The core symptoms of autistic spectrum disorder are all addressed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime Approach. The three components of Dr. Greenspan’s Floortime Approach–a capacity for intimacy, an ability to communicate expressively, and the capacity for meaningful speech–address these missing or underdeveloped abilities of children with autism.

Each of these three missing or underdeveloped functional capacities in children on the autism spectrum require emotional engagement with other people. Going around this emotional engagement requirement, as Applied Behavior Analysis does to train basic and essential skills, does not support the development of the child with autism’s capacity for emotional engagement with other people, especially their parents or caregivers.