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Supporting Children on the Autism Spectrum Using DIRFloortime: From the evidence-based research to the playful joy of a cardboard box in therapy

Jeffrey J. Guenzel

MA, LPC

Course Length: 1.5 contact hours (.15 AOTA CEU)
PRIMARY Presentation Category: Pediatrics
SECONDARY Presentation Category: Autism (all ages), human development, evidence-based practices
Intended Audience: Introductory
Short Abstract:

DIRFloortime®, also known as DIR®, is an evidence-based approach to promoting development for children with neurodevelopmental differences including autism and is one of the most utilized approaches by occupational therapists. This session will provide a fun introduction to DIRFloortime with video examples and practical steps you can use tomorrow.

Full Abstract:

DIRFloortime®, also known as DIR® (pronounced D.I.R.), is an effective evidence-based approach to promoting human development.  While it is appropriate for all children and even adults, it is particularly useful in supporting children with neurodevelopmental differences including autism.  This presentation will provide a basic introduction to the theoretical framework of DIR and the practice of DIRFloortime.  The presentation will provide an explanation of the “D” (Development), the “I” (Individual-differences) and the “R” (Relationship-based).  While many people want to know the specific “strategies” or “techniques” that are used, it is much more about the process of the interaction that is critical.  It is about the joy, the fun, the pretending, the emotions…it’s about the play!  Within the DIR process, joyful and playful interactions are front and center.  These joyful and playful interactions help to synchronize the mind and body and supports growth and development.  Using a playful example of how a cardboard box can be utilized in your therapy sessions, you will gain insights into how to promote self-regulation, engagement, communication, and problem solving while addressing key challenges of autism including sensory and motor processing.  This presentation will review the science and provide practical ways occupational therapists can use DIR principles within their therapy process immediately.  In addition, the presentation will explain why helping parents engage in these playful interactions is essential and shown to be very effective.  

Learning Objectives:
  1. Participants will be able to identify three types of peer-reviewed published research that indicate the effectiveness of DIRFloortime.
  2. Participants will be able to recognize the six Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities (FEDCs) in DIR
  3. Participants will be able to identify three ways common objects such as a cardboard box can be used to promote functional emotional development from self-regulation to problem solving.
Educational Value:

DIRFloortime integrates into the practice of occupational therapy very well due to the holistic and developmental focus of the practice of DIRFloortime. It helps empower occupational therapist to address the core challenges their children are facing in a joyful and integrated way.

Company Affiliated With: CEO of ICDL DIRFloortime; 2023 IOTA Annual Conference Sponsor
Financial Disclosure: CEO of ICDL DIRFloortime; 2023 IOTA Annual Conference Sponsor

Online registration is now closed.

Onsite registration is available Friday, October 20th 8:00-9:00 AM and Saturday, October 21st 7:30-8:30 AM, at the registration table. Please have a credit or debit card available to complete the virtual registration, no cash or check payments will be taken.