According to additude magazine, “Play is the “language of childhood.” Watch a child play, and you’ll see her express a variety of emotions, acting out fanciful scenarios. You almost see her “trying on” different kinds of expressions. Play therapy taps into this intuitive childhood language, helping children develop greater self-esteem. It empowers them to cope with their problems-from ADHD challenges to traumatic events to damaged relationships.” With that said, play therapy can be very beneficial for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This article will explain how play therapy works and the benefits of play therapy for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
How Does Play Therapy Work?
According to additude magazine, play therapy is very non-directive. Children are in control not the therapist. Simply stated, according to additude magazine, “The therapist plays alongside the child in the play therapy room. She doesn’t guide the child, but follows him. This non-directive play allows a child to explore challenges or feelings at his own comfort level. It’s important to let the child define the play. If a child picks up a tiger and calls it an elephant, the therapist goes with that.” It is important to note children communicate through play. In particular, children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be very creative. It is important note not to take this away from them and just let them be in control.
Play Therapy Validates Children’s Feelings
One of the benefits of play therapy for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is enabling children’s feelings to be validated. According to additude magazine, “Play therapy works because it validates the child’s feelings. Through the therapist’s facial expressions and words, she mirrors the emotion she believes the child is expressing. This type of therapy is useful in boosting a child’s self-esteem by overcoming shame. Giving a child permission to express himself freely in a play therapy room, and having his feelings mirrored back, allows a child to gain confidence.” As a result, it is important to validate children’s feelings during play therapy sessions. It is important not to be judgmental but to be validating and understanding toward children. This is especially important for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder who may have low self-esteem and need to gain more confidence.
Play therapy is a practical therapeutic technique to enable children to experience the therapeutic environment but also to have fun. Children like to explore and be creative. Play Therapy is a perfect way for this to happen, especially with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.