But young children with special needs face extra challenges in interpreting this world. When they have trouble understanding what is real and what is pretend or imagined, their thoughts and concerns can be overwhelming.
While poor sleep and adjusting to change can be part of childhood, when issues persist and begin to get in the way of learning and socializing, then the child’s challenging behaviors may be a call for help. Play therapy could be the answer.
What to expect from play therapy and therapists
When working with a family, a play therapist typically completes an assessment and interview with you to fully understand your child. Then they will plan out with you the goals that you wish to have your child achieve. Next, the child gets familiar with the play therapist by exploring the special materials of the playroom. Many play therapists use a technique called Sand Tray Therapy, an activity where materials are used as symbols to allow the child to discover things about themselves.
Some children use play therapy quickly and can make great strides over relatively few sessions. Other children may take time to feel the comfort of the play space, and gradually reveal their thoughts and concerns through play, to make them feel less scary and overwhelming.