Friday, April 28, 2017

DO YOU KNOW PLAY HELPS CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS

I read a quote credited to Dr Stuart Brown, “Nothing lights up a child’s brain like play”. It is said that children learn by play, and play is important for healthy development in children. According to Jona K. Anderson and Sandra J. Bailey, 75% of brain development happens after birth, and play helps with that development by stimulating the brain through the formation of connections between nerve cells. Play helps with development of fine and gross motor skills, language and communication, socialization skills, creative and thinking skills. Children learn to solve problems in play (The Importance of Play in Early Childhood Development, www.msuextension.org).

One man and his team has taken this literally and they play with all children, helping to boost their development. This program is directed at children with developmental delays and all other children. The children they work with build different skills as they play together.


The Playsmart Concept is a full service child development consultancy that works with the global concept of ‘play’. They provide play based programs for preschools and primary schools called Smart Play, with emphasis on learning readiness. They also provide support in form of therapy for children with developmental delays.

According to them, their main focus is promoting and providing play based programs for children and support for children with developmental delays. Having worked for close to 10 years with children with developmental delays, they have seen that every child develops optimally when exposed to developmentally appropriate play based programs.

As you should be aware, children with autism have developmental delays, so Playsmart Concepts provides opportunities for children with autism to develop earlier through play.

I first heard of Playsmart Concepts when I saw an advert for their Saturday play programs. Then I asked to volunteer at one of their programs, and I saw how all the children responded very well. And they had testimonies of the children I could recognize as being on the autism spectrum, how they had made progress in the time they had spent attending their programs.
 

The play program created an inclusive environment, as there was no segregation or discrimination. A child cannot be wrong in play, so all the children had free expression of themselves. I saw a child who didn’t seem like she wanted to play with the others when she came in lighten up as the play progressed.

The Playsmart Concepts team is led by Mr Isa Gabriel who has had the experience of working with children, using play as a tool for more than a decade.

I am happy to celebrate Mr Isa and The Playsmart Concepts team today, because of the part they play in the lives of our children living with Autism. Inclusion of people on the autism spectrum in the society is very dear to me, and The Playsmart Concepts is not only helping with inclusion, but also they are helping our children develop better.

You can learn more about Playsmart Concepts by visiting their website www.playsmartconcepts.org