The DIR- Floortime model was developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Wieder. The model addresses the child’s developmental capacities (D) and difficulties in sensory, motor, cognitive and language/ communicative development (I) through positive relationships (R). Floortime is the nurturing way we interact with children throughout the day.
Greenspan's developmental stages apply to all children regardless of language profile and level of difficulties. We find the model really useful with any child who needs support to develop better social communication skills. It applies equally well to children in local kindergartens and international mainstream schools.
According to Dr Greenspan, relationships between the child and others around her are affected by the child’s biology. For example, a child with language delays may not know how to approach other children and how to keep the interaction going, particularly if something goes wrong and he is misunderstood. A child with a weak vestibular system may be inattentive in class, moving around, trying to get her sensory needs met. A child who is over-responsive to touch may feel under threat when sitting on the floor close to other children, reacting with anger when accidentally touched. When we understand what is going on, we tailor our interactions with child to meet her needs.
Children love Floortime work because it is so empowering. We follow their interests and help them to express what they feel, experience and think. Because of the naturalistic approach, the skills they learn at Mighty Oaks are well generalized into other settings.
Mighty Oaks is a registered DIR-Floortime school under ICDL (USA), the foundation established by Dr Greenspan.
More info about Floortime:
Greenspan & Wieder, 1998: The Child with Special Needs
Greenspan, 2000: Building Healthy Minds.