What is DIR?
DIR (commonly known as Floortime) is a developmental-relational model developed by Stanley Greenspan, MD and Serena Weider, PhD. Greenspan and Weider developed DIR based on typical child development while keeping neuro-biology and infant mental health closely in mind.
Within DIR there are six foundational developmental levels, each building on the previous one. When utilizing this model, we look at which developmental level the child is most frequently within and which is currently the highest level the child can reach. Then, we gather information that provides us with an in-depth understanding regarding how the child's individual differences (the "I") and relationships (the "R") are both supporting and hindering developmental growth and progress. Prepared with this information we can adjust the child's environment and our way of being with the child to better support developmental progress.
Why should you choose this approach?
Your child has a unique neuro-biological make up (individual differences) that he or she is moving through the world with. As these neurological and biological underpinnings are interacting with the environment, people, relationships, etc. your child is working hard to do the best he or she can to remain regulated and engaged with the world. This can be in the form of robust engagement, seeking co-regulation, self-absorption, or even isolation.The way your child is working to regulate and engage is a result of the level of "matching" between your child's environment (including relationships) and his or her individual differences.
By using the DIR model, we will learn about how well matched your child's environment is with his or her individual needs and differences. As we do so, we will make adjustments to increase this match to help your child be more regulated, more present, and more engaged.
The result will be your child naturally developing new capacities for engagement, emotional regulation, communication, problem solving, and more. It will happen from the bottom up: your child will build the foundations required for naturally making progress rather than being taught skills before he or she is ready to use them authentically.