Hi everyone! I just wanted to make sure you know I have a pinterest page that is FULL of games you can play with your child to work on social goals. There are lots of ideas to spark your own creativity or give you something easy to do. Make sure to modify them to include your child's motivation and goals. Let me know if you need any help. Happy Playing!
Need some help thinking of pretend play ideas to work on attention span goals with your child? I sat with my own daughters and came up with a list of ideas to try. Feel free to comment below with more good imagination games! Happy playing!
Imaginative Play Ideas
How to Start a Home Play-based Therapy Program
More and more parents of children with autism are realizing that in order to get the kind of child centered therapy with the gratifying results they've dreamed of they have to take matters into their own hands. Schools and therapy centers unfortunately do not have the time, resources, or dedication to make as much of an impact as caregivers can at home. So, how does one go about starting their own home play based therapy program?
That's the basics! There are many more advanced techniques and lots of different types of developmental play based approaches to look into that have different ways of requesting and working on skills. I find all of them have benefit, the key is to try them out and see which one works for your child. Each child is different and will respond in different ways. I really find that the more in tune you are with your child, and the more fun you are having and not worrying too much about goals, you will find ways to model the skills you want to teach and your child will pick them up naturally.
You as the parent know more about your child then anyone, and because you love them and already have a relationship with them you are the perfect person to help them develop their relationship building skills in a supportive environment which is key for many children, especially those with autism. I guarantee that the time you spend with your child in this way will be worth it to you and them!!!!! I know that you have what it takes and all the resources you need to be successful in your home therapy program. If you find yourself looking for a little more guidance, an ear to bounce ideas off of, or a burst of inspiration. I am here for you.
Best wishes and Happy Playing!
One weekend I had the opportunity to do an outreach in a very sweet family’s home. They ran an amazing program and they had a fantastic and non-distracting playroom. They also had many wonderful floor toys including a swing, 2 crash mats, many variety of therapy balls, a big foam filled crash mattress, tables, chairs,blankets, and a trampoline. When I first walked in I thought, oh fun, so much to do. As I began to play with their sweet boy and moved the objects around to best facilitate interaction, I began to have a different perspective – this is a lot of stuff! In my first session I spent a lot of time moving big toys around just to have space to play.
I have seen this happen many times and occasionally it happened when I worked in professional playrooms. We get so caught up in the opportunities of the toys we forget how distracting and invasive they can be. The playroom in an integral part of a play based therapy as it is a non-distracting environment. This is so that we (people) can be the most exciting thing in the room. When too many toys get in the way, their presence alone may be too stimulating. On my outreach after we cleared out the majority of the big toys, the boy (who initially rarely left his post next to the wall) began to move around the entire room and interact with me more. Also, it was much easier for me to quickly move things in the room depending upon what game we played.
As far as your playroom I would design what your floor toys are around your child’s motivations. In one professional playroom I worked in they typically had a table and stool that are the height of the child, 2 therapy balls (one for you, one for your child), a slide (for younger children) and a small trampoline. Then depending on the day or the child we adjusted that. If we needed more room, we put the balls on the shelf and the trampoline standing up or in the bathroom. If it is a child who needs big input we will bring in a crash mat and take out something else. There is nothing that can not be moved. Then if we want to play a particular game we bring in other big objects JUST FOR ONE SESSION and then we bring it out again.
I’ve got many more suggestions for playrooms, so watch out for future blogs, and leave a comment or question if you have one.
Have a great time playing!
items from the dollar isle!
Hello all of you fabulous people,
Now that I live in a bigger city again (Albuquerque, NM), I once again have the luxury of countless stores and choices at my finger tips. (Although living in the rural areas of Massachusetts, we still had plenty of choices). Now, I am 5 minutes from a Target though, and I have to be honest, shopping at Target could be considered my ism (a repetitious, exclusive activity ;)). I love walking up and down the isles just seeing all the new things. One of my favorite isles in Target is at the front of the store: the dollar isle.
This is my best resource for playroom toys, and every month or so when they change the merchandise for the season, I always buy a few items to use in the playroom. This month I was able to get some clown costumes (see my daughter modeling them to the left) bug masks, and playroom art supplies. Everything is 2 dollars or less, so I don't break the bank, and it adds some variety to my playroom resources. I have a shelf in my house where I keep playroom supplies that can be taken into the playroom at anytime (but not always stored there). Dollar stores are also good places to get things, especially right around Halloween for costumes, but they always have a few toys and costumes, and its always good for art supplies to make your own games, or buy different party glasses for eye contact games.
I hope you all have fun playing at dollar stores, and of course in your playrooms!
Best wishes until next time,
The founder of Inspired Spectrums shares her tips and experiences in working with children and adults with autism. Word of caution: she is occasionally sentimental and this is often reflected in her blogs :)