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Floortime as an Alternative to ABA Therapy to Treat Autism

In floortime therapy, parents sit down on the floor along with their child in order to play and communicate with them. The main motive is for adults to support their child in increasing ‘circles of communication’. Therapists and parents take part in activities which the child would enjoy. They set foot in the child’s game and follow the child’s lead. Floortime is often used as a substitute for ABA therapy.

Aims of Floortime

Therapists guide parents on how to lead their children through increasingly complex interactions. This procedure is often known as ‘opening and closing circles of communication’. This therapy encourages the autistic child to push them to their full potential. The main purpose of floortime is to assist the child to reach 6 key milestones of spiritual and mental growth, which includes:

  • Spiritual ideas
  • Spiritual thinking
  • Take part in relationships
  • Complex communication
  • Self-regulation and fascination in the world
  • Dual communication

How Does Floortime Therapy Work?

Floortime therapy should be practiced in a very quiet environment. Preferably, this should be done at home or in a personal setting. Time span for this therapy is about three to five hours a day. This involves training for parents and caretakers, along with interaction with children. During therapy, the parents or therapists get involved in the child’s game, and follow the child’s lead. Afterwards, the parents encourage the child towards more and more complicated interactions. Floortime motivates inclusion with commonly developing peers, when used in a preschool setting. As such, this therapy focuses on back and forth play. This constructs a base for shared attention, engagement and critical thinking. Parents and therapists assist the child, and continue to polish interactions and abstract, logical thinking. 

For instance, if a child is tapping a toy train, the parent might tap it in a similar way. Afterwards, the parent might put small passengers or add some luggage in the train. This will help a child interact and respond. Parents are motivated to use floortime principals in their daily lives, and is gaining traction when it comes to autism support in Dubai.  

Who can Provide Floortime Therapies?

To conduct these therapies, special training in floortime techniques is required. This narrows it down to the following professionals:

  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Child psychologists
  • Special Education teachers

Parents or caregivers of a child can also acquire knowledge of floortime techniques through various mediums, like workshops, books or even details on websites.

Combination of Floortime and ABA Therapy

Floortime combined with ABA therapy can offer remarkable progress among children. It is vital to consider using both as part of an intensive therapy program for a child with unique learning needs. Both of these are effective ways to improve a child’s behavioral responses, which is why we at Small Steps Big Dreams in Dubai, UAE consider it an important strategy for autistic individuals to thrive.

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