Fundamentals of DIR® Floortime -
A Gleam in the Eye

17 -18 August 2023

Training details


17 -18 August 2023


9am - 4.30pm





For enquiries, please email us at

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 different parts of this puzzle. DIR® Floortime™ is an integrated, trans-disciplinary approach that supports the ‘whole’ child and his/ her family. We develop a child’s spontaneous interaction, social-emotional regulation, relating empathically, thinking, creative play and problem solving, through sensitive and responsive relationships. These are essential foundations for all social interactions and mastery of academic skills.

This 2-day workshop is an extensive introduction to DIR® Floortime™ – theory and practice. Participants will deeply appreciate the interplay between a child’s sensory processing and how it impacts his daily interaction and communication. We will learn how to mediate individual differences and enhance strengths. Parents and professionals will learn strategies to increase spontaneous interactions, two-way communication and true comprehension. This then reduces anxiety, organizes behavior and supports self-regulation. We will explore a range of casetypes and ages, and how to facilitate functional, social-emotional growth within naturalistic interactions. This training also zooms in on the applications of DIR-Floortime within local contexts, with Asian parents.

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
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Course schedule

9.00 A.M.
  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
10.15 A.M. Morning Break
10.30 A.M.
  1. Functional Emotional Developmental Levels
    • FEDL 1 – Shared attention and regulation
    • FEDL 2 – Engaging and Relating
    • FEDL 3 – Intentional two-way purposeful communication
12.00 P.M. Lunch break
1.00 P.M.
  1. 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
2.45 P.M. Afternoon Break
3.00 P.M.
  1. Functional Emotional Developmental Levels (contd.)
    • FEDL 6 – Logical emotional thinking – a sense of reality
    • FEDL 7,8,9 – Multicausal, Gray Area and Reflective thinking
  2. Engaging parents and partners
4.30 P.M. End of Day 1
9.00 A.M.
  1. Individual Differences
    • Regulation, Sensory Processing, Sensory based motor functions – postural and motor planning, Visual Spatial Processing
10.15 A.M. Morning Break
10.30 A.M.
  1. Individual Differences (contd.)
    • Affect cueing and non-verbal gestures, Comprehension, Communication
    • Understanding and assessing Individual Differences within your discipline
12.00 P.M. Lunch break
1.00 P.M.
  1. 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!
2.45 P.M. Afternoon Break
3.00 P.M.
  1. Floortime
    • Key Floortime principles and strategies at each level
    • Increasing language capacities
    • When nothing is working
    • The clinician’s challenge and things to avoid
  2. The Profectum Parent Toolbox
  3. DIR and Other approaches
4.30 P.M. End of Day 2

About the workshop

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 comprehensive training in DIR Floortime - theory and practice. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance, issued by the organizing body. The speaker is faculty and trainer for Profectum. Profectum is a DIR Floortime certification body founded by Dr. Serena Weider, co-developer of the DIR Floortime model. Chithra teaches and tutors with Profectum on their online DIR professional certification programs, that is an intensive year long program, that involves weekly classes, webinars, and case-based tutoring. Attending this 2-day workshop does not qualify the participant for the online programs. It will provide you a detailed insight into the approach, its applications, and strategies to try with your child. You can then better decide if you would like to pursue further specialized training in this approach.


About the speaker

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Chithra Kathiresan, Speech-Language Therapist

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

Chithra has been working as a speech-language therapist for more than 26-years, in Singapore. Her broad experience includes working in hospitals, school, home and clinic, with a wide age-range, from infants to teens and young adults. Her diverse caseload includes nonverbal students with intellectual disability, to highly verbal, twice-exceptional gifted individuals. She appreciates development in all its colours! She works with caregivers from many different cultures and is highly sensitive to differences in parenting in Asia. Chithra has been learning and growing in DIR Floortime since 2003. She is DIR Floortime Faculty for the USA certification body Profectum. Chithra trains in their online certification programs and tutors’ professionals internationally. She has presented several DIR Floortime trainings in, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong and Australia.