Using Playful Practice to Communicate with Special Children: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Using Playful Practice to Communicate with Special Children

1st Edition

By Margaret Corke


128 pages

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pub: 2011-11-17
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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.


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

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

nasen spotlight

The nasen spotlight series provides practical guidance and tried-and-tested resources for all schools and professionals involved in supporting Special Educational Needs. Written by leading experts and covering a wide range of important issues relating to SEN, the books include accessible explanations and examples of best practice, as well as tools and techniques that you can use to improve provision in school. Several new books are published each year to reflect your changing professional needs, and the whole series is brought to you by nasen, the leading organisation representing SEN professionals.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Special Education / General
EDUCATION / Inclusive Education