Play therapy is a well-known proven tool used to help many children on the autistic spectrum.
It is a channel for children who struggle with understanding how they are feeling, find playing alongside peers or siblings difficult, trouble with speech or lack imaginative play skills. These issues can be caused by many different things such as communication disorders, neurological disorders and trauma to name a few.
Typically developing young children learn naturally through play, this can be very different for children on the autistic spectrum who can be repetitive and ritualistic in their behaviour.
An autistic child will often prefer to play alone and when joined by a family member or peer will often retreat and the moment is lost. The key to a good play therapist/child relationship is patience, understanding and finding the common ground of interest to begin the journey of joined play.
Once the relationship of therapist and child is accepted the process of including parents, siblings or guardians can begin. It is a wonderful privilege to watch the growth of families playing and understanding each other more.
Play can develop to assist the understanding of taking turns, sharing, imaginative play such as feeding, cooking, dress up etc
Once play therapy is established and accepted this can transferred to anywhere outside the home. Social outings can be challenging but with new gained skills your child can learn to enjoy experiences away from home. School visits to train teaching staff are also now commonplace as more educational establishments recognise the value of play therapy.
Jane didn’t choose play therapy as her vocation; it chose her!
Jane developed her own play therapy 22 years ago to assist her then non-verbal classically autistic son. George went from severe autism with no play, speech or social skills, eating issues and ritualistic behaviour to now a high functioning 24yr old man who is currently studying childcare, working in a pre-school, driving his own car and socialising with the friends he has made through Positive Path Foundation.
Having real living experience of autism means Jane can relate to the highs and lows of life as a parent of a special needs child.
Positive Path Play Therapy has worked with children all over the country, bringing great gains for families living with autism and is now operating within the same geographical areas as Positive Path Foundation.
Our play therapy is always child led and never, ever forced. Our aim is for your child to enjoy interaction with others in a meaningful, fun and rewarding way which in time can be adapted to address the many symptoms given to the label of autism, such as sensory challenges, feeding/dietary issues, anxiety, social avoidance, emotional outbursts, aggression and irregular sleep patterns.
Your child doesn’t have to have an official diagnosis to have play therapy and we are happy to liaise with other professionals involved with your child to get the best outcome.
Parents/guardians are often discouraged by the amount of time some therapists claim that is required to see gains, we believe you do as much as suits your family life. If that must fit around school hours or just weekends then that is what you do, it is more important to focus on an uninterrupted approach dedicated to your child for as long as possible than to cram in time that is full of distraction.
George’s journey alone is testament to the outstanding success of play therapy, and we would love to assist your family witness the joy of your child overcoming obstacles and becoming as independent and happy as they can be.
In the first instance Jane will spend time with parents/guardians to fully understand your child, no one knows the child like the parents do and this vital information will be used to build the initial bespoke programme to suit their needs, challenges and goals discussed.
If you feel your child would benefit from play therapy, then please do not hesitate to contact Jane for an informal chat.