Monday, August 17, 2009
Social and play skills are still a concern for us so I am trying to spend time teaching Elizabeth how to play. Teaching appropriate play is difficult for me as I really do not know too much about appropriate play for a 4 year old. I have no difficulty working on Elizabeth's other PT, OT and speech goals as they are concrete; we have exercises, worksheets and tons of crafts to meet her goals. Teaching Elizabeth to play is just as important as her walking , speech, ability to print etc and it is something I often leave out. Elizabeth will go off on her own to play but I would not call it functional play (unless it is dinosaurs), in her play kitchen she will smash the dishes and make noise and her pet shop toys she will scatter around the house but it is not play that other children would join in on. After some research I found Lovaas' program and it encourages scripted play which hopefully can be faded over time. I am familiar with this program as it is used for children with Autism and for a short time I worked as a IBI therapist for children with Autism. Using his scripts we played restaurant and practiced serving each other meals. I began giving Elizabeth the key phrases and over time she is not needing prompting to stay and play appropriately. Of course Elizabeth would not be Elizabeth if she did not take time to be goofy.