Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, authors of many publications such as “The Child with Special Needs”, and “Engaging Autism: The Floortime Approach to Help Children Relate, Communicate, and Think”, have formulated and articulated an approach to working with children on the Autism Spectrum, which emphasizes meaningful contact and connection between children and their parents, caretakers, family members, and friends.
In a step-by-step progression, parents and other important people in children’s lives, can join the children in what is motivating and enjoyable for them, establishing shared experiences and providing a platform for mutual engagement. As children’s levels of connection & engagement and intellectual & communicative skills become more complex, Drs. Greenspan and Wieder give guidance in helping them achieve and master the next steps.
Tapping into internal motivations of children and establishing meaningful connections with them, in order to facilitate progress and development, are also primary tenets of occupational therapy treatment for children with sensory processing disorders. Additionally, the Floortime approach explains and incorporates how issues with motor planning and sensory processing can impact children’s overall function and development.
It is highly recommended that parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders further explore this approach through the ICDL website and/or the publications named above.