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Submission Date


Document Type

Entry Level Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

First Mentor

Nancy Ruggles, MS, OTR/L

Second Mentor

Danielle Lemon, OTD, OTR/L


Children with developmental delays and neurobehavioral disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), often have social, emotional, or behavioral delays. Children who are not reaching developmental milestones or are reaching them at a slower rate may need extra support and services to reach their full potential. An innovative approach to treatment of developmental delay commonly used among therapists is called DIRFloortime®. DIRFloortime® (also referred to as Floortime) is the application of the Developmental, Individual-Differences, & Relationship-Based (DIR) model in practice. The purpose of this capstone project was to explore Floortime as a holistic intervention approach and gain understanding of the power of connection and relationship in supporting development. Achievement of these objectives address the gap and need for health care professionals working with children who have developmental delays, specifically speech language pathologists (SLPs). As professionals seeking to support language and communication, there must be an understanding of the physiological impact of stress on the brain/nervous system during periods of elevated arousal. SLPs should have an understanding of Floortime methods used to support self-regulation/engagement which can be integrated into practice.