Ep. 58: How a Floortime Approach Benefits Kids with Jake Greenspan

Dec 7, 2021 | 0 comments

Researchers at Duke University and Penn State have found significant associations between social emotional learning in Kindergarten and important young adult outcomes in education, employment, and mental health. Today’s guest also points out that social emotional health is a driving force behind academic success. So how can we support all children in this area? Jake Greenspan is an expert and he joins Diverse Thinking Different Learning to guide us in the impact a floortime approach can have.

Jake Greenspan has authored several books on the topic and alongside his father, developed the Greenspan Floortime Approach. In this episode, Jake shares what floortime is, what it isn’t, and how the approach is used to strengthen skills needed in school and in life.


Show Notes:

[2:01] – Welcome to the podcast, Jake! Jake explains what floortime is and what it isn’t.

[3:23] – The goal of floortime is to habilitate social emotional health and in the long run achieve high levels of self-awareness.

[4:49] – Jake’s father created a floortime model and Jake outlines how he integrated different psychological development theories.

[6:20] – Greenspan Floortime was created as an intervention and is both an integrated and standalone intervention.

[7:55] – Following a child’s lead is getting down on their level.

[9:15] – Many children with communication struggles need to feel like they have some control and feel empowered.

[10:12] – Through successful floortime, modeling is great, but telling children exactly what to do or say is not allowing them to do their own thinking.

[12:09] – As rewarding as this is, Jake is clear that it isn’t always easy.

[14:02] – Floortime is not a framework for special needs. It is a framework for natural social emotional health and is beneficial for all children.

[16:18] – There are so many kids who are in a “grey area” that still need support but don’t fall into a diagnosis.

[17:29] – Jake’s practice also supports parents and guides them to help their children with floortime at home.

[19:19] – Any amount of floortime is beneficial, but success and improvement happens with consistency.

[21:50] – There is an age range that is best for floortime games that are developmentally appropriate.

[24:00] – Jake shares an experience with an 18 year old he worked with and how following his lead made a huge difference.

[26:34] – Social emotional skills are driving forces for academic success.

[29:01] – It’s important to have all frameworks be similar in a child’s interventions to avoid confusion and stress.

[31:31] – There are a lot of free resources on Jake’s websites.


About Our Guest:

Jake Greenspan started working with his father, Dr. Stanley Greenspan in 1998.  Together they authored the Functional Emotional Developmental Questionnaire which was published in the Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders, 2002. In 2004 Jake, with Tim Bleecker, founded The Floortime Center®, and in 2009 he was the co-author, with Dr Stanley Greenspan, of Overcoming ADHD: Helping Your Child Become Calm, Engaged, and Focused. In 2017, he authored The Floortime Manual™.  He is the former Chairman and current Board member for All The Difference Inc., a Greenspan Floortime non-profit in Wilmington DE and is a Founding Member of Creative Minds Public Charter School in Washington DC.


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.