Dr. Stanley Greenspan, MD, passed away yesterday at the age of 68. Greenspan was the founder of the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR®/Floortime™) Model for autism treatment. He was also a groundbreaking developmental psychologist, and one of the founders of the early childhood organization Zero to Three.
I had the pleasure of attending two Floortime conferences led by Dr. Greenspan, and made use of his books and videos to help my son develop play and relationship skills. What made Dr. Greenspan special was not his expertise or knowledge - though both were deep and broad. It wasn't his authorship of important books - though he wrote many. It wasn't his leadership, or even rhis theapeutic skill.
What made Sta nley Greenspan so extraordinary, particularly within the autism community, was his emphasis NOT on skills, remediation, challenges or delays - but on joy. Of all the people out there providing new tools, resources, therapies and educational techniques for children on the autism spectrum, it was Greenspan alone who let us know that joy was possible - for us as parents and, more importantly, for our children.
While Dr. Greenspan is gone, his work will live on. Find out more about Floortime!