Autism spectrum disorders: Developmental, individual-difference, relationship-based (DIR)/Floortime outcomes

Emily Alice Rentz, Fordham University


With the increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), it is essential to research emerging treatments that address the core deficits of relating and communicating that are typical of ASDs. The current study explored the efficacy of the developmental, individual-difference, relationship-based (DIR)/Floortime model as a comprehensive treatment for individuals with ASDs. Specifically, this study compared the social-emotional functioning of two groups of caregiver–child dyads, 16 who received a comprehensive DIR/Floortime school-based treatment and 16 who received alternative treatments in the community. Results of a repeated-measures ANOVA indicated a significant difference between the groups, where the DIR/Floortime treatment group showed significant gains in social-emotional functioning over time, while the alternative community treatment group remained the same. Additionally, this study examined the child and caregiver variables that predicted overall social-emotional functioning after a year of DIR/Floortime treatment for 60 caregiver–child dyads. Results of the regression analyses revealed that none of the six Child subscales or the six Caregiver subscales of the Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS) at Time 1 independently predicted total FEAS outcome at Time 2. However, both the Child subscales, as a whole, and the Caregiver subscales, as a whole, predicted the Time 2 FEAS total and the Time 2 Child total outcomes.

Subject Area

Mental health|Social psychology|School counseling|Special education

Recommended Citation

Rentz, Emily Alice, "Autism spectrum disorders: Developmental, individual-difference, relationship-based (DIR)/Floortime outcomes" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3722233.