Don’t worry–many children experience temporary behavioral regressions. These regressions can happen at different times of year—sometimes the Fall or the Spring or at different moments in life where the child might be going through internal physiological or with changes in their environment.
When we see one of these regressions it’s important to understand this is not a true regression necessarily in the sense where the child is permanently losing some of their developmental abilities but instead it is more of a temporary behavioral regression where their regulations are being compromised to stress and outside factors as well as sometimes other changes where they may be getting less support.
So we have to look at what’s changed. What are some of the new challenges or stressors? Or have they stopped receiving some of the things that they benefited from? Unfortunately we can’t always figure out exactly what causes a regression but whenever we see the regression or change in behavior we want to go back to the basics
This means providing more support, more love more time for the child to encounter regulating one-on-one interactions, that is doing more Floortime and decreasing the amount of stress the child is experiencing. So this means we want to decrease exposure to highly sensory-rich environments during the floor time sessions. It’s very important that we focus on getting into simple back and forth, not challenging the child at high levels of complex questions and abstract thinking or even just requiring them to use more language during the interaction. So we have to go back to the basics with Floortime too where we are challenging just to sustain the interaction and be in control.
Once we regain their baseline, then we can add challenges back into their experience but not until they re-achieve that baseline.
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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.