How Floortime Can Benefit Children with Autism and Their Families

Jan 12, 2023
How Floortime Can Benefit Children with Autism and Their Families
You’re on a steep learning curve about autism if your child has been diagnosed with the condition. Learn how using floortime play therapy can benefit your child and your family.

If your child has been diagnosed with autism, you want to learn as much as you can about how to encourage them to fulfill their potential. Our professional team at AMS Neurology in Pasadena, California, provides expert treatment for your child with autism, in addition to support for parents and guardians. 

Autism treatment extends beyond office visits. Our team helps you learn how to best interact with your child to help them learn critical two-way communication skills to the best of their ability, which helps your child build relationships. One of the treatments we encourage you to continue at home with your child is floortime. 

What is floortime? 

Floortime is a form of play therapy focused on developing your child’s ability to engage in two-way communication and build relationships. The therapy gets its name because you sit on the floor and engage with the activity your child is already enjoying, but move the activity to a new level to achieve a variety of social, emotional, and cognitive goals. 

We instruct you on how to move your child’s communication abilities forward. For example, your child may be moving a truck back and forth. You might then place another vehicle in front of the truck and say what that vehicle is doing. You’re encouraging two-way communication. 

We help you help your child develop two-way communication — a basic building block of relationships. As your child begins to respond, you increase the interaction gradually. 

Floortime benefits

Following are some of the ways floortime therapy benefits your child and family:

Helps your child attach to you and connect emotionally 

Your child with autism may avoid looking you in the eye. Eye contact is the first interaction that spurs attachment and bonding between a baby and their parents or guardians. Children with poor attachment have poor social skills and weak emotional regulation, making relationships, and life in general, difficult. 

Floortime encourages mutual interaction that engages your child and helps them attach to you emotionally. Playing and interacting with your child and eliciting laughs and smiles is a goal of floortime. When this happens, your child is connecting to you. This forms the basis for trust, a building block of successful relationships. 

Once your child is attached emotionally, their ability to develop social skills increases, which improves overall outcomes for your child. 

Helps your child learn and use two-way communication 

When your child is attached to you, the ability for two-way communication opens up. Floortime aids the development of two-way communication. You’re spending dedicated time interacting with your child, taking the interaction one step at a time. For example, you help your child develop a story about the toys they’re playing with. 

With two-way communication, your child listens to another person who’s talking to them, takes in the information, and responds appropriately, whether it’s answering a question or continuing the conversation. Two-way communication enables your child to form friendships and is a critical social skill for building relationships. 

Helps your child self-regulate in order to learn 

Your child with autism likely has trouble regulating their body and emotions. When is your child calm? What environment brings them pleasure? Which sensations overwhelm your child’s senses and create a tantrum or meltdown? 

Handling sensory input from the world around them and remaining calm is a necessary skill for learning and developing relationships. 

Our staff helps you learn how to involve your child’s senses without overwhelming them. It may be gradually introducing them to new textures through play in a sandbox or water. The ability to remain calm while taking in sensory information enables your child to learn and thrive. 

Call our office at AMS Neurology or book an appointment online today for expert autism diagnosis and treatment.