Floortime therapy is one of the effective therapy modalities that assist children who hesitate to communicate where their thoughts are isolated to themselves, never think out of the box, (about the outside world), not emotionally linked to others and avoid interlinking communications. However, here I do not mean a self-centred or a socially anxious child, but a child with special needs such as an autistic one. The therapy helps in developing communication skills and emotional connections in those children. It teaches them to communicate and interact with others cheerfully. This technique of building relationship bonds in children is often use with other behaviour analysis therapy such as ABA.
This article is exclusively written to reveal everything about Floortime therapy and its advantages to an autistic child. This article will answer all your question, clear all the concerns and give you a clear vision of this therapy.
Evolution of Floortime therapy
This therapy was first established by three child psych physicians, in the late 20th century, where Floortime therapy was created on DIR that is developmental individual-difference relationship-based model. This therapy is the great hope of betterment for those children who suffer developmental delays.
Medical studies reflecting the effectiveness of Floortime therapy
A study by Dr Greenspan and Dr Weider on an autistic child, who was involved in this therapy for a 3-year duration, concluded that it was found quite helpful in the child progress.
Another study by an independent researcher found valuable advantages of Floortime therapy for autistic children.
Two studies (each from Canada and Thailand) also find remarkable effects of this therapy on reducing the autism core symptoms.
Radiological evidence based on Floortime therapy
A study based on MRI findings revealed that various brain areas respond to emotional stimuli, producing more neuronal connections. Similarly, with the Floortime therapy, the child engages in familial and fun provoking acts that he appreciates and would love doing them, which signals to the brain to produce new neuronal connections.
Working modality of Floortime therapy?
This therapy is primarily designed to help autistic children who hesitate to communicate. In this therapy, children of similar mind capacity interact and work together, enhancing each other communication and circle of interaction.
Milestones of Floortime therapy
Similar to any game, the therapist also advances the complexity levels in the therapy. However, increasing the degree of complexity is based on child progress. Each level is entitled as either capacity or milestones such as,
- Self-regulation and provoking worldly interest
- Emotional engagement, intimacy and relationships
- Two-way involvement in communication
- More complex interaction and Problem-solving
- Provoking emotional thinking process
- Rational thinking and logical connection in ideas
- Multiple perspectives.
Advantages & Disadvantages of floor-time therapy
There are many advantages of this therapy which are worth discussing such as; it allows the involvement of child parents and siblings to avoid strange feeling. Secondly, it does not require a restricted and fixed medical environment. Lastly, it involves safe activities, helping a child to build essential emotional and interactive behaviour.
The disadvantages are it requires adjunct treatment with the therapy to help improve moderate to severe autism. Secondly, there are a few schools who are conducting Floortime therapy. Most of the insurance companies do not back up floortime therapy. Besides, it takes time to develop and witness desirable and positive outcomes following the therapy.
However, it can be said that the benefits of therapy still outweigh its limitations.
Therapist specialized in conducting Floortime therapy
An occupational therapist usually conducts such type of therapies. However, other health professionals such as Child psychologist, speech and language pathologist and special education teacher, are also trained to provide Floortime therapies.
How therapy session flows?
During Floortime therapy session ,therapist involves the child in activities that require and provoke action and response cascade, involving opening and closing episodes of communication and interaction.
The child participates with both the therapist and parents, to achieve emotional interaction with the players. Later they(therapist and parents) perform a number of therapeutic interactions with the child but in a complex way, to provoke the child’s participation, engagement, focused attention and problem-solving attitude.
Who else can be present at the time of the session?
Mostly, child, parents, and therapist are involved. However, child siblings can also participate in the session. Also, it is not a rule to strictly involve one parent, a therapist and a child. Instead, multiple adults and children can join to interact in play therapy. However, if familial people participate, child will be more comfortable, and therapy would also work well.
Therapy session total time
A single therapy session could be from 20 minutes to 1-2 hour long. However, if parents and the siblings wish to conduct it just like a natural routine with the child at home, it can be longer than this.
Where are the Floortime therapy sessions conducted?
It can be conducted at any spacious place where executing an interaction via the play is more comfortable, for example, a playground, office or living room.
Does Floortime therapy effective in improving speech and motor function in a child?
It does not help in speech, motor and cognition function disorders. But it provokes emotional development in children.
Does it only require having Floortime therapy during therapist session?
Not really. Therapists encourage to incorporate the Floortime therapy in your child’s daily life activities.
Floortime is the advance form of therapy, constituted for the children who have developmental delays or have emotional and response deficits to interact and communicate with others like we do. It is quite simple to conduct that requires a simple play, involving parents and therapist too. This play does not last long, and its consecutive sessions are medically proven to be effective in improving interaction levels in autism. Hence, these promising and positive outcomes are the definite hopes for autistic children as the day is not far that they would emotionally behave and respond like us.