Discussion: How do you identify what approaches work best for a particular child? If you are a clinician, how do you help parents figure out what approach is best for their child?
“These are questions that can be answered during the assessment process,” says Dr. Greenspan. “In the assessment, have parents play with their children. That way, you’re demonstrating with the parents, through coaching, what can happen as they engage or gesture more. The parent is your colleague in this process – they are witnessing whether this works for the child.”
You can ask the parents to demonstrate the approaches they’ve been using to reach a goal, such as learning colors, and then ask them if they’d like to try a more dynamic way. “If the task is hooked to the affect it generalizes more quickly. The parents’ overall goal is to try to get their child to develop better – we all want that,” imparts Dr. Greenspan.
Sometimes the parents may be focused too much on a particular behavior, e.g. learning colors, rather than the more important skill of thinking, (having the child think about why they like red more than blue). “We tailor the program to the child’s nervous system, not the other way around. We want what works, and what will help the child climb the developmental ladder,” explains Dr. Greenspan.
Learn more about Dr. Stanley Greenspan and the Greenspan Floortime approach. If you are new, we have a background and introduction to Greenspan Floortime including how it helps special needs children. We also have Greenspan Floortime training courses at Floortime U. specifically designed for parents and professionals including the Floortime Manual.