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ACWA 2010 Conference Mike Quilty - Program Manager Playgroup Australia Ltd.

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Presentation on theme: "ACWA 2010 Conference Mike Quilty - Program Manager Playgroup Australia Ltd."— Presentation transcript:

1 ACWA 2010 Conference Mike Quilty - Program Manager Playgroup Australia Ltd.

2 Playgroup Australia National body recognised as the leading representative for playgroups. Advocates... learning through play supporting parents, families and children strengthening communities. Provider of the Australian Government’s National Supported Playgroup Program Sole provider of PlayConnect Playgroups.

3 Research has shown the value of play for the social, cognitive, emotional and physical development of all children. (Ginsburg,2007) The Importance of Play “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” Leo F. Buscaglia

4 The Human Brain Reasoning Planning Movement Emotions Problem Solving Movement Orientation Recognition Perception FRONTAL LOBE PARIETAL LOBE Visual Processing OCCIPITAL LOBE Perception Audio Memory Speech TEMPORAL LOBE Movement Posture Balance CEREBELLUM SPINAL CORD Breathing Heartbeat Blood Pressure MEDELLA PLAY

5 Through play children engage & interact with the world create a world where they can master skills & competencies Play requires a child to be active and to initiate leading to a sense of empowerment over the environment The Importance of Play “Play is a major avenue for learning to manage anxiety. It gives the child a safe space where they can experiment at will, suspending the rules and constraints of physical and social reality. In play, the child becomes master rather than subject.... Play allows the child to transcend passivity and to become the active doer of what happens around them.” (Alicia F. Lieberman (20th century), U.S. psychologist. The Emotional Life of the Toddler, ch. 7 (1993).)

6 Functions of Play in Development Creating Collaborating Making choices Organising Problem Solving Taking and Sharing Responsibility Interpreting Predicting Recalling Reflecting Communicating

7 PlayConnect Playgroups Families with a child aged 0-6 years ASD diagnosis or displaying ASD-like symptoms. Children do not require a formal ASD diagnosis. Families self-select to attend. Siblings and other relatives are welcome. Free to attend PlayConnect Playgroups facilitated by a Development Worker.

8 PlayConnect Development Workers implement a strengths based perspective and use what a child does well to encourage new skills. 1.Structuring the environment 2.Structuring the routine 3.Communication support 4.Following the child’s lead 5.Breaking down tasks 6.Modelling 7.Positive encouragement Tailoring Play for Children with ASD

9 Benefits of Playgroup for Children with ASD Provides opportunities for learning play skills, social behaviours and coping strategies

10 Dr John Irvine Movie

11 Benefits of Playgroup for Children with ASD Provides opportunities for learning play skills, social behaviours and coping strategies With the development of play skills, rituals and routine may decrease The opportunity to generalise new behaviours. Stepping stone towards the next stage of intervention Introduces new people into the child’s life

12 “ on the 20 th May at Enfield – S’s mum was amazed that S sat on Development Workers lap to do craft (DW asked permission prior to S doing this). The mum’s comment was “he never does that, he normally will only sit with me.” When the Development Worker asked again if this was ok, the mum answered enthusiastically “YES, it gives me a break!” PlayConnect Coordinator - SA Parent Quote

13 Benefits of PlayConnect for Parents Participating parents offer understanding, validation, support and friendship to one another PlayConnect exposes parents to information and strategies about how they can support their children’s development through play Parents gain child insights by engaging in child-driven play Parents can experience an increase in their self-confidence Participation in a non-therapeutic environment provides recognition of the parent’s value and worth in their children’s life

14 Focus of playgroup not solely on diagnosed child. Siblings have opportunity to connect with other siblings Inclusive environment Factors which promote positive family relationships Benefits of Playgroup for the family

15 Capacity Building at PlayConnect A peer support approach to working with parents to develop their confidence and create supportive family networks Facilitate connections between families and other specialist community agencies supporting both the child and their family Connect families with resources available through Helping Children with Autism package.

16 Feedback on Capacity Building “When I first started going I didn’t know anyone else with a child with ASD, so meeting other parents was great for me - a relief in a way. Also at the Playgroup we have guests come along who are Professionals in different fields - this has opened up new doors for me and my family that I didn’t know of before”. Parent attending PlayConnect - Cairns

17 National Survey



20 “You get so busy that you forget they are still just kids. You get caught up in doing things that will help him and teach him. You’re always at preschool, speech therapy, early intervention programs, doctors, specialists, which fill up the week, but the kids also need to be kids and just play and have fun. PlayConnect is about timetabling some fun and nothing else. You probably shouldn’t have to do that – timetable fun, but that’s the reality for most parents with special needs kids, and that’s why PlayConnect works so well.” Kylie Emr Development Worker & mother of a child diagnosed with ASD.

21 Final Slide or Free Call: 1800 790 335

22 Final Slide or Free Call: 1800 790 335

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