Floortime™ Therapy was created by child psychiatrists Stanley Greenspan, M.D. and Serena Wieder, PhD. This relationship-based intervention is based on Dr. Greenspan’s Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model (DIR®) and is often used as an alternative to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to address challenging behaviors often seen in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
While Floortime™ and ABA share the same goal, behavior modification, they achieve that goal in very different ways. So which therapy is right for Your Autism Game Plan?
Let’s take a look at Floortime™ so you can decide if it should be a part of Your Autism Game Plan.
Floortime™ Meets Your Child Where They Are
Floortime™ is relationship-based, which means the therapist lets your child’s interests guide their interventions, unlike ABA therapy. ABA is data-based which means the therapist lets the data guide their interventions.
While a therapist may initially assess your child before beginning Floortime™ therapy, Floortime™ is most effective when it’s adopted as an overall parenting style. Since Floortime™ doesn’t require data collection and is less systematic than ABA therapy, parent training is much simpler and the therapy is easier to adopt into your family’s daily routine.
During Floortime™, you or the therapist play with your child. You’ll use the bond created during play to coax or lead your child, over time, to behave in more preferable ways. This focus on relationships is what sets Floortime™ apart from ABA. According to the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning, “the objectives of the DIR® Model are to build healthy foundations for social, emotional, and intellectual capacities rather than focusing exclusively on skills and isolated behaviors.”
In Most Cases, Insurance Will Cover Floortime™ Therapy
Insurance will typically cover Floortime™ therapy, especially if your child has an ASD diagnosis and the therapy is being performed by a licensed occupational, physical, or speech therapist.
Additionally, if you live in the U.S. and your child is under three years old they may qualify for Early Intervention (EI). Early Intervention refers to services and supports available to children with developmental delays and disabilities. If your child qualifies for EI, you may be able to find a Floortime™ specialist to provide continuing services for your child.
Additional Floortime™ Resources
If you’re interested in learning more about Floortime™ and how to incorporate it into Your Autism Game Plan check out these resources.
- Engaging Autism, by Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder
- Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL)
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