Floortime is a relationship-based therapy for children with autism.
The intervention is called Floortime because the adult providing intervention gets down on the floor to play and interact with the child at their level.
Floortime is sometimes used in conjunction with ABA therapies.
The goal is for adults to help children expand their "circles of communication."
They meet the child at their developmental level and build on their strengths.
Therapists and caregivers engage children through the activities each child enjoys. They enter the child's games. They follow the child's lead.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior.
Behavior analysis helps us to understand:
How behavior works
How behavior is affected by the environment
How learning takes place
ABA therapy applies our understanding of how behavior works to real situations. The goal is to increase helpful behaviors and decrease behaviors that are unhelpful or adversely affect learning.
Social Skills Training
Social skills are the rules, customs, and abilities that guide our interactions with other people and the world around us. In general, people tend to "pick up" social skills the same way they learn language skills: naturally and easily. Over time they build a social "map" of acting in situations and with others.
For people with autism, it can be harder to learn and build up these skills, forcing them to guess what the social "map" should look like.
Social skills development for people with autism involves:
Direct or explicit instruction and "teachable moments" with practice in realistic settings
Focus on timing and attention
Support for enhancing communication and sensory integration
Learning behaviors that predict important social outcomes like friendship and happiness
A way to build up cognitive and language skills
Caregiver training involves the caregivers in their child's ABA or Floortime therapy. It is part of an ABA or Floortime therapist's responsibility to encourage caregiver education. This could be sharing details of behavioral goals with the caregivers, teaching the caregiver during a therapy session, and observing the caregivers implementing compliance training and providing feedback….it could even be as simple as making recommendations to the family about behavioral supports in the home, such as posting a visual schedule, modeling play-therapy to the caregivers using items at home.