Inspire Speech Therapy™ at The Floortime Center®
In Northern Virginia and Bethesda

At Inspire Speech Therapy™ we understand the importance of enticing and inspiring a child to perform.  While most therapies bribe, reward, or force children to achieve a certain goal or outcome, we emphasize the process and the product.  For children to master and generalize skills, and create positive changes in the brain, they must enjoy the process of practicing these skills.  The process of leanring and thinking must be positive. Simply reimforcing the outcome, or the child’s success, does not acehive that.

The Speech Therapy team at The Floortime Center® has always focused on social-emotional development while improving communication and thinking in children with special needs.  However, since the main focus of Dr. Greenspan’s Model is social-emotional health, we’ve also seen comprehensive improvements while applying his model to a broader range of children and diagnoses.

By combining the Greenspan/DIR™ Model with traditional Speech and Language techniques we are able to help children with speech and language disorders like,

Fluency Disorder such as stuttering,

Articulation Disorders, and

Apraxia/Dyspraxia

This integrated approach, including social-emotional support, is even more relevant today.  Researchers have identified that one of the most important skillsets for a child to acquire prior to the age of five are social-emotional skills, not academic skills. 

Duke University and Peen St. found that children who have strong social-emotional skills by the age of five do better in the long run, and achieve higher levels of education, obtain better paying jobs, and show lower rates of substance abuse and criminal behavior.  This is why we, at The Floortime Center®, created Inspire Speech Therapy™. 

Inspire Speech Therapy™ focuses on the treatment of children experiencing challenges with fluency, apraxia/dyspraxia, and articulation while integrating social-emotional support techniques. This way, we can achieve many goals at one time and stimulate holistic growth for each child.

Traditional speech-language therapy is based on a behavioral model and typically requires children to learn through structured, adult-directed activities.  These activities often occur while sitting at a table or in a small room while not addressing a child’s sensory/physical needs. Children who participate in this style of therapy do make gains, but they often have difficulty using those skills spontaneously (without prompts or reminders) in their everyday lives since they did not learn them in a functional, emotionally relevant context.

For example, a child who has difficulty being flexible when he loses a game may be able to tell you that he should say “Oh well, maybe next time.” or “Good game!” after a loss because this is what he has been taught by an adult.  However, that does not mean that he believes and fully understands the words he is using. However, the next time he loses he is still likely to become upset and forget everything he has memorized. This is because he has not learned how to regulate his emotions or to tie his emotional responses to the desired language and behavior. He is not able to recall the words he had memorized in such an emotionally-charged moment because of this disconnect.

Children with speech delays not only have difficulty producing words but more importantly, understanding how to communicate.  Communication is one of the main difficulties for children with autism and other developmental challenges, and learning to communicate should be the focus of their program instead of simply producing words.

Why Floortime-Based Speech-Language Therapy?

At The Floortime Center, speech-language therapy helps clients develop communication skills by building positive relationships and facilitating learning through activities that the client finds relevant and engaging. In this way, we foster the motivation to learn as well as the opportunity to practice new skills in the same way they might be used outside of the clinic.
When children practice communication skills in an emotionally relevant context, they are more likely to recall and use these skills than if they had simply relied on memorization. The result is socially engaged, functional, spontaneous communicators who are able to express their wants, needs, and opinions as they relate to the world around them.

-Learn to Communicate
-Master Social and Emotional Awareness

-Strengthen Understanding of Language 

 Children also experience improvements in,

  • social connectedness
  • communicating wants and needs
  • initiating and maintaining social conversations
  • sequencing tasks and follow multi-step directions
  • verbal reasoning, problem-solving, and negotiating
  • expressive and receptive vocabulary
  • sentence structure and length
  • understanding and use of concepts (e.g. spatial, temporal)
  • speech clarity and intelligibility
  • verbal fluency