Introduction to the DIR Floortime® Approach (DIR101)

Certificate Course DIR101 recognized by ICDL


Date: July 9/10, 2016 (2 days)

Location: ZENTRUM FÜR SI, Vienna

PresenterJudith Abelenda, OT, DIRFloortime instructor/ICDL

Course Language: English with some translation into German


Relationship-oriented Intervention

"DIRFloortime"® stands for “Development, Individual Differences, Relationships”. It was developed by American child psychiatrist Dr. Stanley Greenspan primarily for autistic children. While traditional approaches to autism such as behaviorism and ABA focus on the autistic traits of the child, DIRFloortime similar to Ayres' Sensory Integration (ASI(R))  draw our attention to underlying mechanisms. Greenspan described 6 levels of emotional development that enable us to understand children with disorders in regulation, emotions and social relationships better. 


DIRFloortime® shares basic principles with Ayres’ SI. While the OT-based SI approach focuses on dignosing and treating sensory dysfunctions underlying problems in action and occupation, DIRFloortime® focuses on emotional development. DIRFloortime® recognizes the importance of sensory processing and environment but does not treat them. The intervention aims at developing a relationship and an interaction. “Floortime” is a beautiful and effective element of this approach that includes parent training how to play and have fun with their child. In an intervention using the DIRFloortime® approach,  often the child comes to therapy for 2 hours per week but the parents continue the treatment for another 15 hours per week by playing with their child. 


The DIRFloortime® approach is well known in the U.S. and widely used in autism intervention. In the German speaking countries, it remains fairly unknown. We are offering one of the irst certification courses, recognized by ICDL. After completion of the 2.5-day introduction seminar you are eligible to continue training in DIR Floortime. 


Our instructor Judith Abelenda is an SI certified Occupational Therapist and an ICDL-registered DIR Floortime® instructor. Judith got her basic training in Argentinia and in the U.S., lived and worked in Chicago for many years, and is living now near Bilbao, Spain, now where she combines SI and DIR Floortime® in her own private OT practice,  “Uutchi”. For her, these two approaches complement each other in great ways. In her course, she will certainly let us know why! 


Who should attend?


  • Parents who want to get in contact with their child and understand their child's emotional development better
  • Educators, teachers, psychologists and doctors (e.g., child psychiatrists)  who work with children with autism and other socio-emotional difficulties
  • therapists who work with autistic children - if you are using an SI approach, DIRFloortime® will provide you with interesting and important new concepts about emotional development and interaction. 


Ayres SI Fidelity Measure Training


Date: Sep. 23/24, 2016 (16 hours)

Location:  Stuttgart

Presenters: Dr. Zoe Mailloux, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, lecturer at Thomas Jefferson University. Philadelphia, international ASI instructor, 

Mag. Elisabeth Söchting, OTR/L, psychologist, PhD cand. at UniVie, GSIÖ docent, international SI instructor 


Prerequisites: SI Introduction (researchers may get special conditions upon individual request)


Sharpen Your Skills in Ayres Sensory Integration®:

Applying the ASI Fidelity Measure to Enhance Intervention and Outcomes


We are happily offering the second ASIFM workshop in Germany in cooperation with DVE's SI leadership team after the worldwide success of this workshop which enables therapists to better understand and explain what defines Ayres' SI intervention.

The questions "Is it really SI therapy?" and "What defines SI therapy?" probably have crossed each pediatric OT's mind. The Fidelity Measure of Ayres Sensory Integration® (ASI) intervention is a reliable and valid tool that summarizes the essential structural and process elements of therapeutic practice using sensory integration theory and methods.  During this workshop, participants will learn the essential elements of ASI as delineated in the Fidelity Measure and learn to use this tool to improve research and practice. This 2 day workshop will clarify the core elements of this approach to intervention  and illustrate them with numerous videos. Participants will have opportunity to practice scoring clips from interventions with the ASI Fidelity Measure and learn how to apply the principles in their own intervention.


Who should attend?

  • OTs working in the pediatric area
  • Scholars and teachers from OT schools, particularly those dealing with pediatrics and research
  • Researchers who are conducting (or are intending to conduct) studies on or around SI 
  • Everyone who is interested in SI and in evidence-based practice 


Feeding Workshop

Date: November 4-6, 2016 (20 units, 2,5 days)



Location: Vienna 

Presenter: Isabelle Beaudry-Bellefeuille, M.A., OT, PhD cand.

Prerequistes: SI Introduction


Feeding Problems Are Widely Seen Among Children With Sensory Integration Disorders With And Without Autism 

A Seminar From the Series "Best Practice OT"


What can be considered a feeding problem?

Brief review of oro-facial anatomy

Brief review of normal development and sensory contributions to feeding skills

Evaluation process

Treatment planning - priorities, methodology for the analysis of problem areas

Specific treatment techniques for children with dyspraxia, sensory over-reactivity, emotional reactivity

Clinical case presentation


Who Should Attend? Pediatric OTs

Participants are welcome to bring videos of cases!



The Art of Therapy - Play & Relationship

Date: November 18-20, 2016

Location: Vienna

Presenter: Judith Abelenda, M.A., OT

Prerequisites: at least SI Introduction, SI intervention recommended


Play & Relationship

A Seminar From the Series "Best Practice OT"  


Play and therapeutic relationship are core media of OT-SI. Therapists who don't bring a playful nature to the table, or who want to improve their playfulness, don't usually find many opportunities. This was the reason why we asked Judith, an SI and DIR Floortime instructor, to develop this course for us. It will be an lively, interactive, and very practical course that will work on unusual contents such as "having fun", "how to be playful", "laughing about yourself".


 Who should participate? Practicing OTs. We specifically recommend this course to all therapists who completed the coursework for their ASI Certificate and are in supervision period



OT-SI in Mental Health


Date:  Nov. 26-27, 2016 




Location: Vienna




Presenters: Kathryn Smith, OT, & Ros Urwin, OT, United Kingdom

Prerequisites: Introduction to SI


From 16 to 60 and beyond… The application and practice of Ayres Sensory Integration with adolescents, adults and older adults

2 day seminar from our series "Best Practice OT"


This workshop will deepen and enrich every therapist's understanding of how sensory processing and sensory integrative functioning impact our mental health and the development and maintainance of a regulated and adaptive daily life.  


In contrast to most other countries, SI started to spread across the UK from the field of mental health. That is why OTs from the UK are particularly experienced and advanced in the use of SI with adolescents and adults in the mental health area. They apply SI in an individualised, hypothesis- and data driven manner through direct treatment in the clinic, consultation with the client and relevant others, and environmental modifications. 



  • What’s different? What’s the same? - Working across the ages with Ayres SI
  • Assessment
  • Why SI and how do we know it can make a difference? - Outcomes
  • Intervention approaches
  • Case Studies


Who should attend? OTs who work in psychiatric/mental health, pediatric or geriatric settings




Family-Centered Intervention

Date: February 24-26, 2017

Location: Vienna

Presenter: Judith Abelenda, M.A., OT

Prerequisites:  SI Introduction


A Seminar From the Series "Best Practice OT"  


 Who should participate? Practicing OTs. We specifically recommend this course to all therapists who completed the coursework for their ASI Certificate and are in supervision period