Play-based therapy in the NDIS landscape
One of the reasons play based interventions are so successful is that children learn and develop when they are relaxed and engaged in fun activity.
Play creates positive relationships and provides an opening to apply strategies to support communication, social, motor, cognitive and self help skills. This social model of support is different from the medical model which take a 'treatment' approach towards specific areas of delay. The medical model also overlooks the key ingredient: supporting the capacity of parents and caregivers to help their child.
The social model is best practice worldwide and is called the Keyworker model in Australia. Typically, this model is used by community not-for-profit providers such as PlayAbility because it is harder to implement and not as profitable as the medical model.
The keyworker model engages parents and caregivers and is responsive to their needs as well as the child’s. Teachers have been delivering this model of support for decades, ideally with input from Allied Health Professionals who are always in short supply. In cases where children have a condition which requires assessment or intensive therapy, referrals are made.
Children are complex and their areas of need are influenced by the people and environment around them. The Keyworker model works because it takes a long term holistic approach to supporting the child both directly and through the family.
23 Mar 2023
Geoff Johnston, CEO
Play creates positive relationships and provides an opening to apply strategies to support communication, social, motor, cognitive and self help skills.