It is no secret that at Braxy Speech Therapy we believe in the speech, language, and learning power that comes with intentional and meaningful play. This is where our tagline Play With a Purpose originated from! Let’s start with clarifying what we mean by play-based therapy. Play-based therapy, particularly play-based speech therapy, is a type of therapy that uses the child’s interest to lead intervention structure. For someone watching a play-based session, it may appear as if the speech therapist and child are simply playing games. However, that speech therapist is using a child-led approach to support positive outcomes and generalization of therapy goals into other environments. Here are some of the reasons we love play-based therapy... Increases Motivation and Attention Have you ever had something you know you NEED to do BUT that task really doesn’t entertain you, motivate you, or keep your attention? (Submitting your taxes, perhaps?) Children also thrive in environments that are attention grabbing and motivating. By incorporating play into therapy, a therapist can increase attention to intervention strategies and overall motivation. We at Braxy know that attention and motivation are key for successful outcomes.
Reduces Performance Anxiety
Oftentimes creating too structured of a learning environment can inadvertently increase performance anxiety and draw attention to areas of difficulty. This can impact confidence, motivation, and desire to communicate. By creating a play-filled and natural environment, we can provide impactful intervention in a low-pressure format that feels fun and low-stress. Creates Natural Communication
Although there are absolutely times where we have to whip out flash cards, we recognize that these are really beneficial for instruction BUT not natural in daily communication. We love having flashcards in our toolbelt, but we also know that for true skill development, we need to apply our instruction into natural environments where those skills are needed. What’s natural for children? Play!!!
Targets Many Areas
Play-based therapy can really give the most “bang for your language buck” as it includes so many areas of language. To give an example: we can treat a child’s ability to say sounds, formulate sentences, understand questions, and utilize social skills like turn taking all through a play activity of their choice. Increases Connections and Carryover
Our overarching goal at Braxy Speech is to have a MEANINGFUL impact on a child’s ability to communicate–not just in our therapy space BUT at home, in the community, and in pre-academics. This drives every goal we make and everything we do. We know that play-based therapy can help increase carryover to other environments where play takes place. It helps a child make connections between that therapy space and that unstructured time where the therapist isn’t around.
We believe in intentional play and have seen the positive impacts it has had on the children in our therapy space. Although it may look like a therapist is simply playing a game, that therapist is playing a game with purpose and intent!
Are you reading this and would like to know more about our services or have concerns with your child’s speech and language development? We would love to chat further! Book a free screening here.