What is the DIR® model?
The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based model, DIR® is a comprehensive model of assessment and intervention developed by child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, MD and Serena Wieder, PhD.
Research Insights that Inform DIR®
DIR® is based on three primary insights informed by research on how the mind and brain develops.
- Language and cognition (thinking) as well as emotional and social skills, are learned through certain formative child caregiver interactions. These same interactions can facilitate progress in infants and children at risk or already showing signs of ASD.
- Children vary in their underlying motor and sensory processing capacities and working with the childs underlying processing differences can influence much of the childs behaviour and help him or her adapt across a broad range of abilities rather than just developing isolated cognitive skills or behaviour.
- Progress in all areas of development is interrelated and rather than assessing language skills, motor skills, and social skills separately, we should look at how well these abilities are integrated in a child and how the components work together as a whole.
Floortime™ is the tool that is at the heart of a DIR® intervention program. Floortime™ is the spontaneous play and interaction that has the goal of helping parents and caregivers to attune to the child, and then once in a shared world with the child, develop a continuous flow of interactions. In this process, a series of opportunities and challenges is created to help the child move up to higher levels of relating, communicating and thinking. Floortime™ is an intervention tool that can assist children to engage in learning relationships but is also a powerful approach that helps children to learn, think, problem solve and reason.
Research shows us that a focus on family relationships needs to be at the centre of an intervention program. The primary role that our therapists take is that of a coach and mentor for parents and caregivers to help them incorporate Floortime™ principles in both specific play sessions but also most importantly throughout the natural routines of the day.
In addition to this core work with caregivers and children, Sensory Connections staff are able to provide a range of semi structured individualised therapy services to children as part of a comprehensive developmental and relationship based intervention program.
List of ICDL accredited professionals in AUSTRALIA. http://www.icdl.com/intprograms/programs/AUSTRALIA.shtml