floortime
n. A therapeutic or parenting technique in which an adult engages in creative play with a child, often including getting down on the floor with the child. —adj.

Example Citations:
Autism is believed to involve between ten and fifteen genes. There is currently no in-utero test for autism, as there is for Down syndrome. There is no simple dietary intervention for autism. Every few years, new miracle treatments for autism have been touted-and subsequently discredited. Some parents are proponents of "floortime" (getting down on the floor and playing with the child, letting the child take the lead in playing) and others of having the child swim with dolphins, but no studies on the efficacy of such treatments have been published.
—Susan Sheehan, "The autism fight," The New Yorker, December 1, 2003

"I think many families are much too focused on trying to teach children concrete memory-based things, like their letters or numbers," said Stanley Greenspan, child development expert and author of "Playground Politics" and "The Secure Child."

"Those things are important, but memorizing doesn't teach you to think. Play — what we call 'floortime,' which is getting on the floor and being imaginative with your children — that is what teaches your child to be creative. It teaches them to think."
—Karen MacPherson, "Squeeze play," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 1, 2002

Earliest Citation:
The "Floortime" approach contends that the best way to facilitate communication with a child is to enter their world. For example, if a child is interested in rolling cars back and forth, a parent must get down on the floor with him, begin rolling cars together in patterns and sequences, and then start creating traffic jams and road accidents - creating situations that will generate communication between parent and child. It sounds simple, but in order to be effective, families must devote a tremendous amount of their time and energy into engaging their child and encouraging him to communicate.
—Allison Kaplan Sommer, "A Cry for Help," The Jerusalem Post, March 24, 2000

Notes:
Floortime therapy — also known as floor play (1989) — was invented by child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, who remains the technique's most forceful advocate. So associated is this technique with its inventor that many professionals refer to it as Greenspan therapy.

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