SAMPLE FLOOR TIME SESSION (adapted from information provided by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, MD and Dr. Serena Wieder PhD
Preparation: 1 to 5 minutes
*What is your child’s mood and energy level?
*What is your mood and energy level?
*Remind yourself of your child’s sensory preferences to help him find his sensory “comfort zone” during your floor time session.
*Is she more attentive to high or low pitched noises?
*What kinds of textures does he like to touch and be touched by?
*What kind of visual experiences attract her?
*What kind of movement is stimulating, soothing?
*What kinds of oral-motor activity organize his behavior?
*What is the child doing?
* How can I join in?
Interaction: 20 to 25 minutes
*Position yourself in front of your child.
*Use gestures, tone of voice, and body language to accentuate the emotion in what you say and do. Be animated.
*Talk less. Find ways to play that don't require words.
*When you do talk during play sessions, use language that is at your child's developmental level. If your child speaks in 2-3 word utterances, limit your own speech to 3-4 word utterances.
* Do less. To avoid overwhelming the child or dominating the activity, do only as much as the child is doing.
* Imitate the child’s actions.
* Follow the child’s lead regarding the “topic” for play. You can choose the topic at other times, but during floor time, let the child choose.
Fostering attention, engagement, intimacy
Follow the child’s lead and join him. It does not matter what you do together as long as he initiates the move.
Treat everything your child does as intentional and purposeful. Attach meaning to (seemingly) meaningless behavior.
Join in perseverative play.
Do not interrupt or change the subject as long as child is interacting
Pursue pleasure over other behaviors; do not interrupt any pleasurable experience.
Creating and sustaining interaction in the face of avoidance Do not treat avoidance or “no” as rejection; persist in your pursuit.
Insist on a response—ANY response (not just the one you are hoping for).
Play dumb or make the wrong move to provoke or sustain an interaction.
Playfully interfere with what the child is doing.
Block escape routes, and turn the child’s escape efforts into an interaction