A study out of MIT published in February’s psychological Science online found that back-and-forth exchanges between parent and child—that is, engaging children in conversation—is what boosts the brain’s response to language. Floortime coaches parents how to do exactly this: increase the gestural communication that uses the sensory and motor systems to promote these circles of communication in “conversation” between parent & child.
A recent study investigated the effectiveness of a Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) improvisational Music Therapy Program on social communication for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and found improvements in areas of self-regulation, engagement, behavioural organization, and two-way purposeful communication.
A new study in Taiwan has found that a ten-week home-based DIR/Floortime program had positive effects. From the abstract: “Children made significant changes in mean scores for emotional functioning, communication, and daily living skills. Moreover, the mothers perceived positive changes in their parent-child interactions.”
Another recent study “examined the effectiveness of improvisational music therapy carried out within a DIRFloortime framework in addressing the individual social communication needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)”…”Results indicated improvements in areas of self-regulation, engagement, behavioral organization, and two-way purposeful communication.”
A new research study calls into question the practice of defaulting to Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) and the newly popular approach, naturalist developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) in favour of strengths-based approaches, based on the latest neuroscience autism-related research.
From the abstract: “Once considered to be “scientifically proven”, the efficacy of these approaches has been called into question in the last decade due to poor-quality data, small effects, low cost-efficiency, and the evolution of ethical and societal standards.” You can see the study HERE.
These findings are completely in line with the developmental approach to autism therapies where we follow children’s interest as a gateway into their world in order to then invite them into a shared world, rather than considering the interest as an obsession to be thwarted or subdued.
The New York Times featured a great article last week about brain plasticity. The article corroborates what developmentalist Dr. Gil Tippy has been saying for years. You can make developmental progress throughout your life using a developmental approach intervention that is relationship-based. It is not just limited to childhood or to a finite window of time in early childhood development. Be sure to check it out!