Using Playful Practice to Communicate with Special Children  book cover
1st Edition

Using Playful Practice to Communicate with Special Children

ISBN 9780415687676
Published November 17, 2011 by Routledge
128 Pages

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Book Description

Playfulness is important; it creates an alternative space where emotional, cognitive and social dimensions can be explored and tested. This highly practical book explores the endless possibilities of using playful, creative and interactive activities to meaningfully engage with children with multiple learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorders.

The author presents playfulness as ‘an experimental frame of mind’, and encourages practitioners to play with roles, ideas, words, concepts and objects in order to enhance relationships and interventions. By providing accessible steps to playfulness, this text explores some of the contemporary issues surrounding the education of children with severe learning needs, in particular the use of ‘intensive interaction’.

This text considers different areas of creative interactive work for practitioners to draw inspiration from, including:

  • Music
  • Interactive Musical Movement
  • Finger Dance
  • Story and Drama
  • Artwork
  • Reflective Circle.

The varied array of tried and tested original activities have been devised to encourage the development of social interaction, cognition, play, experimentation and creativity, in particular but not exclusively, for children whose learning needs are more complex. The author also invites teachers working in mainstream, particularly early years and primary education, to investigate the creative possibilities inherent in playfulness and to use the activities in this book to enhance the learning environment.

This text offers an abundance of advice, practical strategies and tips for teachers working in special and mainstream early years and primary education. Practitioners such as therapists, care workers, community musicians and creative arts specialists will also find this book useful.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  Foreword  Introduction  1. Context for Learning  * Knowing, acknowledging and delivering where the child is  * The study of infancy and how this relates to children with PMLD/SLD  2. Theory and Definition  * Why Consider Playfulness?  * What is Playfulness?  * Play/Playfulness Scale  3. Steps to Playfulness: Practitioner / Process  * The Practitioner  * The Process  * Considering Steps to Playfulness  4. Tools  * Experimental frame of mind  * Voice  * Body language  * Touch  * Arousal modulation  * Flexibility  * Fun  * Flow  * Creativity  5. Special Considerations  * Autism Spectrum Disorder/Condition  * Sensory Impairments  * Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty  * Challenging Behaviour / boundaries  * Post Script  6. Creative Interactive Activities  7. Interactive Music  8. Interactive Musical Movement  9. Finger Dance  10. Story and Drama  11. Artwork  12. Reflective Circle  Bibliography  Index

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Margaret Corke is a play and creative arts therapist, interactive music specialist, teaching assistant, consultant and freelance trainer. She has previously authored Approaches to Communication through Music (2002), also published by Routledge.


'This essential book is serious about play' - Dave Hewett