What is Floortime? 

The Greenspan Floortime Approach is a system developed by the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan. Floortime meets children where they are and builds upon their strengths and abilities through creating a warm relationship and interacting. It challenges them to go further and to develop who they are rather than what their diagnosis says.

In Floortime, you use this time with your child to excite her interests, draw her to connect to you, and challenge her to be creative, curious, and spontaneous—all of which move her forward intellectually and emotionally. (As children get older, Floortime essentially morphs into an exciting, back-and-forth time of exploring the child’s ideas.)


For any age child, you do three things:

  • Follow your child’s lead- Join them in a physical and verbal manner while being playful and showing a high level of interest in them and their activity.
  • Challenge- Working from the ground up,  encourage and entice them to engage and interact with you.  
  • Expand- Subtly make changes to the challenge encouraging them to problem solve, create, adapt and communicate within longer interactions with more complex communication. 

As you do all this, while staying engaged with them and making sure they stay engaged with you, you are helping her practice basic thinking skills: engagement, interaction, symbolic thinking and logical thinking. To master these skills requires using all these senses, emotions, and motor skills, as The Greenspan Floortime Approach™ explains.

Dr. Greenspan developed Floortime for families to enable them to support their child’s development. Floortime can be done at home or at a clinic, but it’s useful, especially at the beginning, to have some guidance from a comprehensive source.

The Greenspan Floortime Approach™ is the most comprehensive version of Floortime. Created by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, Floortime is both an intervention for children with special needs and a general support for healthy child development. By taking all of his experiences over decades of clinical practice, he systematized and simplified his approach into an organized set of principles and techniques. He also presented this final version in his last book, The Learning Tree.:

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