Pre-Seminar Workshop

Fundamentals of DIR® Floortime - A Gleam in the Eye - 3rd - 4th May 2019


Registration CLOSED

Promoting relating and thinking in the child

Workshop Program

How does a child develop the miraculous ability to love, think, communicate, and create, as well as to have self- control and feel compassion for others? Many child-development theories focus on only one part of this puzzle. This social-pragmatic approach develops a child’s spontaneous interactions, empathic relationships, thinking, creative play and problem solving. These are foundations for all social interactions and mastery of academic skills.

This two day workshop is an introduction to DIR® Floortime™ – theory and practice. It will be presented by a speech-language therapist DIR trainer. Hence participants will appreciate the interplay between a child’s sensory systems and how it impacts his interaction and communication. Parents and professionals will understand the development of shared meaning and true comprehension. This then organizes behavior and supports self-regulation. We will explore these capacities in both typical and atypical development, and how to facilitate growth of functional emotional capacities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the six functional emotional developmental levels (FEDL) essential for all learning
  • Observe the stages in both typical development and children with developmental challenges
  • Understand the individual differences that contribute to the child’s unique sensory-motor profile
  • Developing meaningful two-way communication - Understand intentionality and affect based language.
  • Understand core treatment principles in DIR® Floortime™
  • Experience some key strategies and considerations in intervention
  • Appreciate the role of the caregiver and considerations in engaging parents as partners
  • Explore how DIR® Floortime™ can be integrated with other treatment approaches
  • Explore the Profectum Parent Toolbox (A free resource for parents and professionals with 36 webcasts demonstrating the DIR Model through video illustrations and guidelines)

Course schedule

(Select to see details)

9.00 am

(1) The Developmental Process

(2) DIR – The Premise, Model and Primary Goals

  • D – Summary of the Stages
  • I – Overview of Individual Differences
  • R – The role of Affect and Relationship in effecting developmental change

(3) Dynamic Assessment – observing and assessing play and interaction

10.30 am Morning Break

10.50 am

(5) Functional Emotional Developmental Levels

  • FEDL 1 – Shared attention and regulation
  • FEDL 2 – Engaging and Relating
  • FEDL 3 – Intentional two-way purposeful communication

12.30 pm Lunch

1.30 pm

(5) Functional Emotional Developmental Levels (contd.)

  • FEDL 4 – Complex problem solving and sense of self
  • FEDL 5 – Creating ideas and symbolic thinking
  • FEDL 6 – Logical emotional thinking – a sense of reality
  • FEDL 7,8,9 – Multicausal, Gray Area and Reflective thinking

3.00 pm Afternoon Break

3.20 pm

(5) Functional Emotional Developmental Levels (contd.)

  • FEDL 6 – Logical emotional thinking – a sense of reality
  • FEDL 7,8,9 – Multicausal, Gray Area and Reflective thinking

(6) Engaging parents and partners

5.00 pm End of Day 1

9.00 am

(1) Individual Differences

  • Regulation, Sensory Processing, Sensory based motor functions – postural and motor planning, Visual Spatial Processingl

10.30 am Morning Break

10.50 am

(1) Individual Differences (contd.)

  • Affect cueing and non-verbal gestures, Comprehension, Communication

Understanding and assessing Individual Differences within your discipline

12.30 pm Lunch

1.30 pm

(2) DIR Intervention Model

  • Key DIR principles for communicating partners
  • Basic goals and components in a Floortime program
  • Guidelines to getting down on the floor and engaging

Workshop: Getting down on the floor to practice!

3.00 pm Afternoon Break

3.20 pm

(3) Floortime

  • Key Floortime principles and strategies at each level
  • Increasing language capacities
  • When nothing is working
  • The clinician’s challenge and things to avoid

(4) The Profectum Parent Toolbox

(5) DIR and Other approaches

5.00 pm End of Day 2

Who should attend

The workshop is relevant to therapists (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech-language therapists, music therapists, play therapists, educational therapists), autism specialists, psychologists, developmental paediatricians, early educators, teacher aides, parents and caregivers.

Population to be discussed

This approach is widely used with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), ADD, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, learning difficulties and other developmental challenges. The model can also be used with children at risk of developmental delay or to support healthy development in the neurotypical child. It is a life-span model and can be used with all ages, from toddlers to teenagers.


This is a 2-day introduction to DIR® Floortime™ - theory and practice. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance for the two days, issued by the organizing body, Connect and Communicate. The speaker is a certified DIR Expert with ICDL USA and a DIR Trainer for Profectum. She teaches with Profectum on their online DIR certification program, which is a yearlong intensive program, that involves lectures and case-based tutoring. Attending this 2-day workshop does not qualify for credits for the online programs. It will provide you a detailed insight into the approach and its applications, strategies to try with your child and decide if you would like to pursue this approach further.

Speaker Profile

Chithra Kathiresan

Chithra Kathiresan, Speech-Language Therapist

  • DIR® Floortime™ Expert with ICDL, USA
  • DIR® Floortime™ Trainer with Profectum, USA
  • Hanen® Certified (ITTT, MTW, Talkability)
  • Social Thinking® Speakers Collaborative, USA

In 2003 Chithra was introduced to DIR® Floortime™ and has pursued it since. She sought intensive mentoring in the model from senior faculty. She has presented to faculty at DIR® Institutes in the US, as part of her certification process. In 2012 she was accepted as a DIR® Floortime™ Expert with ICDL and is now a DIR® Trainer with Profectum. Chithra has co-presented with Profectum Faculty in the online training programs, tutored professionals undergoing certification and co-presented a DIR® workshop in Australia with DIR® Faculty. She also mentors selected teams and individuals from other organizations, locally and abroad. Chithra firmly believes our intervention will only be as effective as our understanding of the child and his family. DIR® has helped inform, define and integrate all other approaches within her practice.

Training Details

Date: 3rd - 4th May 2019

Time: 9am - 5pm (registration from 8.30am)

Venue: 2985 Jalan Bukit Merah, #02-2A SMF Building, Singapore 159457

For enquiries, please contact us at

Tel: (+65) 62547422