Learn while you P.L.A.Y

An article in yesterday’s Orlando Sentinel highlights anEaster Seals program that shows parents how to turn play into therapy. The story features Amanda Nero, who has two children with autism:

She felt unsure years ago, when doctors diagnosed her older son, Christian, now 5, with autism, and again when her younger son, Jaden, 3, was diagnosed as well. They might never know the joys of a typical childhood, she thought.

But as Jaden buried his head into Nero’s shoulder, the Ormond Beach mother said she now believes her sons can know happiness. She has the support of her husband and the help of her 6-year-old daughter. And soon, Nero will have the assistance of a program that teaches parents how to give their autistic children the hours of therapy they need.

Christian and Jaden participate in the P.L.A.Y Project at a Daytona Beach charter school run by Easter Seals of Volusia and Flagler Counties. The P.L.A.Y. (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) Prroject teaches parents to perform some of the therapy that professionals do and incorporate it during daily activities such as bath time, a visit to the grocery store or a trip in the car.

Ellen Harrington-Kane, Assistant Vice President for Medical Rehabilitation and Autism Services at Easter Seals Headquarters, is very familiar with the P.L.A.Y. Project. In july, Ellen joined Julie Dorcey from Easter Seals Michigan and Rick Solomon, MD, founder of the P.L.A.Y Project to give a presentation about P.L.A.Y at the Autism Society of America (ASA) 38th Annual Conference in Phoenix. Their session was called The P.L.A.Y. Project: A Cost Effective Intensive Intervention for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

You can read more about it — plus link to more P.L.A.Y sources — at Ellen Harrington-Kane’s July post.

Here’s wishing you a new year full of playing — and learning!


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