School does not mean education. What should an ideal educational program have?
Intervention / Treatment Strategies
“These are questions that can be answered during the assessment process,” says Dr. Greenspan. “In the assessment, have parents play with their children. That way, you’re demonstrating with the parents, through coaching, what can happen as they engage or gesture more. The parent is your colleague in this process – they are witnessing whether this works for the child.”
It can often seem difficult to quantify Floortime progress, but it doesn’t have to be. The question we seem to be asking ourselves is: “how do we use the DIR model in terms of getting funding when the funding agency wants you to earmark ‘short term goals’?” notes Dr. Greenspan.
With Floortime, it’s very important for limit setting to take place under the umbrella of calm, back and forth interaction. “The child with autism should learn in a negotiated way,” reminds Dr. Greenspan. The ideal way to set limits using Floortime is in a situation where you have time and you can interact with the child around the limit. You can give the child an alternative, or negotiate, and it’s done calmly together.
If something has been helpful to a lot of children, it may be helpful for your child; but, you always want to watch and observe. Never assume a strategy will be successful.
To help your child relate, communicate, and think, it’s important to create the best intervention program available. There are a number of strategies that your child may respond positively to, but there are also interventions that you should avoid.
“Don’t overmedicate,” cautions Dr. Greenspan. “If you get a beneficial effect, hold it there. Don’t try to get it ‘perfect.’”
As a clinician or therapist doing the family assessment, you will be able to sense if there will be a deeper resistance from the parents, states Dr. Greenspan. “They will speak about what they do and don’t do, and the ways they are comfortable or uncomfortable interacting.”