Floortime’s Stages of Development


Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime is based on the following stages of emotional development.

For the young, self-absorbed child, it is recommended to begin at the first stage of emotional development. The stages follow accordingly:

  • first with security and the ability to look and listen. Allow the child to take the initiative.
  • second stage of relating is the ability to feel close to others
  • third stage of intention involved two-way communication with verbal and nonverbal language
  • fourth stage of emotional ideas involved forming mental pictures, verbalizing wants instead of acting on them by grabbing
  • fifth stage is emotional thinking that is sequential, logical, involving cause and effect and beginning abstract thought
  • sixth stage is the age of fantasy and omnipotence, typically in grade school, with an ability to relate, communicate, imagine and think
  • seventh stage is the age of peers and politics
  • in the eighth stage an inner sense of self emerges

This is typical emotional development. However, for many reasons, any child may not be able to move from one stage to the next. Floortime is a therapeutic time to simply “be” with the child and help nurture them through to the next stage.

Author: Tammy

Tammy is a Director of Special Education, Autism Specialist, Behavior Specialist and parent. She is dedicated to helping families by sharing her expertise as it applies to everyday challenges. Read her full bio here.

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