Traditional approaches are often adult-led and focus on standard testable skills. Ark’s model is child-focused: our starting point is what a child can do rather than what he or she can’t; our goal is not to make the child fit the curriculum but to adapt our curriculum to suit each child. Ark’s successful approach is based on the DIR/Floortime Intervention Model developed by Stanley Greenspan, MD and Serena Wieder PhD.
Entering each child’s world at the appropriate developmental level helps us discover keys to unlock pathways to higher learning.
- Individual Differences:
We focus first and foremost on the individual child’s strengths and interests – helping each child to develop in ways that are meaningful to them.
- Relationship-based: Learning happens through the development of meaningful relationships with educators and other children.
What is Floortime?
Social-emotional interaction and shared experiences are the building blocks of all early learning. It is through their early relationships and through play that children learn about the world and how to negotiate it. Floortime is play, but it’s much more than that. It uses child-focused techniques and strategies to elicit interaction, shared attention and purposeful two-way communication. Floortime targets directly the main challenges faced by children with autism and other developmental disorders – challenges in communicating and relating.
At Ark we operate a ‘Total Communication’ policy. We have a multinational staff and in addition to spoken Dutch and English we use a range of augmentative communication systems including pictograms, signing, visual timetables and electronic communicators. Ark encourages children to be problem-solvers and independent thinkers.