Are you worried about your child’s development or been told that your child seems “delayed” or “detached?” Have you noticed that your child has delayed speech development, does not seem to “hear” you, or is not interested in playing or interacting with others?
There are many possible reasons for these signs; however, one reason could be an autism spectrum disorder. Autism affects 1 in 68 children and is one of the most commonly diagnosed developmental disabilities.
Research consistently shows that early intervention to improve autism symptoms increases positive outcomes; however, quality services are limited and often difficult to access.
I offer “best practice” autism services including diagnostic assessments, early intervention, parent education, and family support. No referral is needed and private pay options allow for access to high quality, individualized services without a wait.
Floortime is an autism treatment model based on the DIR® theory. It is therapy that can be done by parents and professionals. It is a play based, child-led, and relationship focused. Floortime helps children master social and emotional skills. The goal of the DIR®/Floortime™ Model is to build social, emotional, and intellectual skills. It does this all together instead of focusing on separate skills or behaviors. The therapy is called Floortime because the parent gets down on the floor with the child to play at his level. I am trained to assess your child’s development, individual differences, and relationships. I will help you create a plan to help with each of those areas. I offer coaching for parents in learning Floortime.
The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR®/Floortime™) Model is a theory of development. It helps therapists and parents develop a treatment plan for each child. The therapy is based on an assessment of a child’s…
D-evelopmental Level: Where the child’s social and emotional skills are on a “developmental ladder” of 9 skills. Theses skills were identified by Stanley Greenspan, M.D. as necessary for communicating, socializing, and thinking (in other words, relating to others and to the world). Earlier skills are building blocks to later skills.
I-ndividual Differences: Differences in the way a child’s the body and mind takes in and processes sensory information (e.g. hearing, touch, sight). It also includes differences in muscle tone, motor planning, sequencing, and in temperament. Every person is different in these areas. However, having challenges in one or more areas can make it hard for children with ASD to relate and communicate.
R– Learning occurs within a relationship. That means that improving social interactions will help children with autism learn more effectively and experience a range of emotions.
-Children learn to think more creatively, logically, and reflectively (theory of mind).
– Helps children process sensory information.
-Helps the child feel more in control of themselves and their world.
-Uses motivation to help them move up the developmental ladder
-Helps child handle stress/frustration and a variety of emotional states.
– Encourages creativity, abstract thinking, social problem solving
I spent a year of training at the Emory Autism Center. There I learned “incidental teaching,” a type of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Incidental teaching is an autism treatment model and good for teaching specific skills such as language development, adaptive skills, social skills, and behavior management.
I also have experience teaching parents ways to manage challenging behaviors (e.g. tantrums, self-injurious behavior, impulsivity). I will work closely with you to figure out the cause of behaviors. Then we will make a plan to teach new skills and reduce difficult behaviors.
I may use Social Stories™, such as those developed by Carol Gray for autism treatment, to help children learn important social information. This could include common social cues, rules of social situations, understanding people’s perspectives, or appropriate social behaviors.
Parent and Sibling Support
I understand that finding out your child has autism is unexpected and often, heartbreaking. This was not what you imagined when you dreamed of being a parent. It can be hard to see good things in the future. Having a child with autism affects the whole family. I offer therapy, education, and support to families of children with autism. I also offer support for siblings of the child with autism. Siblings have experiences that need support and often go overlooked by professionals in autism treatment. Therapy can help families with stress management, grieving, anxiety, and depression.
Floortime Social Groups:
Floortime groups are based one the theory and therapy developed by Stanley Greenspan, M.D. Children are placed in groups of 2-6 children based on their unique D-I-R profile and needs. Groups are run weekly and offer children in the moment experiences with peers with support from a trained therapist. Often social skills groups focus on teaching specific skills through direct instruction. Sometimes social skill groups do not give chances to practice the skills with other kids. Floortime groups are different in that the focus is play-based and child-led. The goal is for children to develop friendships and actively practice skills.
Groups work on: reciprocal conversation, expressing feelings, empathy, play skills, self-regulation, and language. Children do not need to be verbal or a certain age to be in the groups. I will screen your child to see what is the best therapy for him and if a group setting is the right choice.
You may also be interested in: How to Choose Autism Treatment