In the Playroom

In the Playroom

Postby SimonaSchoemetzi » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:11 pm

Hi there,

our program is growing now. I hope we can set up the playroom this or next week. And now I'm planing our first team meeting.
I have read through the threads on this board and still have a few questions left:

Who creates the games and decides what is offered in the playroom? Do I create something like a timetable? Or do the voluteers plan their sessions on their own? Or do we do the planing together at the team meeting?

When Irina asks to play with something we didn't bring to the playroom do we go and get it? At the moment we usually play in her or my bedroom and she quite often runs off to fetch something.

If we offer meals in the playroom I suppose we should leave Irina control over it. - But how do we (or do we at all) respond to the mess she usually makes?

I guess most of these questions are covered at the start-up. But since I will only be there in October/November I would very much appreciate if anyone would like to share some advice or experiance.

Thanks in advance!
Tanja
SimonaSchoemetzi
 
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Location: Germany

Re: In the Playroom

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:37 pm

HI Tanja,

You have some great questions and I'm sure anything left over will be addressed at The Start-Up Program!

1) The games that are played in the playroom are a mixture of games or themes that are bought in and initiated by you or your volunteers and games that are more organic and built from Irina's interests that she shows you in the moment. You can have your volunteers practice creating and initiating a game at least once per week for now. This game will be based on her motivations and will be initiated when she is showing them some interest (e.g. looking at them, talking to them, or looking at the game that's on the shelf, etc) so no timetable is required because we are following her lead. For example, maybe her motivation is songs so someone brings in a bag of hats and you take turns wearing a different hat to sing a different song. At other times we will go with her current interests and create games around that. For example, perhaps she looks at the bubbles on the shelf, so we grab them and start blowing them for her.

2) The idea is to stay in the same room as a way to create a deeper and more intense therapy. You could try asking her what she wants in the morning so that everything you need is in the playroom when you begin. Explain that you will not be leaving the playroom once you go in so to make sure you have everything she wants.

3) With the meals, allow her as much control as possible. You can periodically clean up as you go and even ask her to help you at the end.

Warm regards,
BeckyDamgaard
 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: In the Playroom

Postby SimonaSchoemetzi » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:10 pm

Hi Becky,

thank you so much for your answers! - They are so helpful!

You mention her looking at things on the shelf. - Do you always have all the recomended toys on the shelf ? Or do you alternate them from time to time? If you do alternate, how long does a toy remain in the playroom? - I mean, if a toy gets boring, should it just keep sitting on the shelf until Irina gets interested in it again, or do I put it away for a while?
I was thinking of rearranging the shelf from time to time. Does that make sense?

With thankful thoughts
Tanja
SimonaSchoemetzi
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:02 am
Location: Germany

Re: In the Playroom

Postby SimonaSchoemetzi » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:52 pm

One more question on meals in the playroom:

At the family table I keep reminding her to stay seated, to keep her feet under the table, to use her spoon/fork and to make sure her glass won't fall off the table. During the meal I keep an eye on her and I'm pretty busy putting her food back onto her plate, keeping her hads out of my plate, picking up things she dropped and cleaning her face, hands and placemat.

I feel that I am controling her too much during meals - but just thinking of giving her control gives me goosebumps when I think of what the place will look like!

So, when I decide to offer food in the playroom, should I start with snacks like carrot sticks and pieces of cucumber, that are less challenging? And then, do we let her run around with it?

Thank you so much for your support!
Love,
Tanja
SimonaSchoemetzi
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:02 am
Location: Germany

Re: In the Playroom

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:11 pm

Hi Tanja,

I'm going to answer both questions. About the toys on the shelf. You can switch the toys around whenever you feel like it, depending on Irina's cues. Every 2-3 months it's nice to sweep some newness into the playroom by exchanging things that perhaps she hasn't showed much of an interest in. as long as she has some of her favorites in there and nothing electronic, battery operated or too distracting, trust yourself!

With meal times. We tend to encourage our children to have meals in the playroom because of the element of control we want to give our children. In the playroom, we don't have as many time constraints as to how long it should take to eat a meal. It doesn't matter too much if she makes a mess because we design the playroom for easy clean up. There are also not as many distractions for her to contend with (e.g. your own plate of food, focusing on your own meal, etc).

If she makes a mess, one suggestion is to keep the plate on the shelf and bring spoonfuls or forkfulls of food down one by one. If she wants the whole plate, then it's a matter of being easy and relaxed (even if she makes a mess) and allowing some time for clean up once the foods gone. Letting go the idea of her having to use a spoon, clean her hands and face, etc until the meail is over. You could use some explanations to help make it more manageable (e.g. "we usually don't throw our food but eat it instead", or "I will keep the food on the shelf and bring it to you so that we can keep our playroom tidy", etc).

Have fun!
BeckyDamgaard
 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: In the Playroom

Postby SimonaSchoemetzi » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:26 pm

Hi Becky,

I guess it comes down to "letting go and being easy and relaxed" once again. ;) Just not to expect anything,try the new setting and see what she does. It wouldn't be the first time she surprises me.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! - I might have said that before and there is a risk I will say it again! :lol:
SimonaSchoemetzi
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:02 am
Location: Germany


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