Assessment and Intervention Program using the DIR® Floortime™ model

  • As a comprehensive framework, the DIR® Floortime™ Model typically involves an interdisciplinary team approach including speech and occupational therapy, mental health professionals (e.g. social worker, psychologist, child psychiatrist), educational programs, and, where appropriate, biomedical intervention.
  • After carefully assessing the child’s functional developmental level, individual differences and challenges, as well as relationships with caregivers and peers, the interdisciplinary team will, together with the parents, develop an DIR® Floortime™ Model individualized functional profile that captures each child’s unique developmental features and serves as a basis for creating an individually tailored intervention program.





  • A comprehensive DIR® Floortime™ intervention program includes consideration of the following components, tailored to the individual child’s profile:

    Home-based, developmentally appropriate interactions and practices, including

    • DIR® Floortime™ sessions
    • Semi-structured problem-solving
    • Motor, sensory, sensory integration, visual-spatial, and perceptual motor activities
    • Peer play with one other child
    • What's DIR® Floortime™?, ICDL, 08/25/09









    What is the DIR® Floortime™ Model?
    • Roberta is most excited about the benefits she sees in her clients through her work towards the DIR® Floortime™ certificate program, in which she attends the DIR Summer Institutes and receives individual mentorship from a Certified DIR clinician.
    The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based ( DIR® Floortime™) Model is a framework that helps clinicians, parents and educators conduct a comprehensive assessment and develop an intervention program tailored to the unique challenges and strengths of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental challenges. The objectives of the DIR® Floortime™ Model are to build healthy foundations for social, emotional, and intellectual capacities rather than focusing on skills and isolated behaviors.
    • The D (Developmental) part of the Model describes the building blocks of this foundation. This includes helping children to develop capacities to attend and remain calm and regulated, engage and relate to others, initiate and respond to all types of communication beginning with emotional and social affect based gestures, engage in shared social problem-solving and intentional behavior involving a continuous flow of interactions in a row, use ideas to communicate needs and think and play creatively, and build bridges between ideas in logical ways which lead to higher level capacities to think in multicausal, grey area and reflective ways. These developmental capacities are essential for spontaneous and empathic relationships as well as the mastery of academic skills.
    • The I (Individual differences) part of the Model describes the unique biologically-based ways each child takes in, regulates and responds to, and comprehends sensations such as sound and touch, and plans and sequences actions and ideas. Some children, for example, are very hyper responsive to touch and sound, while others are under-reactive, and still others seek out these sensations.
    • The R (Relationship-based) part of the Model describes the learning relationships with caregivers, educators, therapists, peers, and others who tailor their affect based interactions to the child’s individual differences and developmental capacities to enable progress in mastering the essential foundations.