The DIR model is a comprehensive framework which enables us to construct a highly individualised programme that takes into account the service user’s developmental capacities as well as their unique individual differences which inform their learning style and their ability to attain co-regulated, purposeful interactions.

*The D (Developmental) part of the Model refers to the Six Developmental Levels that every person must master for healthy emotional and intellectual growth. This could be helping individuals to develop capacities to attend and remain calm and regulated, engage and relate to others, initiate and respond to all types of communication, engage in shared social problem-solving and intentional behaviour right through to more logical and creative thinking. Knowing where each of our service users is developmentally is critical to planning a programme that truly challenges each of them to grow and learn.


*The I (Individual differences) part of the Model describes the unique biologically-based ways each person takes in, integrates, manages, and reacts to sensory input from the environment, from others and from their own body. It is the various health, sensory and processing issues that collectively make up the person’s individual profile and that may be causing anxiety and interfering with their ability to learn.


*The R (Relationship-based) part of the Model describes the positive, emotionally meaningful, relationship-building interactions that are essential to healthy development. The use of “affect” (facial expression, tone of voice, gestures) and sustained reciprocal engagement is key to draw our service users into a shared world where they can progressively master new skills, develop a good sense of self and are well engaged regulated adults.