An Introduction to Floortime, Primary

Primary Autism Courses
Date Venue
4th November 2019 Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig, Cork - FULL
5th November 2019 Maldron Hotel, Sandy Road, Galway - FULL
2nd December 2019 McGettigan's Hotel, Letterkenny, Donegal
3rd December 2019 Blackrock Education Centre
Registration: 8.45 AM
Seminar begins : 9.15 AM
Seminar concludes : 4.00 PM

Course Description

Developmentally-based frameworks focus on the relationship between the caregiver and the child. Developmental interventions build on a child’s sense of pleasure within shared affective experiences supporting the development of spontaneous follow of affective communication with a goal to achieve increasingly more complex levels of interaction. (Sameroff, 2010, Fogel 1993, Greenspan & Wieder 1997, 2005, Prizant, in Cullinane, Gurry & Solomon 2017).

Developmental Relationship based Interventions refer to those, which are primarily or wholly developmental in nature. They help the child and family deal with communication and learning challenges. Intervention within a developmental context considers the unique individual strengths and challenges of each child and considers relationships to be central for learning. Relationships are central within the learning, educational and clinical environments of the child. Emotional and motivating experienced-based learning supports improvement in social emotional skills, language, independence, and higher level thinking. Interdisciplinary working is key and working together as a Team around the child and family is best practice. Outcome measures consider the caregiver’s sensitivity and ability to perceive and infer the child’s intent. The caregiver’s sensitivity and skill in following, pacing and responding to the child’s cues is central to the Partner’s responsiveness.

This course is an introduction to frameworks, which support the Developmental needs of the child with autism, special needs and with communication challenges. It will introduce participants to DIR Floortime and to the individual differences of children’s profiles, to include communication and language differences. The course will explore, with participants core aspects of working developmentally in service of learning, and will provide interactive teaching and sharing.

This course is provided by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) in conjunction with Mari Caulfield, Speech & Language Therapist, who has 40 years experience as a speech and language therapist, together with extensive training in related areas such as Sensory integration, Montessori, Psychotherapy and ongoing speech and language specialised CPD. She has a DIR/ Floortime certificate with ICDL & is an International Faculty, with Profectum. Mari was introduced to DIR Floortime initially, when she attended the ICDL Early Childhood and Infancy Training Course (Dr. Stanley Greenspan) in Washington, USA, in April 2002. She has trained with Dr. Stanley Greenspan, Dr. Serena Wieder and other Senior leaders in the USA, for 5 years between 2003 and 2007 where she attended the ICDL Training Institutes. She has also supported teaching and facilitation with ICDL as a Faculty member in the years 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010.


Anticipated Outcomes

Participants will be able to -

  • Describe key concepts of the Developmental framework and the importance of a relationship-based intervention
  • Define social emotional developmental levels, with particular consideration of communication and developmental language levels.
  • Identify markers at these levels Consider the inclusion of Developmental goals within the framework of IEPs
  • Have an appreciation of Individual differences in children who present with relating and communication challenges and the importance of interdisciplinary working
  • Outline principles of Floortime in support of the child and family


Course Outline and Content

  • Introduction to the 'Developmental' nature of the DIR Floortime model, supporting the child's social, emotional, cognitive and language development. Six developmental milestones essential to learning, will be introduced. Participants will gain an introduction and understanding of the developmental levels and the importance of being aware of healthy foundations and gradual building blocks for integrated learning to take place within the child's educational environment.
  • Individual differences, which the child brings to learning in his/her cognition, learning, language, sensory processing and motor/physical characteristics, will be explored. The individual differences are explored from the standpoint of the unique features we witness in each individual child. The interdisciplinary nature of the child’s needs from the many perspectives of learning, language, sensory processing and motor/physical characteristics will be considered.
  • The Relationship-based approach of DIR Floortime and the importance of relationships as central to learning will be introduced. Dr Stanley Greenspan & Dr. Serena Wieder report that it is through relationships that the children learn when the caregiver is aware of the child's developmental level and individual differences to provide meaningful, experiences to support his overall learning.



Information for Applicants

The course is open to

  • Teachers working in classes for student(s) with Autism in a mainstream setting
  • Teachers in special schools who are currently working with student(s) with Autism
  • Full-time Special Education Teachers who are currently working with student(s) with Autism
  • Participants will require permission from the Board of Management to attend. Typically, substitution for this seminar will only be allowed to classroom teachers with primary responsibility for students with a special educational need and if it is deemed absolutely essential by the Principal
  • Typically substitution will only be allocated to non - substitute teachers
  • Payment is not available to teachers in a substitute capacity


Refreshments and lunch will be provided.