With DIR and SI, therapists are working holistically to help children develop the skills that they need in all areas of their life. By tapping into the whole brain, including the lower levels of the brainstem through Sensory Integration therapy, the emotional brain through the relationship based DIR therapy, and more mature levels of the frontal lobe, which is responsible for executive function, DIR and SI therapy is truly unique. A main goal for therapists is to help the caregivers of the child, and eventually the child themselves, to be aware of and attuned to the child’s sensory and emotional profile in order to help make sense of behaviors and give meaning to them. This focus on attunement helps families learn and understand the reasons behind a child’s actions. Therapists are then able to give language and strategies to support the family and child in order for improving success in these individual areas that need support.
Our comprehensive evaluation process consists of 3 parts, and highly emphasizes parent child interaction. Therapists start by observation of sensory preferences, posture, motor skills and execution, as well as observations of play and social relationships. We invite parents to be involved in our evaluation process, inviting each parent to have 1 session alone with therapist and child. After these 2 sessions, therapist and parents meet to discuss their experiences together, discuss the reason for referral, and create an action plan together of how to address the areas.
DIRSI staff receive specific training in Sensory Integration as well as DIR (Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-based) theory. Setting DIRSI therapists apart as developmentalists, both theories lend to a holistic style of treatment and are child led, making therapy enjoyable for the child and at a “just right” challenge. DIRSI therapists are highly educated and these theories set them apart from typical pediatric psychomotor or occupational therapists in Italy. It is the integration of DIR and SI, as well as the parent education and insight they provide that gives a long lasting impact to their therapy.
Clinical supervision is a common practice with DIRSI therapists. To further develop and gain skills, therapists regularly collaborate with senior therapists in the same discipline or across disciplines to gain further insight about their clients and what steps to take to best support their growth and development.
There are several different certifications that therapists can chose to pursue. DIRSI therapists are encouraged to follow their interests and pursue postgraduate certifications in Sensory Integration and DIR training.
DIR/Floortime certification courses are offered in Italy by DIRImè Italia. For detailed information www.dirime.com