Children of all ages can benefit through play because often there is no better way to learn than while having fun. Play therapy is a way for therapists to use play to help children develop in many areas, whether they are struggling with self-regulation or social skills. Through play, children can develop many skills from problem-solving to body awareness and more. Here are three methods of play therapy that therapists commonly use.
There is a wide variety of toys and games that are adapted for building specific skills. For example, you might be familiar with toys that involve naming parts of the toy. There are also learning toys that involve hand-over-hand motions and problem-solving skills.
When a therapist makes changes to the play environment to better facilitate healthy play, this is often called an environmental modification. Some examples include taking distractions out of the environment, adding visual aids, or placing toys and items in a way that makes them easier to interact with.
In some cases, play settings are modified by a therapist to fit the specific needs of children with disabilities. This is known as adaptive play, and it can be as simple as applying textured grips to toys to make them easier to pick up and hold. Also, adaptive play can involve supplementing with therapy balls, rocking chairs, or even swings for added stimulation during playtime. There are some apps that can be used during play to help reinforce the development of certain skills.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.