When a child enters the realm of play, he also enters a realm of potential and possibilities. Playing isn't just about having fun - it is an opportunity to develop and practice physical and social skills, a healthy and necessary part of human growth. Children with an autism spectrum disorder often have trouble learning some of these necessary skills.
Family play therapy teaches families to help children with autism develop gross and fine motor skills, as well as social interaction skills. Experienced specialists help families develop play therapy sessions with carefully chosen and sometimes specially adapted toys to address the specific developmental needs of a child. The family is closely involved so that therapeutic play can continue, and learned skills can be reinforced, in a home environment.
Play therapy as a family is a fun, positive opportunity to engage with a child in need, but families who want to provide this kind of specialized attention to help their child develop physical and social skills may have significant extra challenges along the way, such as low income, and minimal access to human services funding sources.
You can help. $25 provides one hour of a therapeutic family play session focused on building skills through play for children with autism. The family is also given access to a toy lending library so that this helpful interaction can continue at home.
Make your donation of $5 or more an ongoing gift by checking the "Make this a Monthly Gift" box and you will help provide therapeutic family play sessions for children with Autism, each and every month.
Update from the Field
Abbie is an adventurous and fearless little girl. She is entering 3rd grade and has benefited from Anixter services since she was in preschool. Finding the proper toys for Abbie has always been difficult due to her need for sensory input and modified toys and play. As a result, play time together as a family has been challenging, especially in finding ways to include Abbie's younger sister. As Anixter supports children on the spectrum and their families, it is important to note that this year Abbie's family was able to experience many more positive interactions than in the past. Not only did we see growth in Abbie, but in her sister, who has increased her focus and patience, and subsequently her ability to simply play with Abbie. As Abbie's sister learned to focus on what Abbie was capable of doing, she has discovered ways to teach or model play for Abbie, such as moving game pieces or rolling dice for her sister. In fact, mom reported recently, "Our understanding of Abbie's challenges have really grown in this past year. I think that her time at Anixter has helped her see her sister in a much more positive and playful light." Thanks to your support, Abbie and her family are able to get support through Anixter!
Anixter is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing children who have disabilities access to the benefits of play experiences. Anixter's play development model consists of professional play sessions, the prescriptive use of toys and strong family involvement.
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