About The DIR® Model
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 an emphasis on their ability to communicate with 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 their life and have meaningful interaction with them in order to develop cognitively and emotionally. The philosophy of the DIR® Model is that learning does not happen independently of emotional development, but rather, in cooperation with it.
Benefits of The DIR® Model
DIR®/Floortime has the strongest research of any intervention to support its effectiveness in improving the core challenges of autism including relating, interacting and communicating while decreasing caregiver stress and improving parent-child relationships.
For our students, social and emotional learning opportunities are essential to their success in their day-to-day interactions, both in and out of school. Some of our students are building a foundation for basic social development, while other students are working on high-level thinking capacities and are fine-tuning their ability to respond to social cues and complex situations. A child who feels confident and socially successful will enjoy learning, seek out social opportunities, be able to think critically and problem solve.
Math, science, reading and writing all find their way into every school curriculum, but too rarely are social and emotional development considered in school past the early childhood years. Although some schools are realizing the value of character education, teachers have a lot of academic curriculum material to teach and social skills simply don’t get priority. While academic subjects have an obvious place in schools, some educators and parents may not see a direct link between social and emotional intelligence and academic success. Research at Pennsylvania State University reports that children who have been exposed to social and emotional learning over an extensive amount of time demonstrated improved attention and working memory, which are key functions of the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. An individual who has social confidence, emotional stability and a clear sense of self will ultimately lead a more successful and happy life.
Dr. Tippy is an important member of the multidisciplinary team at Oakwood Academy. He provides ongoing professional development, as well as case-specific consultation, to the Oakwood Academy team.
Oakwood Academy has had the privilege of maintaining a long-term mentoring and training relationship with Dr. Gil Tippy, an expert in the DIR/Floortime model, and co-author of Respecting Autism.