DIR (Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based) therapy, also known as Floortime, is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities to develop social and communication skills. It is based on the idea that all children have an innate desire to connect with others and that this desire can be used to help them develop skills and make progress. DIR therapy involves interacting with the individual in a way that is meaningful to them and building on their strengths and interests. DIR at Uniquely You is provided by minimally bachelors level therapists who complete the level 1 training and are certified to practice. The parent coaching is completed by a Master Level Clinical Social Worker with the Advanced Practice Certificate in DIR.
ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing undesirable behaviors in individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities. It is based on the principles of behaviorism, which suggests that behavior can be modified through reinforcement and punishment. ABA therapy is typically provided by ‘Registered Behavior Therapists’ (RBTs). To become an RBT a person needs only a high-school diploma and 40 hours of training.
One key difference between ABA therapy and DIR therapy is the focus of the interventions. ABA therapy focuses on specific behaviors and uses reinforcement and punishment to modify those behaviors. In contrast, DIR therapy focuses on the overall development of the individual and uses interactions and play to build skills.
FLOORTIME ALL THE TIME EVERYWHERE
Children with ASD require intensive intervention to help them overcome the aspects of ASD that can be disabling. Left alone, they will often not initiate interaction unless they need something. When they are left alone too much, they are missing out on the opportunity to discover the joys of a shared world. Therefore, children with ASD can benefit from “Floortime all the time and everywhere.” Floortime can be done anywhere in the house, in the backyard, in the supermarket, and at the playground. It can be done with other children (siblings or peers) or just with an adult. It can be done at any time of the day, after supper, in the bathtub, or cuddling in bed. It can be done in the car, or when doing laundry, washing the dishes, all the time, everywhere. One of the beautiful aspects is that most of this is done with the caregivers and child in the everyday natural environment. With good Floortime coaching for you as the caregiver, you do not necessarily need professionals in your home all the time to implement an intensive intervention. The key requirement is that both you, and your child, enjoy these moments.”