Social-Emotional Development - DIR/Floortime (legacy)



Check out our book:


Floortime Strategies to Promote Development in
Children and Teens: Children and Teens: A User's Guide to the DIR Model

DIR/Floortime is a wonderful, evidence-based approach to help children with developmental challenge
 and become flexible, spontaneous, and joyful!

At Greenhouse Therapy Center we believe growth happens in this way...

Adults Attune. Engage. Interact. Expand. Pretend. Challenge. Launch.
Kids Regulate. Connect. Reciprocate. Communicate. Imagine. Think. Grow. 

1. When adults attune to the child and to themselves, children learn to become regulated.

2. When adults engage the child, children learn to be emotionally connected to others.

3. When adults respond to the child, children learn to initiate reciprocal interaction with others.

4. When adults expand the child's initiations, children learn to communicate and negotiate with others.

5. When adults enter the pretend realm, children learn to imagine and create ideas.

6. When adults challenge a child to solve logical and emotional problems, children learn to think emotionally and logically
Adults launch, children grow 


DIR/Floortime-informed psychotherapy 

The following programs are now available through our partners at Positive Development. Please contact them directly to inquire about services.

See new research supporting DIR/Floortime as an evidence-based practice:

Evidence Base for DIR Floortime by Diane Cullinane, M.D. (2020)

Dr. Rick Solomon's NIH-funded study of Floortime

DIR/Floortime is social-emotional developmental intervention. It is a comprehensive method of ameliorating social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral delays. Developed by Drs. Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, it entails assessment of a child’s individual strengths and difficulties in all domains of functioning and sensory processing.  Shaped according to the child’s individual profile of strengths and weaknesses, Floortime intervention strikes a delicate balance between using the child’s natural motivations in free play and planning fun semi-structured tasks to target and develop fundamental social-emotional capacities.  These capacities for intimacy, non-verbal and verbal dialogue, pretend play, social cooperation, logical thinking, and emotional reasoning form the basis for mature social and autonomous functioning.  This naturalistic and individualized approach utilizing close relationships, natural motivation, and play addresses the critical need for children’s brain development:  helping information to be processed via the emotional center of the brain, thereby helping the brain to integrate and organize sensory/perceptual inputs and behavioral responses in a much more adaptive manner.  Parents serve the most critical role in using the approach throughout the day with their child.  We support parents in learning this approach via modeling, guidance, videotape review, and feedback. 
In-Home DIR/Floortime Program:  
In-Home DIR/Floortime Program: For intensive developmental intervention for children ages 0-18, the multi-weekly in-home programs combine 1:1 work with the child, social facilitation with peers and siblings, parent coaching, parent consultation, and school staff consultation. This intensive treatment occurs in the context of home and neighborhood to address the daily difficulties a child and family may be facing. The treatment goals are developed in collaboration with the family to tailor the intervention to the particular challenges of the child and priorities of the parents.

In-Office DIR/Floortime:  Office-based consultation is also available on a weekly or twice-weekly basis. Parent-child dyadic coaching typically alternates with parent feedback/discussion to solve difficulties and refine the parent's ability to utilize DIR/Floortime techniques with the child to accomplish parent-identified goals and to move the child up the social-emotional developmental ladder.

In-School DIR/Floortime:  Some children need support at school or at an after-school program to benefit more fully and/or to be more successful academically and socially.  Inclusion support and social facilitation are a strength of ours, and is designed in a completely individualized way to address the particular child or teen's needs, ranging from direct to indirect, intensive to occasional, basic to advanced. 

In-Office DIR/Floortime Playgroup:  DIR/Floortime play and social groups are available for children already enrolled in intensive in-home programs to work on peer engagement and social comprehension. Social facilitation of peer play affords repeated practice of becoming engaged and maintaining the engagement even as activities shift or if conflict arises. The play facilitators help the children find fun in playing together, communicate their needs or distress, be flexible with others’ suggestions, negotiate satisfying solutions, express affection and enthusiasm, and ultimately learn to co-create mutually interesting games. This is critical for successful adaptation and integration into the home and community environments.

Watch our very own Floortime Specialists talk about creating a smooth bedtime routine using DIR/Floortime strategies!

Watch videos of Floortime in action!

Click the links below for more videos of Floortime in action:

Click to watch Autism, Play Project (Floortime) "Sad Sebastian!" on YouTube.

Click to watch Autism DIR Floortime Slurping Pretend Soup on YouTube.

Check out our own Greenhouse Therapy Center Floortime Specialist demonstrating how to use Floortime Strategies to promote higher capacities in an adolescent: 

Listen to parents speaking about DIR/Floortime and its impact on their child and family:

Listen to a psychologist speak about fathers' experiences of growing into better family relationships when they have a child with autism below

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