Model, or Developmental, Individual-Differences, Relationship-based Model: it is “an interdisciplinary framework for
assessment and intervention developed by Drs. Stanley Greenspan and
Serena Wieder. It is used to guide parents and professionals in
designing a program tailored to each child’s unique strengths and
challenges and support developmental progress.”

We live-tweeted most of the conference speakers’ talks, and collated those tweets into Storify posts for easier reading. We’ve pulled out a quote from each speaker to give a sense of their presentation. There is so much potentially useful information in these talks about rethinking parents’ roles, parent/child & therapist/client relationships, professional approaches, respecting autistic ways of being — we very much recommend clicking through and reading all five posts. 

Dr. Diane Cullinane, MD: Brief Introduction to Floortime

“DIR general features: Always a sense of warmth, security, trust, a safe place for kids to explore & engage.”

Dr. Richard Solomon, MD: The PLAY Project: An Evidence-Based Parent Mediated Model

“Parents can be terrified, told they won’t connect with their #autistic child. Floortime can bust that myth.” 

Dr. Barbara Kalmanson, PhD: Early Signs of Autism: from developmental research to practice

“If baby cannot handle talk AND touch AND gaze all at once, parents need to try to be sensitive to that.”

Dr. Jonine Biesman: Developmental Approach to Behavioral Challenges: Nuts and Bolts

“In the parent-child dynamic, you need to find strengths & follow through. There are always strengths.”

Steven Kapp, MA: Individual Di fferences: Respecting Neurodiversity in Therapy

“Autistic adults often express relief at being diagnosed with #autism, esp. after years of being misunderstood.”