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Play Therapy

May 16, 2012

Our new play therapist came on Mother’s Day to observe Rett and start writing down a list of goals to work on.  She stayed for about an hour and a half just playing with him and seeing what he could and sometimes.. what he would do.  Based on what I’ve seen from the teach2talk dvd’s she was testing him at basic play skills and then going up seeing where he was.

 

The first thing she did was play food.  He could pretend to eat, pretend to feed her, use under the dresser as an over but never really pretended that the food was hot.  He could stir and combine veggies to make a ‘soup’.  All of these were HER ideas though. Rett is great with following along with ideas that you come up with but his own spontaneous play ideas are limited. They played with the fake food for probably 20 minutes.

 

Then they moved on to his castle.  He played with the knights and she played as the dragon. Mostly a lot of attacking and trying to get into the castle.  She would put the dragon down and Rett would pick it back up and hand it to her.  She said that was a good sign that he wanted her to continue playing with him instead of how he used to be, wanting to control the play and would rather be playing alone.  He got into putting his knights through the trap doors in his castle and started getting into his own stimming instead of playing but she could easily draw him back to the original play. 

 After that we played with trains. She had me play with him to observe how we played together. Trains are sort of hard to play together since you’re basically pushing them around in circles on a track. I really don’t see what kids find so entertaining about that.  I built the track and we started playing.  He would push the train over to where I was and I would take over having my turn and pushing it back to him.  He had a hard time waiting for his turn. We also tried pushing it back and foreth through a tunnel. He wasn’t really crazy about that either.  She took a block and put it across the track so he had to ask ‘move, please’ to get her to move it.   He preferred to say ‘watch out, please’ which I thought was pretty funny.   There was quite a bit of whining/crying and minor fit throwing.  I see that a lot when we start working with new people. 

 

Then Evie woke up and we did some jumping onto the bean bag and chasing him with his giant IKEA alligator.  He said the alligator was going swimming and threw him onto the bean bag. 

 

I thought he demonstrated his play skills pretty well.  i felt like she got a good sense of where he is and what the first steps are to improving his play.  She should start coming twice a week starting next week. She’ll be working with our speech path, Miss Amanda, to coordinate what she is working on. 

 

Here is what Rett’s play mostly looks like right now.

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Aww the great Imaginext obsession.  His air plane carrier came with a dvd that showed all these toys in little short cartoons. So one of them has this spaceship careening precariously off a ledge.  So Rett wants to hang this thing on everything. I’m not sure how he gets it to hang on half the stuff he does.  And then sometime he wants me to help him. Yah, right like I could ever get that thing to do that.  He basically reenacts the scene word for word.  He does this.. 20 or so times a day? He really likes you to watch him do it. If you aren’t watching he comes over and repeats the line.  Its just so entertaining.. cough.

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Lately he’s also been adding this robot guy (also from the dvd) to come save him.  And yes, we’re potty training so we play in our underwear.

 

The day after Miss Eryka (play therapist) came, I went back in his room to try out some of the stuff I saw her do with him. We were playing trains again (highlight of my day) and I took one of his dinsoaurs and chased the train he was playing with around the track. Rett loves chase so he was all about that.  I had to stop and keep Sissy from injuring herself somehow.  He took the dinosaur and faced him and the train and made them talk to each other.

Dinosaur: Hi, train

Train: Hi, dinosaur

Dinosaur: I chase you?

Train: Ok

I thought that was pretty good. First off, its not from a movie or any movie lines that he’s using to support his speech.  He understood that they were playing chase together.  I hadn’t done that modeling for him so that was just completely Rett.  Of course I had to do that game in the first place.  I think that’s the main issue is getting him to come up with his own ideas of what to play.

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And then there is Sissy. I really think her play skills are starting to catch up or overtake his.  She plays with her toy story people and has them say bye and hello.  She has them say ‘my turn’ when they get on Bullseye’s back.  They kiss and hug. They slide down stuff and say ‘weeeee’. Its not complex play but its all ideas of her own.

She’s also started to set up the dollhouse furniture by herself. That may be an interest thing. Doll houses are more girly right? I know the whole ‘boys can play with dollhouses’ thing. Why do you think my son had a dollhouse when he was 1? But he just isn’t interested in girly type stuff like he is boy stuff. No matter how hard I try to get him to. I really thought the doll house would be great because he could reenact things he saw going on at our house. But it just doesn’t work that way for him.

 

And now scrapping.. I’ve been seriously playing catch up!

 

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That first layout really made me realize how far my photography has come. That is pretty much an embarrassing  shot. That picture was taken almost exactly a year ago. I can’t believe how much they’ve both grown in a year. Makes me want to try to shove them both in a swing together, ha!

 

You can pick up this kit, Squeezed by B2N2 scraps here.

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