Therapeutic Play Project Essay

952 words - 4 pages

As I was becoming oriented to the children at Helping Hands I discovered a need for therapeutic play with a 24 month-old African American child. He was lying on the floor and repeatedly shaking his head back and forth. He had cast on both of his feet in order to correct clubbed feet. I went into his room and introduced myself; he looked at me but did not respond. I started asking him simple questions about different toys in the room and I soon realized that he was unable to form words. He expressed language with sounds occasionally. I considered that, “Children with language delays are at risk for difficulty with social skills because their play skill repertoire may be limited. Early interventions can help students learn play skills and prevent future social difficulties” (Sualy, Yount, Kelly-Vance, & Ryalls, 2011, p. 105). I realized the need for play intervention instantly.
The growth development norms for a two year old toddler can be divided into physical characteristics, sensory-motor, psychosocial, and cognitive-language subgroups. A child of this age should be walking and running with ease, however due to his uncorrected club feet he has never been able to walk. During our play session we both were in the prone position. A two-year old should have coordination of fine muscles. During our play session the toddler grabbed my name badge and easily held it in his hands, this demonstrates his fine motor skills. Toddlers of this age should be able to focus eyes on near and far objects. I rolled a ball back and forth between my hands and he followed it with his eyes and head. When I would bounce the ball his head would bob up and down following the direction of the bouncing ball. Hearing reaches adult level at about age three; during the time the toddler and I were playing, occasional music would come on over the speakers in the room. He would nod to the rhythm of the music demonstrating his ability to hear. Some psychosocial norms for three-year olds involve an increase in independence, the control of bodily fluids, and strangers start to make them feel uncomfortable. The toddler I had the chance to play with wanted to play alone in his room for most of the day. He was very shy and unsure of me when I first began my play therapy. He would not even try to talk to me for a few minutes. He then became comfortable with me after I got down on the floor beside him and started playing with the mobile that he was interested in. At the moment that he first started trying to communicate with me I realized that he truly was enjoying my company and that I was making a difference in his life. Although toddlers at the age of three should be expressing some control of bodily fluids, the child I was...

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