Autism and the DIR/Floortime model
Our clinic uses the DIR/Floortime approach when working with children diagnosed with or showing early signs of ASD. The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship based model was developed by Child Psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder PhD.
What is DIR?
DIR is based on the following insights which have been developed through extensive research on how ALL children develop:
- All areas of development (including language, cognition, motor skills, social emotional development) are interrelated and therefore intervention needs to focus on how these areas are integrated rather than working on them as separate skills
- A child's cognition (thinking skills), language/communication, social and emotional skills are learned and developed through parent-child (and caregiver-child) interactions.
- Children all vary in their underlying motor and sensory processing skills. Developing these processing differences assists to strengthen all developmental skills including behaviour and social interaction
What does Floortime mean?
Floortime is the spontaneous play and interaction technique that aims to assist the parent to attune to the child and once in a shared world, begin to develop a continuous flow of back and forth interactions. Through this, opportunities are created to assist the child move up the developmental ladder in order to achieve higher levels of social- emotional development of engagement, communication and problem solving.
Current international research has shown that the parent-child (and caregiver-child) relationship needs to be the centre of our intervention programs. The main role of the therapist is to coach, model and support parents to incorporate the Floortime process into their daily routines and play sessions with their child.
Helping Children With Autism Funding (HCWA)
Kelly Powell Occupational Therapist at Amazing Kids OT is one of the few private therapists in Geelong, providing services to children under the age of 7 (diagnosed with an ASD including Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, PDD-nos) whereby families can use their FaHCSIA HCWA funding. This funding covers all therapy sessions and can also be used to provide resources for the child to use to assist in developing their skills. Home, Kindergarten and school visits can be arranged under this funding. Families are still able to access other services giving them choice and flexibility!
Play is the primary occupation of children. AKOT uses a play based approach that is fun and engaging whilst working of specific skills. For younger children, it is through play and interaction that they learn new skills and develop in all areas. For older children play is the basis for literacy: the ability to come up with imaginative ideas, to put those ideas together and to create a story. AKOT assists children with ASD to expand and extend their play skills in a meaningful way.