Bridging the Gap: How Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup Program Supports the Transition from Individualised Therapy, Kindy and onto Prep

Bridging the Gap: How Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup Program Supports the Transition from Individualised Therapy, Kindy and onto Prep

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Posted 2024-04-16 by Vanessafollow

For neurodiverse children, the transition from individualised therapy to Kindy and social engagement and mainstream prep can be a daunting journey. However, specialised programs like the Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup offer a unique bridge, addressing the challenges and providing tailored support to children and their families.

The program was designed by Melissa Biedak and shaped by her own personal experiences of navigating neurodiverse therapy and identifying gaps in therapeutic approaches. Melissa is a Certified Autism Specialist, Paediatric Neurodiverse Art Therapist (psychoanalytic approach), Primitive Reflex practitioner, Children's Yoga teacher, Podiatrist with a special interest in Paediatrics and holds a graduate certificate in Education (Autism).

The Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup offers a nurturing sanctuary where neurodiverse children flourish while honouring their distinctive abilities. The early intervention programs offer:

Integrated Approach: The program adopts an integrated approach that combines elements of individualised therapy with social engagement and prep activities. This allows children to generalise skills learned in therapy to real-life social situations.

Gradual Exposure: Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroups facilitate a gradual transition by introducing children to social settings in a controlled and supportive environment. This gradual exposure helps minimize anxiety and build confidence over time. Where needed, some children may need to still be provided with 1:1 support and introduced to group dynamics throughout time.

Structured Social Activities: The program incorporates structured social activities, such as art projects, group games, collaborative projects, and role-playing exercises, to help children develop essential social interaction skills

Through Art and Play-Based Activities: Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroups integrate the principles of primitive reflex theory into their approach to facilitate the development of communication skills, teamwork, emotional regulation, and gross and fine motor skills in children. By incorporating art and play-based activities, such as painting, sculpting, building, group artwork, team games, and imaginative play, these playgroups leverage the innate reflexes present in children to promote holistic development.

Primitive reflexes are automatic movements that originate from the central nervous system and are essential for early development. By engaging in activities like painting and sculpting, children stimulate their sensory systems and reinforce neural pathways associated with fine motor skills.

Individualised Support: Trained staff members provide individualised support to each child, recognising their unique strengths, challenges, and learning styles. This personalised approach ensures that children receive the specific support they need to succeed.

Parental Involvement: Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroups actively involve parents in the transition process, providing resources, workshops, and ongoing support to help them understand and support their child's development.

In addition to the Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup program, the dedicated team collaborates with educators and families to develop comprehensive IEPs tailored to each child's unique needs, ensuring access to necessary accommodations and support services. Additionally, the after-school social groups provide opportunities for continued social engagement, skill-building, and peer support in a safe and inclusive environment.

While the transition from individualised therapy to social engagement and prep can be challenging for neurodiverse children, programs like the Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup offer a supportive bridge.

By adopting an integrated approach, providing gradual exposure, offering structured social activities, delivering individualised support, involving parents, and offering further assistance with IEPs and after-school social groups, Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup ensures that every neurodiverse child has the opportunity to thrive and find their place where they are appreciated and valued.

For more information on how the Neurodiverse Playhouse Playgroup empowers neurodiverse children and their families, please see:

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