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Welcome to “DIR/Floortime”. The Floortime Center™ by Jake Greenspan and Tim Bleecker . The DIR Model. “D” =Developmental “I” =Individual Differences “R” =Relationship-based. The DIR Model. Functional Developmental Capacities The Nine Developmental Milestones.

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Welcome to dir floortime

Welcome to“DIR/Floortime”

The Floortime Center™

by Jake Greenspan and Tim Bleecker

The dir model

The DIR Model

“D” =Developmental

“I” =Individual Differences

“R” =Relationship-based

The dir model1

The DIR Model

Functional Developmental Capacities

The Nine Developmental Milestones

Developmental Profile of the Child

  • Individual Differences

  • Sensory modulation and processing

  • Motor Planning and sequencing

  • Auditory processing

  • Visual-spatial processing


interactions and family patterns

Dir model the learning tree

DIR Model: The Learning Tree



  • The 9 Functional Emotional Developmental Milestones

    1. Staying calm and regulated, and shared attention.

    2. Engagement and relatedness

    3. Basic Intentional interaction and communication,

    5-10 circles of communication.

    4. Problem solving, co-regulated interactions with a

    continuous flow.

    5. Creative and meaningful use of ideas and words.

    6. Building logical bridges between ideas.

    7. Multi-causal, comparative thinking.

    8. Grey area thinking

    9. Reflective thinking off an internal standard.

Individual differences

Individual Differences

  • Motor Development

    • Motor Planning and Sequencing

    • Gross and Fine motor

    • Balance and Coordination

  • Auditory/Language Processing

    • Expressive and Receptive

  • Visual-Spatial Processing

    • Tracking and Scanning

    • Visual Thinking

  • Sensory Modulation and Processing

    • Over- and under- reactive sensory systems

    • Vestibular and proprioceptive systems

  • Relationships


    • Caregiver/Child interactions and family patterns

    • Teacher/Child interactions

    • Therapist/Child interactions

    • All caregivers must reflect on self

      • What type of individual am I?

      • How do I react to different emotions?

      • Does child act differently around me?

    Sensory room

    Sensory room

    • Safe environment

    • Cushions (clouds), mats, warm lights, mirrors

    • Tailor the room to their specific individual differences, look at child’s reactivities (reactions)

    • Higher platforms to play on

    • Not a disorganized or over-stimulating environment

    • Sensory/symbolic equipment (stuffed animals)

    • Swings, rocking toys or chairs, hammock, balance beam

    • Toys with different textures such as balls or blocks

    • Places to crash and hide

    Play room

    Play Room

    • Some sensory toys

    • Symbolic toys that include blocks, dolls, figures, play houses, pretend food, trains and other vehicles, costumes, play animals, board games, mirrors, etc.

    • Make the environment warm and imaginative with décor such as lights, pictures, and music

    • Place most toys in organized containers with labels

    • Do not make the environment over stimulating

    Four patterns

    Four Patterns

    Floortime Strategies

    for children at different developmental levels

    Pattern 1

    Pattern 1

    Working on first three Developmental Milestones

    1. Staying calm and regulated, and shared attention

    2. Engagement and relatedness

    3. Basic Intentional interaction and

    communication, (5-10 circles of


    Pattern 11

    Pattern 1

    1. Staying calm and regulated, working on shared attention

    • Sensory and emotional systems, staying calm and regulated

      • Be aware of hyper sensitivities and sensory cravings, both can limit attention and “disregulate” a child.

      • Emotional inputs can also “disregulate” and limit attention.

      • We can use the two systems to balance each other.

    • Affect for shared attention

      • Using motivating interests, like objects and activities, to harness the emotional energy of the child

    Pattern 1 continued

    Pattern 1 (continued)

    2. Engagement and relatedness

    • Affect

      • Using personal emotional energy, in the form of gesturing and vocalizing, to show interest in the child or the activity the child is involved in, to increase the child’s eye contact and gesturing with us.

    • Playful obstruction

      • Playfully using affect and creating obstacles in the form of physical obstructions to make the child acknowledge your presence.

    Pattern 1 continued1

    Pattern 1 (continued)

    3. Basic intentional interaction and communication (5-10 circles)

    • Sensory play

      • Use sensory pleasures to help the child enjoy relating and interacting, ex: deep pressure, swinging, spinning, etc.

    • Playing dumb

      • Playfully pretend that you don’t know how to do something or what the child is expecting.

        • This will entice the child to use more circles of communication and interaction to get you to do something for them.

    Pattern 2

    Pattern 2

    • Working on developmental milestones 4 and 5:

      4. Problem solving, co-regulated

      interactions with a continuous flow

      5. Creative and meaningful use of ideas

      and words

    Pattern 2 continued

    Pattern 2 (continued)

    4. Problem solving, co-regulated interactions with a continuous flow

    • Create problems that need to be solved using many circles of interaction.

      • Take simple interactions and create extra circles.

      • Create interesting barriers/obstacles to your child’s goals.

      • Always change the problem and the solution within the same activity, so that your child is always learning something new.

      • Be aware of your child’s level of frustration as it builds when we challenge. Sometimes you will need to step back and calm your child before they can complete the problem.

    Pattern 2 continued1

    Pattern 2 (continued)

    5. To facilitate creating and using ideas

    • Help your child use ideas by fostering situations in which feelings or intentions need to be expressed.Remember WAA (Words, Action, Affect): Always combine your words or ideas with your affect (expressed feelings) and actions.

    • Initially, encourage your child’s imagination by staging familiar interactions during pretend play. Challenge the use of new plot twists. Ex: challenge his stuffed animals to feed each other, hug, kiss, cook, or go off to the park and play.

    Pattern 3

    Pattern 3

    • Working on Developmental Milestones 5 and 6:

      5. Creative and meaningful use of ideas

      and words

      • looking to help the child use ideas in a number of ways, including; pretend play, descriptions of feelings, and reality based conversations

        6. Building logical bridges between ideas

      • answering W questions, having logical back and forth conversations

    Pattern 3 continued

    Pattern 3 (continued)

    5. To facilitate creating and using ideas

    • Encourage more developed use of ideas, in reality and fantasy, and with emotions.

    • Follow your child’s lead and help him build more ideas by challenging him to expand what he is saying or playing.

    • Give your child choices about where to go or what to do.

    Pattern 3 continued1

    Pattern 3 (continued)

    6. To facilitate building bridges between ideas and logical thinking:

    • Challenge your child with open-ended questions; those beginning with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how”.

    • Provide possible multiple-choice answers if your child ignores or avoids responding to your open-ended questions. Throw in some silly possibilities for him to consider.

    • If his thinking becomes a little piecemeal or fragmented, get your child to be logical by acting confused yourself.

    • Work on your child’s opinions, not facts. (If you know the answer, it is a fact)

    Pattern 4

    Pattern 4

    • Working on Developmental Milestones 7, 8, and 9:

      7. Multi-causal, comparative thinking

      8. Grey-area thinking

      9. Reflective thinking off an internal


    Pattern 4 continued

    Pattern 4 (continued)

    7. Multi-causal, comparative thinking

    • Ask for multiple reasons “why”?

    • Compare and contrast things: A vs. B

    • Have them place ideas and interests in a hierarchy of importance.

    Pattern 4 continued1

    Pattern 4 (continued)

    8. Grey Area Thinking

    • Moving away from polarized thinking (all or nothing thinking); finding a middle ground

    • Understand gradations, degrees, and magnitudes of things, like feelings

    Pattern 4 continued2

    Pattern 4 (continued)

    9. Reflective thinking off an internal standard

    • Get your child to express opinions about their own behavior and feelings. “I’m angrier than I usually am, in this situation.”

    The floortime center

    The Floortime Center™

    • Contact Information:

      4827 Rugby Ave.

      Bethesda, MD 20814

    • Phone: (301) 657-1130

    • Email: [email protected]

      • [email protected]

      • [email protected]

  • Website: www.dirss.com

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