Strengthening Special Families Program

Easterseals Central California is funded by First 5 Monterey County to provide the Strengthening Special Families Program in the Salinas 93901 and 93906 zip codes. The Strengthening Special Families Program is based on the DIR®/Floortime™ Model, developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, which is also the basis of Easterseals’ successful P.L.A.Y. Project. Strengthening Special Families Program is designed to support parents of children with ANY developmental disability to achieve their maximum potential. Parents will receive home visits twice a month, as well as a group parenting series four times a year in which they will benefit both from educational support and the opportunity to interact with other parents of young children with special needs.

Floortime™ is a specific technique to both follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards greater mastery of the social, emotional and intellectual capacities. With young children these playful interactions may occur on the “floor”, but go on to include conversations and interactions in other places. DIR®/Floortime™ emphasizes the critical role of parents and family members because of their important emotional relationships with the child.

The Strengthening Special Families Program:

  • Teaches and supports parents of young children with special needs to help their child progress through the typical developmental stages of early childhood.
  • Emphasizes that the child is a child first and then happens to have a disability.

The Early Interventionists demonstrate practical ways of making every interaction with the child a growing and learning experience and coach parents in focusing on the child’s natural emotions and interests. These skills have been shown to be essential for learning interactions that enable the different parts of the mind and brain to work together and to build successively higher levels of social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.

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