The Benefits Of Play Therapy For Autistic Children

Occupational Therapy And Relaxation Massage For Autistic Children | Autism Treatment | Tampa Florida
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What Is Play Therapy?

Play therapy was originally conceived as a tool for providing psychotherapy to young people coping with trauma, anxiety, and mental illness. In that context, play becomes a way for children to act out their feelings and find coping mechanisms.

This type of play therapy is still popular; however, it is not the same thing as play therapy as used for children with autism.

Many specialists offering something called "play therapy" to children with autism are actually providing something akin to Floortime Therapy. Floortime is a play-based technique which builds on autistic children's own interests or obsessions to develop relationships and social/communication skills.

A child with autism will need additional support at the beginning to improve her/his motor skills, balance and dealing with emotional outbursts or unruly behavioral patterns. A licensed counselor will be able to ascertain the problem that caused the little one to develop an unfavorable demeanor towards someone or something. Most often, a child will be willing to learn. Capitalizing on this very elementary attitude will prepare her/him to read, write and speak. It does take time, but patience is of the essence.

What is the Difference Between Directive and Non-Directive Play Therapy?

Non-directive play therapy is the more unstructured type of play. This is where children are left to guide themselves with fewer boundaries and are left to work through problems on their own.

Directive play therapy is just the opposite. It is a more guided approach, where a parent or therapist engages the child more often and directly and might make suggestions or try to move the session along.

Floor time and other play therapy styles used with children with ASD often use both non-directive and directive approaches. Sessions often begin with little or no direction, allowing the child to pick the initial activity. As the session moves along a therapist or parent might prompt or nudge the child to choose a new toy or to make a request or communicate in some way, making the session more directive in nature.

Play therapy is focused on the individual needs of the child and each session is designed to fit those needs. Approaches are adjusted from session to session and from child to child.

What’s the Purpose of Floor Time Sessions?

Floor time sessions – one approach to play therapy – sometimes involve the child, therapist, and parents all working – that is, playing – together.

There are six key goals floor time sessions are designed to achieve:

  • The child shows they understand the mechanics of the toy or game, i.e. they will want to roll the ball instead of putting it in their mouth

  • The child actively engages the therapist and/or parent(s)

  • Some kind of two-way communication is achieved

  • The child becomes aware of their own wants and needs within the game play

  • The child makes gestures to communicate these wants and needs, which may be as simple as pointing to a toy

  • The child calms themselves if they get upset

Once the child has gone through therapy in the clinic located in Tampa, FL, s/he will be able to focus on anything, open to making friends with peers, conduct her/himself in the right manner, the list goes on. Counseling by a trained professional to deal with autism is a requirement here, as a regular counselor may not be able to cut through the chinks.

For More Information Contact Us Today

Collaborative Therapeutic Services (CTS) seeks to maximize clients’ options by offering a variety of services, hours, and service providers with diverse specializations. We offer evening & weekend appointments. Have questions? Contact Us Here or Call 813-951-7346. Located in Tampa, Florida.