The Passing of Dr. Stanley Greenspan

He was the world’s foremost authority on clinical work with infants and young children with developmental and emotional problems. His dedicated work has guided parents, professionals and researchers all over the world.

I remember when my son Marc was diagnosed with autism in December of 1999, Stanley Greenspan’s book The Child with Special Needs was the first book I read. It made me feel empowered. I realized I could still be an effective, good parent even with the challenges of autism. Greenspan had great respect for parents and what they could do to best support their child. He believed in a developmental approach; no quick fixes or complicated methodology. His Floortime approach encouraged parents to play and interact with their child no matter what stage they were at developmentally. His was the school of hands-on parenting, which is what I believe in.

My husband and I never accepted all of the funding that was allotted to us for therapy for both of our children. At times, we were criticized but we felt the kids needed to be kids. Family time was important. Sure – our parenting looked different compared to our friends who had neurotypical kids, but both Marc and Julia benefited from rough and tumble games and all of the live classical music played in our house. (My husband is a professional pianist). Greenspan was supportive in our thinking and strategies.

I regret not ever having the opportunity to meet this man through my autism conference travels. I have recommended his books to many parents over the past 7 years over working in the autism field. Dr. Greenspan will be missed but there will be people in his practice to carry on his fine work.

To learn more about Floortime and autism, read Engaging Autism.

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