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April 05, 2007


Vicki Forman

Oh, terrific post. I will be bookmarking this one. Thanks so much.

Curran Pope, MS Ed.

I recently read your posting and wanted to comment that I am very much in agreement and am truly pleased to see that the integration of ABA and Developmental Theory are being talked about more and more. I am always trying to find new ways to explain to families how important this methodology is for young children and how much more effective the use of a combination of theory is. I have many parents who have heard of ABA and want ABA but do not always know about DIR/Floortime.

I work for Easter Seals in NH as an autism consultant for early intervention. Although my formal training was in applied behavioral analysis my belief is that you cannot teach young children how to truly acquire, learn and use new skills without a combination of structured teaching, behavioral management and opportunities for generalization in a more natural environment.

I train all the support staff I work with to use the following continuum of teaching when they are with the young children they see. Prepare the child to learn by reinforcing or managing behaviors. When they are ready to learn, first teach new skills in isolation and then immediately move toward generalization by using that new skill in a vairety of new ways with different people and materials whenever possible.

I find that these children retain and use the new information more fluidly and independently than when they are engaged in repeated trails alone. Thanks for your encouragment and for getting this important message out.

Curran Pope MS Ed
Certified Educator and Autism Support Specialist, Easter Seals NH


You mentioned that the floortime method is 90% child directed. Yes, the floortime technique of the DIR model is primarily child directed, however, this is just one component of the DIR model. Quoted from the ICDL website:

"Floortime™ is a specific technique to both follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards greater and greater mastery of the social, emotional and intellectual capacities. The DIR®/Floortime™ Model, however, is a comprehensive framework which enables clinicians, parents and educators to construct a program tailored to the child’s unique challenges and strengths. It often includes, in addition to Floortime™, various problem-solving exercises and typically involves a team approach with speech therapy, occupational therapy, educational programs, mental health (developmental-psychological) intervention and, where appropriate, augmentative and biomedical intervention."


Melissa (and Susan), this is a great post. I can't believe you posted this in 2007. I love the video of going over the mountain. So many approaches are really integrated here; dir/floortime, aba, speech and language approaches and aspects of the Hanen approach (i.e., using new labels to expand language). No wonder we love working with Gateway learning group!

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