Floor Time Therapy

What is Floor Time Therapy? It’s a developmental intervention developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan that basically is taught by child development counselors, behavior therapists and the professionals to parents and caregivers of autistic children.

The counselor will show during a session with the child and parent/caregiver, how they will become involved in the autistic child’s play by following the child’s lead. The child development counselor or other therapist will involve themselves with the child, on the floor as they play, thus the term Floor Time.

The idea is to build a connection with the child and the activity in which they are engaged. This results in less parallel play and more interaction between the worker or parent and the child.

Our son was able to make great eye contact this way and become more drawn to others rather than going off to play by himself. The Greenspan concept allows for the parent to become more involved with their child and develop an all important relationship.

You are able to become more involved with their activities and try to move things slightly out of place to solicit a response from the child. Over time, a child will develop a stronger bond with their parents and show more signs of trust.

RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) developed by Dr. Steven Gutstein has some similar approaches to Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s therapy but differs in how milestones are approached.

They both work very well but do have different goals and design. ABA Autism (Applied Behavior Analysis) is another option for early intervention but it is more structured in its approach then Floor Time Therapy.

The book, The Child with Special Needs: Intellectual and Emotional Growth by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, outlines the concepts of how the program works. Both of our children started with the Floor Time concept as their first early intervention program and we were happy with the results.