Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder’s perception on parent-implemented home-based developmental, individual-difference and relationship (DIR)/Floortime® intervention

Iylia Dayana Shamsudin, Ted Brown, Mong Lin Yu, Primrose Lentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The developmental, individual-difference and relationship (DIR)/Floortime® approach is a commonly used parent-implemented intervention with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, no evidence is available about the intervention’s implementation and utility in Malaysia. The aim of this paper is to investigate the applicability and impact of implementing the parent-implemented home-based DIR/Floortime® intervention program for children with ASD and their parents in a Malaysian context from parents’ perspectives. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with eight mothers and four fathers of children with ASD was conducted. The interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Findings: Five themes were developed. Theme 1 described the implementation of DIR/Floortime® intervention; Theme 2 reported challenges parents faced when implementing the intervention; Theme 3 explored parents’ perspective on play; Theme 4 explained the improvements and changes in children with ASD and parents’ abilities and skills; and Theme 5 reported parents’ comments and suggestions about the intervention program. Research limitations/implications: Involvement of a limited number of participants and an absence of baseline data limits the interpretation of the impacts of the DIR/Floortime® program’s implementation by parents with their children with ASD. Originality/value: Utilization of DIR/Floortime® intervention is practical and appropriate in the Malaysian context. From the parents’ perspective, the DIR/Floortime® approach was beneficial for children with ASD and parents’ skill development and well-being. Further refinement to the program and involvement of participants from various cultural backgrounds are recommended. A greater emphasis for parents on child-led interaction style and play with children are also recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-310
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Autism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • DIR/Floortime
  • Malaysia
  • Parent-implemented home-based intervention
  • Parents

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