Blog Info

Welcome to my new Blog! I am a licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and Registered Play Therapist located in Carlsbad California.
For more information about me and my therapy practice, please see her website at

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Value of Play

The Value of Play

I have always been a big believer in the value "Play" has in the development of children.  This has fueled my interest in Play Therapy, Sand-Tray Therapy, and Art Therapy.  Why do I feel so strongly that Play is an integral part of a child's development?

1. Play helps children learn to problem solve. Play provides many opportunities for children to learn how to solve problems.  It provides opportunities for negotiating roles in dramatic play.  It promotes analytical thinking - for example figuring out where to place the lever and ball when they play "hot hoops", or if playing "Don't break the Ice", learning where and how hard they should hit the ice blocks.

2. Play helps children learn to discriminate, to sort, to classify, and to learn what is alike and what is different. As children play with different materials or manipulate toys, they learn to discern texture, size, shape, color, and other qualities.

3. Play increases creative thinking.  Children naturally play pretend games and use their imagination to make ordinary objects represent things in their fantasy world.  This is the foundation for later understanding and use of abstract symbols, such as letters and numbers.

4. Play promotes social-emotional growth.  Play provides opportunities to practice the social skills of communicating, understanding another's point of view, taking turns, sharing, and following rules.  Through play, children can relax, have fun, and develop self-confidence.

5. Play helps children express their feelings and ideas.  Play offers children opportunities to safely explore and express their feelings and ideas in a safe manner.  It also provides opportunities to be able to see and explore other's feelings and ideas or "play expressions".

6. Children's physical, emotional, fine motor, and gross motor movement is greatly enhanced through play. Children learn how to use and control their bodies through play by developing different eye hand motor skills.  Play also encourages self-regulation of their body - and learning to control their actions.

How empowering is that?

Social Skills in ADHD Children

How are poor Social Skills displayed by ADHD children?
If you were to observe your child interacting with his peers, you might see several inappropriate social behaviors.  He or she might not look at his peers while he or she talks to them.  His dialogues will not promote a conversation, but rather a monologue on his topic of choice.  If he/she begins to lose a game, the rules of the game will change.

Parents might ask how their child's impulsivity affect their social skills?
The very nature of being impulsive means the inability to consistently think before acting.  In social situations, children with ADHD fail to think before they say or do something.  To get along well with others we all need to use a mental filter.  That prompts us to think ahead of time before we say or do something.

Can ADHD be a Strength?
When parents and children change their perspective, some of the symptoms of ADHD can become assets instead of symptoms to be eliminated.  ADHD children often have a unique way of perceiving things.  Today's business model of "thinking outside the box" is made for the ADHD person.  Turning a symptom into a strength can change the way you respond to your child - and when you change the way you respond to your child, your child will find increased happiness and improved self-esteem.

What is Sensory Integration?

What is Sensory Integration?
Everyday we receive a great deal of information from our senses.  We use this information to organize our behavior and successfully interact in the world.  What happens if one or more of our senses are not being interpreted properly?  A child with vague or hazy feedback about his sense of touch, body position, or movement and gravity is in a world totally foreign to ours.  You would not feel the usual security, safety, and fun that other children experience.  When the process of sensory integration is disordered, a number of problems in learning, motor development, or behavior may be observed.