Autism Developmental Approach Therapies Association

Who are we?

  • We are a group of parents and professionals who live, work with, and teach children with developmental differences–including those on the autism spectrum–using a developmental approach.
  • We believe in developmental approach supports over behavioural management.
  • We believe that a respectful, relationship-based approach reveals our children’s potential to relate, communicate, and think.

What do we do?

  • We advocate for a Developmental Approach to autism and developmental differences.
  • We advocate for parent choice to have a relationship-based therapies and supports publicly funded.
  • We advocate for respectful developmental support over behavioural management.

What is a Developmental Approach?

A developmental approach is a relationship-based approach that respects the natural process that development takes when a child’s individual and sensory differences are supported through safe, warm and nurturing relationships that take into account the child’s interests and current developmental stage.

Through these safe, warm, and nurturing relationships, children develop the capacities to relate, communicate, and think through meaningful, emotional experiences in play.

They share attention, engage and interact with others, learn to co-regulate with others and eventually self-regulate in emotionally charged situations, see another’s perspective, work with others to solve problems, create ideas, and think logically.

An example of a developmental approach shown to be effective is the Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model, or DIR/Floortime.

The developmental approach provides a plan that supports a child’s growth and deepens his or her capacity for perspective and care for others.

Diane Cullinane, M.D.

Reference Books