What is Floortime?
Floortime is the colloquial term for Stanley Greenspan's Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship (DIR) based form of therapy for children with autism and other developmental delays. The main tenet of Floortime is to follow the child's lead. I meet the child wherever they are developmentally, and use his/her interests to build a relationship with him/her. "Floortime," is the practice of literally getting down on the floor with the child, "wooing," them into socially engaged play.
In order to assess a child’s developmental level and progress, Greenspan created The Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS). The FEAS is based on 6 developmental levels, they include:
- Self-Regulation and Interest in the World: your child’s ability to enter and sustain a state of shared attention with another person and stay focused, organized and calm.
- Forming Relationships, Attachment and Engagement: your child’s ability to form relationships and attachments and to engage another person with warmth and pleasure.
- Two-way, Purposeful Communication: your child’s ability to engage in back and forth affective signaling and communication to convey intentions, interests and needs.
- Behavioral Organization, Problem-Solving and Internalization: your child’s ability to use complex circles of communication by stringing together a series of gestures, actions and words into an elaborate problem solving sequence of interactions which helps him/her develop a sense of self.
- Representational Capacity: your child’s ability to create ideas (symbols) observed in pretend play and words (phrases and sentences) to convey some emotional intention.
- Representational Differentiation: your child’s ability to build logical bridges or make connections between different emotional ideas (emotional thinking).
Children tend to function at more than one level at any given time. Early on in the therapeutic process, we will complete a FEAS. I will then tailor your child’s therapy to his/her individual skills and needs encouraging them to move through the levels.