The Floortime Center

Case Study: Over a 300% Increase in Pre-Verbal Communication

Does your child struggle with communicating? 

At The Floortime Center, we specialize in helping your child develop the necessary skills to be successful in life, including communication.

We recently conducted a case study to track the progress of one of our patients. We hope the results will inspire and bring hope to parents who are struggling to see improvements within their children. You may be thinking “I don’t have much time to dedicate to an intensive program” or “I want to access your services but I am out of state”. We hope this will address some of your hesitations and give you information to make the best decision for you and your child.

Our patient was a 22-month-old boy, who lived out of state. He is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and was nonverbal when he came in to see us. He could make a few sounds and word approximations but it was very disconnected, self-involved, and avoidant. It was a significant challenge to get him to stay in a room, connect and engage with either parent, and be purposeful and interactive. At The Floortime Center, we create treatment plans based on the patient’s individual profile, not their diagnosis. We created a treatment plan prior to the beginning of the two weeks since the family had traveled in from out of state, and also adjusted it as needed. During these two weeks, we would work with the child five days a week for three hours a day. The types of therapy the child received were: Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Pure Greenspan Floortime Therapy, Parent Coaching, and Visuo-Cognitive Therapy. All of these therapies were overseen by Jake Greenspan and were integrated with Dr. Greenspan’s version of floortime, The Greenspan Floortime Approach, and is different from DIR/Floortime.

To measure the progress, we used a validated standardized, pragmatic communication assessment called the “Language Use Inventory” that can assess communication and language development for children under the age of 4. When the patient first came in, he scored in the 15th percentile for pre-verbal communication. After two weeks, he scored in the 64th percentile. This is over a 300% increase. 

We were able to see improvements in gestural communication such as increased smiling and other facial expressions. He was able to use his hands to point, push, pull, and shake, and used all of these gestures as part of long interactive patterns. He used these gestures to socially problem solve and when one thing wouldn’t work, he would try another. He even said “Da-Da” for the first time in a meaningful and purposeful manner. This is consistent with what we see across the board in children with social-emotional and communication disorders, like ASD. Children needed to master pre-verbal communication before language emerges. We also followed up with the parents after some time back home and they said their child continued to make progress once they were home. 

*While we didn’t measure this with a standardized assessment, in addition to improvements in communication, the parents and our staff reported sustained attention for 10-15 minutes, consistent engagement, and regular initiation of social interactions for play by the end of the two weeks. These areas continued to improve after the family returned home.

We love getting to see the progress our patients make and how even just two weeks can make such a difference in the child’s life, and for the whole family. If you have thought about working with a professional to help your child overcome some of the challenges they face, now is the time. Taking that step can make such a difference for your child’s developmental skills and give you the knowledge and tools to help them further progress at home. 

If you have any questions contact us at or call 301-657-1130.