What is DIRFloortime® ?

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DIRFloortime® is:

  • An increasingly evidenced-based intervention for working with neurodiversity, including autism.

  • A specific technique where use is made of the child or young person’s natural emotional interests in a relational, play-based, and mostly non-directive manner.

  • Appropriate challenge is introduced once the child and practitioner have established a working alliance. Relational play leads the child or young person towards increasingly greater mastery of their social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.

  • Emphasizes the critical role of parents and other family members due to the importance of their emotional relationship with the child.

Evidence from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

A recent Clinical Report* highlights the following:

  • Intervention for young children may be derived from developmental theory, which is focused on the relationship between the caregiver’s level of responsiveness and the child’s development of social communication.

  • Through interaction with others, children learn to communicate and regulate emotions and establish a foundation for increasingly complex thinking and social interaction.

  • Developmental models for intervention, such as DIRFloortime®, are focused on teaching practitioners, parents and caregivers to engage in non-directive interactive strategies to foster interaction and development of communication in the context of play.

*Hyman, S.L., Levy, S.E., & Myers, S.M. (2020) AAP COUNCIL ON CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES, SECTION ON DEVELOPMENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL PEDIATRICS. Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Pediatrics. 2020;145(1):e20193447

Please click here to view the full report.

Additional reading:


ICDL (2021) American Academy of Pediatrics, https://www.icdl.com/parents#h.p_NFSiz4OLk-QM

ICDL (2021) What is DIR®? https://www.icdl.com/dir