What is Delayed Play?
Playing is an important part of everyday life for every child. Children learn and hone many skills via play and it is crucial to their development. There are a number of significant play milestones which may involve your child playing alone, alongside or with others, using their imagination, copying or creativity and may be with or without objects/toys.
Benefits of play include:
- health, fitness and well-being
- pre-literacy skills
- cognitive skill development
- fine and gross motor development
- creative expression
- leadership abilities
- mental strength
- personal growth
- social development
- socialisation and human interaction
Your child’s ability to play may be affected by a sensory processing difficulty, a communication disorder, a physical disability or developmental delay.
What Therapies for Kids can do
The Occupational Therapist will assess your child’s age-appropriate play skills and provide strategies on how to encourage these play skills to develop further and for your child to be more independent in their play abilities.
Your Occupational Therapist will assess your child’s age-appropriate play skills via formal, informal and observational assessment. Following this assessment key goal areas will be developed in conjunction with the parents and child. Treatment will focus on developing the component skills that require development in order for your child to be more independent in their play abilities. Treatment may be achieved within the clinic environment and may involve parents, caregiver and/or siblings. Preschool/school visits may be required to help develop these skills within the child’s functional play environments as well as amongst their peers.
What you can do
Often specific underlying skills require further development and practice. It would be beneficial to practise at home and you will be guided by your therapist home program. Modelling play will also be important to practise at home by following through on those techniques discussed and shown in therapy.