At home, it is recommended that parents work closely with the play therapist and occupational therapist to find methods that work well for their children.
Since different children react differently to the therapy, parents can either be asked to do some simple exercises and activities at home or limit the play therapy to the therapy sessions with the play therapist.
Play therapy is a safe non-invasive therapy method that can easily be tailored according to each child"s needs and requirements. Thus, it can be started whenever a child is ready for it.
Most children on the autism spectrum already consult an occupational therapist; depending on the type of therapy suggested by the therapist, parents also get a better idea of when to start this type of therapy. However, since it is simple and does not have any side effects or complications, it can typically be started even without consultation.
Play therapy responds to the unique developmental needs of young children, who often find it simpler to express themselves better through play activities than through verbal communication. The therapist uses play and other creative activities to communicate with the child and observe how the child uses these activities to express thoughts and feelings that are not expressed in words.
There are typically two approaches to play therapy:
The first is known as nondirective play therapy, and is based on the idea that children can resolve their own issues given the right conditions and the freedom to play with limited instruction and supervision.
The second is known as directive play therapy, and it uses more input from the therapist to help speed up results. Play therapists may use both approaches, depending on the circumstances.
Play therapy is a form of therapy which focuses on exploration, understanding and expression of emotions, thoughts and feelings channelized in an appropriate way. Play as a medium is intrinsically reinforcing and soothing thereby making this form of therapy exceedingly helpful in providing a suitable channel for what a child may find strenuous to otherwise communicate.
Play therapy provides the child with a fail-safe space to explore and resolve issues pertaining to any aspect that consequently leads to a growth in their overall development through promoting confidence, psychological well-being and emotional stability.
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