The Developmental, Individual-Differences, Relationship-Based Model (DIR) uses attuned, "Floortime" play with caregivers as the foundation for emotional health and developmental progress in each child. This course is for professionals and parents/ caregivers of children who have difficulty relating and communicating, e.g. due to autism or a history of early life difficulties (emotional or developmental).
It is led by Denise Wilson, Occupational Therapist, Play Therapist and ICDL Training Leader.
Attendees will learn about the key emotional, social and cognitive capacities vital for being calm, interacting with others and, ultimately, for independent and creative thinking. Denise will explore the range of individual differences which can impact on emotional, social and cognitive development, e.g. sensory processing disorder, health issues or significant stressors. She will then demonstrate how parents/ caregivers, who are tuned-in to their child's specific needs, can help them feel comfortable/ calm; can woo them to initiate interactions and support them to expand these into long chains of complex interactions, imaginative play and, ultimately, work towards reflective thinking.
DIR®/Floortime™ is a comprehensive, family-centred Model of intervention for children and adults with difficulties in relating and communicating, including those with autism and those who have had a "disruption" in their early years. It was born of the work of Dr Stanley Greenspan MD and Dr Serena Weider PhD. It is continually being researched and updated by those associated with the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL), USA. Our recent study has shown that coaching parents to carry out Floortime with their children, reduces the child's autism symptoms whilst also reducing parental stress and depression. This research is reinforced by the PACT study which uses a similar parent-mediated approach.
DIR® stands for Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based:
Developmental – The course gives an overview of Greenspan’s Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities 1-6. These are the capacities a child must master for healthy emotional and intellectual growth. The stages are,
- The ability to be regulated and interested in their surroundings.
- The ability to engage with others and deepen attachment bonds.
- The ability to initiate and respond in two-way purposeful communication.
- The capacity for complex communication and shared problem solving.
- The ability to create emotional ideas.
- The ability to build bridges between ideas, and so, become a logical thinker.
Individual Differences - Each child has their own unique profile which needs to be taken into account and, possibly, treated. Individual differences within the child, or within their environment, will either help, or hinder, the child in acheiving their potential. Improving our knowledge of each child's Individual Differences, helps us to understand the child's unique experience within their bodies and their perception of their world. These differences may be in the following areas,
- Motor and perceptual motor function
- Sensory modulation
- Sensory processing
- Auditory processing
- Environment and family factors
- Biomedical factors
- Developmental history
Relationship-Based - The emotionally charged interactions between the child and their caregivers are at the core of the Model. Brain chemistry changes when the child is excited, motivated and positive. This improves neurological processing, helping the child to think and learn more effectively. The child develops an understanding of themselves and the world through long chains of back and forth interactions with their caregivers.
Floortime - Through video examples and discussion, course participants will see how Floortime play supports the D, I and R, so that the child can evolve towards independent thinking and sustaining warm, loving relationships.
Denise also uses simulated video of sensory processing disorder. Her warm interactive style encourages attendees to ask questions so that each person goes home satisfied that they have been able to make the course relevant to their own situation.
This 2 day introductory course is approved by the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL). It is the first step towards professionals becoming accredited ICDL DIR®/Floortime™ practitioners.
Light lunch is included. Course runs 9.30am-16.30pm both days.
For more information visit www.connectingthroughplay.org and www.icdl.com