On the Right Track
Here’s a big question: if all children learn best through play, why would our children with autism be any different?
At the World Conference of Early Childhood and Education held in Moscow, Russian in 2010, the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) published a statement (available here) on play-based learning. They underscored the enormous importance of purposeful play based early learning in setting the stage for a child’s well-being.
The CMEC statement says that evidence is clear that play-based learning builds a child’s brain to promote thinking skills, problem solving and language. Researchers suggest play promotes success socially, emotionally and academically for children.
Interesting. To read that these organizers, keynote speakers, scientists, political figures and experts in the field share the same outlook as me truly is a great feeling. As a Floortime parent, you quickly become aware that Floortime may be the best fit for your child since it is based on the same developmental stages as neurotypical children.
Since the majority of autistic children lack problem solving, social and language skills, play based therapy logically provides a vehicle to improve these weaknesses. DIR/Floortime is not just a “play” model; rather, it’s an intensive understanding of how and why our children interpret and respond to the world the way they do.
Choosing a therapy is a hard decision. My wish is that the parents with children just beginning the program or on a waitlist can put their minds at ease. They can rest assured in the knowledge that they are indeed on the same track as experts in early childhood, educational professionals and researchers. They can rest easy knowing that in time, their children will be discovering their innate sense of creativity, solving problems and improving social skills which will open doors to our world that had been closed.
All of this comes through the benefit of play. That’s pretty reassuring.