Developmental Individual Relationship (DIR)

Developmental Individual Relationship-Based intervention (DIR or Floortime) is a model of comprehensive treatment for children with disorders of relating and communicating. It is based on the work by Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder. DIR includes the child's emotional development, the child's individual differences in sensory reactivity, processing, and planning; and the child's relationships and interactions with caregivers and others. It embraces the importance of affect, emotion and relationships for the growth of the brain and the mind. Greenspan's critical features for development are:


Interactions which feature regulation so the child is not overwhelmed; being calm and alert with shared attention.

Interactions which feature warmth and security; intimacy in engagement.

Interactions which feature a lot of relatedness and engagement in exchanging communication purposefully.

Interactions which feature problem solving and gesturing in a continuous flow.

Interactions which feature using ideas in a meaningful and functional way.

Interactions which require thinking and reasoning; making connections between ideas with logic.  


Of most importance are the interactions with children that share emotions, exchange information, and build a fundamental sense of relatedness.  


It is important to understand the power of our own pace, affect and sensory input in using this model therapeutically for each unique child. The therapist's role is to create experiences within the developmental levels that are appropriate and rich with affective cueing. The approach is family-centered and parents are taught to read their child's signals and interact with their child in an ideal rhythm to support enhanced development.


Ashley Petrilyak at Let's Talk
Ashley Petrilyak
Speech/Language Pathologist

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