A Developmental Approach
A developmental approach considers the dynamic interactions between an individual's unique profile, family/caregiver relationships, environmental influences, and the immediate context of the moment. By keenly observing, building rapport, and incorporating client interests, we create a safe and inviting setting that organically fosters engagement and skill building.
We specialize in working with individuals who struggle with relating, communicating, and reasoning, such as those with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing/ integration disorders, attention/ executive function challenges, or emotion regulation challenges. We tailor our activities and feedback to the needs of the individual, drawing from the latest and most appropriate research, and breaking down explanations so clients and their families can understand and use the relevant information.
Philosophically, we most closely embrace the DIR®/Floortime Model, with an emphasis on understanding the impact of the child’s sensory processing and regulation on their capacity to relate, communicate and learn. DIR® stands for the Developmental, Individual Differences, and Relationship-Based model, which accommodates the underlying needs of the client and uses warm affect and the client's interests to entice the client into engaging with others and the world around them. Through this active engagement and exploration, the natural developmental process unfolds, and together client and play-partner build skills and core competencies. The focus of our coaching is on empowering the client through interactive client-directed play. Following the client's lead allows them to set the pace, set the activity, and comfortably acquire skills through playful practice with decision making, communication, self-advocacy and more.
The typical process of consulting with individuals or parents of individuals:
1. An initial interview regarding the client's individual profile, to guide our efforts.
2. Build rapport with the individual. All developmental work starts with building trust and developing a cooperative relationship with the client.
3. Begin tailoring interventions to the individual to determine what methods are most effective and valuable to the client.
4. A note: Relationship dynamics and patterns of interaction play a large role in problematic or concerning behavior. Part of my consulting is to provide coaching to parents and family members to help them adapt their responses and behaviors to better foster development with the individual.
5. Continued refinement of the individual's profile, goals and interventions, as appropriate.
Learning is best absorbed through experience and practice. Parents, teachers, and specialists are guides, presenting developmentally-appropriate goals and supporting learners to achieve them.