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The DIR® Model

The DIR® Model
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The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR®) Model is a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. The model addresses all areas of a child’s development with emphasis on his ability to communicate and relate to others. Building a strong relationship with the child is the foundation of the model because a child must first be emotionally attached to the people in his life and have meaningful interaction with them in order to develop cognitively and emotionally. Thus, the philosophy of the DIR® Model is that learning does not happen independently from emotional development but together with it. The DIR® approach starts with the things in which the child is naturally interested and builds from there. A child’s unique sensory profile is closely looked at, as these biologically based processing challenges affect a child’s interactions and ability to learn from his environment which greatly impacts his development. DIR® takes into account the child’s feelings, relationships, developmental level and processing differences. All developmental areas including social-emotional capacities, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, motor skills, and attention are addressed in the DIR® curriculum. Building a strong foundation to learn before moving to higher level skills is essential within the DIR® Model.