Play with Words
Specialist Therapeutic small group sessions for 3-5-year olds who have learning and communication difficulties.
What is Play with Words?
Each group is made up of 3-4 children and their parents/carers in a similar situation as you. All the children will have learning and communication difficulties.
The weekly sessions involve a combination of Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT) and Speech and Language Therapy (SLT). The group offers both child-led, but supported play with specialist sensory equipment, as well as structured activities promoting joint attention and turn–taking. Where appropriate sign support and visual cues are used to help support the learning of new key words and to support the transition between activities.
The activities provide an opportunity to learn by watching others around them. They focus on children’s auditory, visual, touch, vestibular proprioceptive senses. It is progressive, in order to increase children’s engagement with sensory-play activities over time.
Who is it for?
The group is for parents / carers and children aged 3-5 years with learning and language difficulties. Communication difficulties may include: Limited vocabulary, difficulty putting words together, difficulty following instructions, attention and listening difficulties, difficulty using language in a ‘functional’ way, social interaction difficulties.
Children with learning difficulties may bump into things, fall down for no apparent reason or just be uncoordinated. They may have challenges with gross motor skills, balance and coordination or with age appropriate fine motor skills such as holding cutlery or crayons.
Parents may be worried about their child’s presentation for a number of reasons e.g. their arousal levels or regulation, failure to mix socially, their difficulty making transitions from one situation to another, or their tactile defensiveness.
What are the aims of the group?
- To practice and build on motor skills in a realistic, motivating and engaging environment
- To support sensory processing needs of each individual child at the “just right” level
- To build on self –regulation, strength and endurance
- To provide the opportunity to develop social skills in a structured and supportive setting
- Develop other vital skills such as turn taking, waiting, joining in and anticipating
- To provide opportunities for communication
Should I attend with my child?
Yes. It is important that you attend all sessions with your child so you are able to consolidate what you and your child learn in the session. This will also help you to understand the ideas and strategies to support your child at home.
How often will we need to attend the group?
You will need to attend once a week for an hour and a half during term time. Sessions may also be offered in the School holidays depending upon availability. The number of sessions you will attend is not fixed, but depends on the child’s needs and progress.
What will be expected of us in the Group?
Individual assessments will be undertaken prior to your starting group sessions. This will involve a discussion about your child’s strengths, needs and challenges. A ’trial’ session may be offered to determine the suitability of the group for your child.
In the group sessions, you and your child will join in activities together, each focusing on age-appropriate targets agreed with you for developing your child’s skills. At the end of a session there may be some homework to complete to help your child (this involves playing with your child).
You will also be invited to attend one of our parent information sessions to facilitate understanding of sensory processing and sensory integration – add link here
I am interested in my child joining a Play with words group, what do I do next?