We know from research that certain factors make autism intervention most helpful to very young children. At the Zier Institute we treat both children and adolescents. It’s never to late to start treatment as there are many ways of engaging and growing your child’s potential.
Researchers studying early intervention have identified four key features that make early-intervention treatments effective:
- Parents are highly involved, learning to be sensitive and responsive to their child’s emotional cues and behavior.
- Professionals individualize the treatment to address each child’s developmental profile.
- The treatment focuses on a broad range of issues rather than narrow targets.
- The treatment starts as early as possible after challenges are detected.
At the Zier Institute we look to grow a child’s emotional range, help them have the tools to self regulate and find joy and pleasure in their lives. We look to enhance the family and caregiver relationships for reciprocity and engagement.
We understand each child is unique and use the D.I.R. approach as part of our therapy approach.
D.I.R. is a comprehensive method of ameliorating social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral delays. Developed by Drs. Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, it entails assessment of a child’s individual strengths and difficulties in all domains of functioning and sensory processing. Shaped according to the child’s individual profile of strengths and weaknesses, Floortime intervention strikes a delicate balance between using the child’s natural motivations in free play and planning fun semi-structured tasks to target and develop fundamental social-emotional capacities. These capacities for intimacy, non-verbal and verbal dialogue, pretend play, social cooperation, logical thinking, and emotional reasoning form the basis for mature social and autonomous functioning. This naturalistic and individualized approach utilizing close relationships, natural motivation, and play addresses the critical need for children’s brain development: helping information to be processed via the emotional center of the brain, thereby helping the brain to integrate and organize sensory/perceptual inputs and behavioral responses in a much more adaptive manner. Parents serve the most critical role in using the approach throughout the day with their child. We support parents in learning this approach via modeling, guidance, videotape review, and feedback.