Play therapy - reaching the child with autism

Article


Parker, Natasha and O'Brien, Patrick. 2011. "Play therapy - reaching the child with autism." International Journal of Special Education. 26 (1), pp. 80-87.
Article Title

Play therapy - reaching the child with autism

ERA Journal ID40817
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsParker, Natasha (Author) and O'Brien, Patrick (Author)
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Special Education
Journal Citation26 (1), pp. 80-87
Number of Pages8
Year2011
Place of PublicationVancouver, BC. Canada
ISSN0827-3383
Web Address (URL)http://www.internationalsped.com/documents/9%202011%20No1%20Play%20Therapy%20Autism%20Parker%20OBrien.doc
Abstract

This paper proposes that play therapy can be an appropriate intervention in working with children with autism in schools especially when working with children who have little in the way of social skills and poor communication. It proposes that play therapy may offer school counsellors opportunities that the more cognitive therapies do not. Through the use of case study research, the paper discusses and illustrates an intervention with a seven year old boy with autism across 12 sessions of sandplay in a school in Queensland, Australia.
This paper draws our attention to the legitimate use of case study research in counselling. It also advocates for the use of sandplay, (an expressive therapy intervention) with a child who is autistic and who at first plays chaotically. This paper draws the counsellor's attention to the developmental stages that will follow when the child feels secure enough to proceed. The lack of well researched longitudinal quantitative or mixed method research in play therapy is also noted.

Keywordsautism; therapy; interventions; play therapy; sandplay; case study research; expressive therapies
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020320907. Sensory systems
520105. Psychological methodology, design and analysis
390411. Special education and disability
Public Notes

This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source. As of the year 2002 the International Journal of Special Education will be published on this website. Libraries and individuals are permitted to print out entire issues for educational purposes.

The intent is to make the journal available internationally and free of charge to everyone who is interested in special education or is a student of special education.

Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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