Special Development


DIR Floortime is a model that works with children with individual differences on certain developmental capacities and does this through play.

These development capacities are:

  • Regulation and Joint Attention

  • togetherness

  • Two Way Communication

  • Social Problem Solving

  • Representing Thoughts

  • Abstract Thinking

Generally speaking, for any of these developmental capacities, “Oh dear, what is the need for that!” You’ll notice we didn’t.

For a child, being able to calm himself, to regulate his emotional reactions (ie, regulation) is the first step to calm down and thus express himself, even if it is something he does not want in the game. Joint attention means paying attention, sharing that attention with the teacher to the material that other classmates pay attention to. Being able to establish and maintain togetherness lies at the foundation of all our social relationships. Being able to initiate and maintain two-way communication is a skill that we developed after mastering the previous two steps, and we use this skill throughout our modern life. Social problem solving, after being able to be regulated for every problem we encounter in our daily life, requires seeking a solution to this problem by establishing two-way communication with our associations, applying it in cooperation, and using regulation and joint attention regularly. As we get older, our thoughts begin to become abstract and to be represented in abstract forms. Thus, when we say “apple”, we understand an abstract concept such as “love” as we understand the object that comes before our eyes, whose taste, texture and smell we know; Details such as how it makes us feel, with whom we feel this way, what it is like to have it or not, are started to be represented in our minds, now we can think abstractly. All these examples show that the aforementioned development capacities form an important basis for all social relations, from the field of self and identity to the academic and career field, and the solid development of this ground is very valuable.

Developmental capacities that are so important and present in all areas of life may develop differently in children with special development. This; It does not mean that it will never improve, that it should be given up and given up. With DIR Floortime, the “game” that every child has in common becomes a tool for the development of these skills.

At this point, it should be underlined that this game is not a random and sloppy game. In the session prepared for the child, toys suitable for his individual differences are selected and games that are of interest to the child are played. Let’s take a hypothetical example: A child who doesn’t like to touch rough surfaces will not include spiky balls at the beginning of the session. Because these balls disturb him, cause him to be dysregulated, joint attention cannot be provided and the game is not played with this disturbing object, so cooperation is not supported, and the two-way communication step cannot be reached at all. The DIR Floortime therapist, who has observed this individual difference well, structures the session materials accordingly.

The developmental capacities I mentioned are studied by establishing a relationship with the child, taking into account the individual differences of the child. In this context, each session can be carried out with different toys and these toys are selected depending on the individual profile of the child. Toys change over time for every child and even a child.

One of the key points of the DIR Floortime approach is this: Throughout the session, the therapist is very active and actively interestsnare and intentso that the child leader follows the line. He tries to understand his intention and takes care to be included in the child’s world by participating in that intention.

The therapist’s goal is not to manage the child and play, but to support the child’s developmental capacities within his own world. For example, if the child looks at the slide from the corner of his eye, the therapist catches it and turns to the object that has already caught the child’s attention, reacting: “Oh! What a beautiful slide!”. So the child understandable . How precious, how comforting, to be understood for the child who cannot express himself in ways similar to our own!

Unlike some working methods, in the DIR Floortime model, parents also attend and watch the session. By learning what the therapist practices and paying attention to, they try to apply these in their daily lives with their children.

This method can be applied efficiently with children with special development. It is also suitable for working with children with sensory sensitivities. It can also be used for children who do not enter these two classes, who cannot concentrate, who are easily distracted, and who have problems in emotion regulation.

Regardless of the child’s developmental characteristics, the principles followed are the same: to observe the individual differences of the child well, to prepare an appropriate environment for them, to follow the child’s interests during the session, to share a world together by participating in their games, and most importantly to enjoy this sharing together!

On the one hand, isn’t this an approach that works for everyone, child or adult?


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