Therapies Explained

Play Therapy:

Play is the child’s natural way of communication and a medium by which to sort out his world and make sense of it. While playing, the child can project his situation, express his feelings and bring it to the surface where he can acknowledge, experience and master it. Children who benefit from play therapy:

  • Children who need to adapt to change in their situation, like moving to a new house, going to a new school, divorce of parents or receiving a sibling.
  • Children who have trouble handling a traumatic experience.
  • Children with unresolved grief after the loss of a family member, friend or pet.
  • Children who have trouble making friends, who are shy and withdrawn in group situations.
  • Children experiencing anxiety and stress.
  • Children being the victim of being bullied or the bully themselves.
  • Children with aggressive or disagreeable behaviour.
  • Children, who bite their nails, suck their thumbs or wet or soil their beds or clothing.
  • Children with psychosomatic symptoms (stomach-aches or headaches without a medical reason).
  • Abused or molested children.
  • Hyperactive children.

 

Occupational Therapy:

Occupational Therapists use scientifically chosen meaningful activities to assist diverse clients with a range of problems to maximise their functioning. This empowers them to be as independent as possible and to experience dignity and quality of life at work, at home and at play. (OT Council, 2001)

Children who benefit from occupational therapy:

  • Children whose development is behind, eg. not reaching milestones within reasonable time.
  • Children whose gross motor co-ordination is weak – they may find it difficult to do simple activities, like buttoning a coat, cutting or their hand writing may be untidy or slow.
  • Children who have sensory or concentration issues – these children may appear fussy or find it difficult to focus.
  • Children with poor visual perceptual skills have, for example, difficulty with reading, spelling or mathematics and often reverse letters.

 

Speech–Language Therapy:

Speech-Language Therapists assess, diagnose and treat communication related disorders. Specialized tests are used to diagnose the nature and extent of impairment and to record and analyse speech, language and auditory perception problems. All impairments are addressed through development of an individualised treatment plan, tailored to each child’s needs. Children with the following difficulties may benefit from Speech-Language

  • Delayed receptive and expressive language development: These children may exhibit inadequate development of vocabulary and grammar required to express and understand thoughts and ideas. Older children may have difficulty in understanding written language and communicating what they have learned.
  • Auditory perception problems and inadequate listening skills: These children may have problems in following age appropriate instructions and learning to read and spell.
  • Articulation and phonological process disorders: Children with these difficulties may replace, distort or omit sounds in their speech. This can result in poor intelligibility.
  • Fluency Disorders: Stuttering is characterised by the inability to produce words fluently. This may include sound, syllable or word repetitions, pauses and sound prolongations.
  • Voice disorders: Children with voice problems may have a hoarse voice.
  • Feeding and swallowing difficulties: Children with feeding difficulties may present as fussy/picky eaters, may have structural problems in the mouth and face such as cleft lip or -palate, or may have motor difficulties interfering with chewing or swallowing such as cerebral palsy.
  • Social-interaction difficulties: Children with poor social skills may have problems making  eye contact with another person, may not be able to maintain a topic of conversation, or may struggle with  turn-taking in a conversation.
  • Language-Learning difficulties: These children have difficulty with academic skills such as spelling and reading.


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