The Greenspan method, also known as “Floor Time,” is a popular intervention that uses a Developmental Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR) and multi-sensory approach.
Developed by Stanley Greenspan, MD (1997), it involves a parent or therapist getting down on the floor with the child and joining him in play or any activity he chooses. Considered a more relaxed intervention, it teaches the adult how to engage the child in happier and more relaxed activities while at the same time teaching interactive context.
This playtime addresses developmental delays in sensory modulation, motor planning, sequencing, and perceptual processing.
Analysis and intervention in six areas of functioning are meant to improve developmental skills. Regulating one’s attention and behavior while being stimulated by a wide range of sensations is the first area. The second area is the ability to maintain quality and stability in the engagement of relationships. Third is the ability to engage in purposeful communication.
This program encourages the child to open and close communication circles (Greenspan, 1997). The next area is the stringing together of many circles of communication into larger patterns. This is linked to the fifth area which deals with the child’s ability to create mental representations or emotional symbols through his pretend play and emotional intentions.
Finally, the last level 10 works on the ability to build bridges or make connections between different internal representations or emotional ideas. This capacity is a foundation of higher-level thinking, problem-solving, and such abilities as separating reality from fantasy, modulating impulses and mood, and learning independence (Greenspan, 1997).
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