Real Research Paper for EX - PLAY THERAPY FOR AUTISTIC...

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PLAY THERAPY FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN Play Therapy for Autistic Children Jezelle Cutia Brigham Young University 1
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PLAY THERAPY FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN Abstract Autism Spectrum Disorder is a serious problem in our society which prohibits some children from communicating effectively with friends and family. Multiple forms of treatment have been practiced, but this paper will focus on play therapy and how it can help those with ASD adapt to the social norms. Various forms of play therapy such as early intervention, sandplay therapy, and other activities that require basic communication skills allows autistic children to develop their interpersonal skills. Early intervention shows when children are entered into programs prior to the age of five, they are able develop their social abilities most effectively which will give them more advantages later in life. Experiments such stimuli pairing and sandplay therapy have depicted results of children improving their social skills significantly due to growing more comfortable to their surroundings and influences in their lives. The following tools have proven to be helpful because autistic children are able to build their self-confidence and strengthen relationships with other people. While there have been multiple studies, there is not solid scientific evidence that can prove or disprove the effects of play therapy; therefore, it is of the utmost important to continue researching on this form of play therapy and see if it can continue to improve the interpersonal performances of autistic children. 2
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PLAY THERAPY FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN Introduction Last year I volunteered for a program called Teaching and Loving Children (TLC), which is a school for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurological developmental disorder that restricts social and communication development through various behavior patterns. TLC helps children with ASD through various activities such as music, art, reading, and play so that children can interact with one another in a healthy environment. As I spent more time at TLC, I was impressed by the children’s abilities to continue learning despite their disabilities. My experience at TLC has inspired me to become a recreational therapist and help those in need, specifically children with autism. Therapeutic recreation includes assisting those with emotional, physical, or mental disabilities rehabilitate through activities such as community play, outdoor activities, music, and etc. Recreational therapy branches off into many different types, but the one I will elaborate on in this paper is play therapy. Before I volunteered for TLC, I was unaware of the severity of autism among the children in our society. According to the Talking About Curing Autism organization (2011), “One in every 90 children in the US has autism,” and this number is only continuing to grow.
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