The intervention of play in the treatment of Autism has found to be highly effective. In fact, modern experts regard play therapy as a vital component in supporting and encouraging various aspects of development in children with ASD.
ASD makes it difficult and sometimes impossible for children and adults to communicate and interact socially, accept, and empathize with others. Those with ASD also become more or less self-absorbed, and are not able to come out of this state unless supported and encouraged strongly and abundantly.
Play is one of the strongest tools, the strongest rather, that parents and therapists’ resort to in order to help children with ASD and address their problems with interaction and communication. Play-based Autism therapy involves fun and freedom, and is no doubt, one of the wonderful and effective ways of encouragement.
The right way to play is to focus on plenty of floor time with the child. Floor time play is when the therapist would get down on the floor so she is at eye-level with the child. This is in fact, what the ideal therapist would do, and is the first step towards identifying the likes and dislikes of an autistic child, developing a bond, and simply getting to know him/her better.
It helps the therapist find out what toys are the child’s favourite – which one’s cause excitement, energy and curiosity in the child, and which ones don’t. Toys with sounds, vibrations, or movements are commonly the types that work well. Favourite toys and games are used as the key tool during floor time to start developing a bond, and gradually sparking some sort of communication and improved interaction.
Progressing with Play
After a number of sessions that surround toys and activities that appeal to the child, the therapist will move on to focus more on reciprocal skills – such as sharing and turn taking, imaginative skills, and abstract skills by adding various approaches effectively. Eventually, the therapist will know when to get a few more others involved to create group-play sessions so more intense skills are addressed and developed.
It is essential to keep in mind that you cannot really tell how much time your child would need in order to transition from one phase to another. It could take longer than you expect, but the wait is always worth it. There are no rules or standards when it comes to supporting an autistic child and so, always focus on the positive and stay hopeful.
Parents are quite cautious when it comes to making choices concerning their autistic child. Some may choose to practice play-based therapy and activities by watching videos and reading guides. Some, on the other hand, will choose to hand things entirely to an expert whom they can rely on 100%. While the choice is always personal, it is important to make such decisions upon assessing situations and circumstances. If for instance, your family has a tough lifestyle to deal with every day, or there are other toddlers and babies in the house that you’d be dealing with, you would rather hand the responsibility of therapy entirely to an expert who will take matters to their hands and do a more effective, committed job.