Play therapy’s greatest virtue is perhaps in its breadth of application. The process of allowing children (and adults!) to express themselves through the language of play can be tremendously useful in a variety of situations. It can be used to teach discipline and good behavior, lift spirits and mend the emotional wounds caused by trauma or grief, and help a patient work through anxiety and depression. Play therapy’s ability to foster expression and improve social and emotional competence is particularly beneficial to children with autism. Many therapists use play-based treatments for Autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders and research suggests a high level of success.
Keeping in mind that every specific situation requires it’s own very specific tools, ChildTherapyToys.com has created The Autism Store–a one-stop shop with the most valuable and fun tools available for play therapy with autistic children. The store boasts a huge variety of books and games, sensory toys, creative materials, and more, all designed to help a child connect and engage through the power of play. The products offered have been expertly curated and are available at affordable prices. Stop by and discover what your therapy room might be missing!
Here’s another great intervention idea submitted by reader Emily Clifton, LISW. Ms. Clifton earned a gift certificate to childtherapytoys.com for her submission. Learn how you can do the same!
I teach a group for children with autism and impulse control issues.The children were having trouble with boundaries with one another and out curtains and blinds. This game helped a lot.You can usually play 3-4 rounds in about 5 minutes, so it’s also a good way to get out extra energy if students become restless during activities that require more focus, and it can provide something for kids to do if your setting up a new activity.
Purpose: To help set physical boundaries in group sessions.
Rules: First talk about how everyone has different sized personal bubbles and then ask them to practice different sizes of bubbles.Say that during the game, all the players will be bubbles, and can choose how big their personal bubbles will be during the game.Then talk about real bubbles, explaining that real bubbles pop if they accidentally rub up against anything, such as a wall or other people, therefore if the students touch anything, they have to pop and fall onto the ground.Also, there are 1-2 students or teachers in the room that are “needles.”If they say pop around the student’s personal bubbles, that student is popped. The last one or two people standing get to be the new needles.