A Sample Of Guidelines Used In NPT
If your child lines up cars, try lining up your own cars.
Your children have sensory systems that are not like ours.
They are doing their very best to do all the things we ask of them, but when it comes down to it, it is very challenging when they are experiencing the world differently from us.
One of the major techniques that sets Natural Play Therapy apart from most other therapies is that we believe their self-stimulatory behaviors are necessary to organizing their sensory systems so that they can connect with us at a deeper level.
Therefore, when our kids take breaks, we take breaks too. If they line up objects, we may get our own objects to line up. When they are running in circles across the room, we may do the same thing. Or it may feel right to take a break that feels more true to ourselves. We could read a book, draw a picture, or quietly play our own game.
This allows them to self-regulate their sensory systems. It also provides the opportunity to let them practice initiating interaction (a major challenge in relationship-based disorders). And it sends them the message that we understand them and totally accept them for who they are right now. (That's what we all want!...to be accepted for who we are right now!)
When they feel accepted, they are more likely to WANT to connect with us. And when they have organized their sensory systems, they are more likely to be ABLE to connect with us.
Our kids are also craving predictability because they are experiencing the world in very different ways. People are amongst the least predictable things in the world. Objects are very predictable and controllable. It is no wonder they gravitate toward objects and away from deep relationships with people.
By honoring their breaks and teaching through play when they are connected with us, we become more predictable and easier to be with. Who wouldn't want to play when you have complete control?!
In NPT, we experiment with a variety of different ways to take breaks with your individual child as each child responds differently. Some like to have control, some prefer when we mirror their actions from one spot in the room, some like us to move with them, some like when we take our own type of breaks, etc.
* * *
Developmental Stages of Play
Everything we do is based on creating emotional trust with a child. We build relationships through play. Developmentally kids go through 5 main stages of play: Solitary, Spectator, Parallel, Associative, and Cooperative Play. We help you remember how to play and give you the tools to create a deeper connection with your child through these stages of play. People learn most through play and trust in their relationships....it's not different with our friends with special needs.
* * *
Video Describes Details of The Developmental Stages of Play
* * *
Adjusting Your Environment For Optimal Learning