Monday, October 20, 2008

A High School Program Based on DIR

The Community School is a small private school for teenage boys with autism and other ASDs in Decatur, Georgia that uses a program based on Stanley Greenspan’s DIR/Floortime method. There’s an interesting article on the school and the DIR/Floortime approach in the New York Times Magazine entitled Reaching an Autistic Teenager, by Melissa Fay Greene, published on October 17, 2008. This article gives some concrete examples of using Floortime with older kids in a school setting. True to Greenspan’s examples with younger kids, the school attempts to connect to the pupils by first following the student’s lead to make a personal and emotional connection, and then challenging the student to foster development and growth.
As stated in their website, the Community School follows an “emphasis on social-emotional development, communication and relationship skills, and contextual, experiential learning. This program offers a nurturing and highly interactive learning environment built around experiences of strong personal interest.”