Gestural communication Long before a child learns to speak, i.e. for at least his first 15 months, he communicates by GESTURE: using his hands, fingers, pointing, giving, reaching, pushing away, … BODY LANGUAGE: moving his foot to say ‘do it again’, shrugging his shoulder, tilting his head, turning his body away/ towards you, … EYE and FACIAL expressions: smiles, laughter, frowns, focusing with interest, surprise faces, … and most importantly different TONES OF VOICE to communicate a wide range of […]

DIR-Floortime Principles: Circles of communication/interaction are the back and forth of non-verbal ‘ping-pong’ or turn-taking that is the basis of all conversation, and we want the child to take his part in the dialogue as much as possible, – which means that YOU must leave GAPS for HIM to take HIS turn. Our most important aim is to help the child to increase the number and complexity of circles of communication and for him to initiate and sustain the dialogue […]

Every child can learn, if our focus is on the child’s potential, i.e. on what the child CAN do rather than on what they cannot do, whatever his challenges, diagnosis or learning difficulties. With well enough informed help, a child who has missed out due to learning difficulties or other challenges can catch up with what he has missed out and continue to learn, whatever his diagnosis or developmental delay. If we can identify where the child seems to have […]

Human language is not just a learnt behaviour, but consists of complex social communications about emotional/ mental states, thoughts and ideas using symbols, representations and cultural meanings. Shared attention When a child begins to speak, words take their place alongside other communicative gestures he is already fully fluent with. It can not be the other way round, just as one cannot paint a house before it is built. The very beginnings of language lie in the moments when a mother […]

What is DIR-Floortime? Floortime (www.floortime.org) is a child-centred approach that focuses on building relationships through interaction and play. Floortime is a specific technique to both follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards increasing mastery of his social, emotional and intellectual capacities. This means that the adult joins the child in what they are doing, rather than trying to teach the child what the adult wants them to do. In Floortime, adult […]

Children issues: 10 tips for picky eaters If children’s nutrition is a sore topic in your household, you’re not alone. Many parents worry about what their children eat — and don’t eat. However, most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week. Until your child’s food preferences mature, consider these tips for preventing mealtime battles. No. 1: Respect your child’s appetite — or lack of one If your child isn’t hungry, don’t […]

Minimal Diet for a Child under 5 ( adapted from Brazelton ‘ Book ‘Touchpoints’ 1992) According to American paediatrician Dr. B. Brazelton, a well-known infant-researcher, this is the minimum a child under 5 needs to develop healthily. As most children get this over the course of a week, anything else is a bonus … 1 pint milk/ yoghurt/ cheese/ dairy ice-cream, or 4 ounces of cheese         e.g. 1 day:     cereal with milk + 1 yoghurt +  cheese […]

When a child isn’t talking or interested in talking, parents often think that daily sessions with a trained speech/language therapist would solve the problem. But even a trained speech-therapist cannot teach a child to talk! Speech therapists are trained to work with children who can talk, but have difficulties with their speech. They cannot teach a child, who is not interested in interaction with other people, to speak. A child who is not interested in interaction or the world around […]