Play is the natural means through which children learn, explore their worlds, communicate and express their feelings. Play therapy offers a child the opportunity to work through their emotions with the help of the Educational Psychologist in a safe and contained environment. This form of individual intervention means that the child has their own private space and someone who is there just for them. Play therapy can be one of the many gifts that parents can give to their children when they are struggling with their emotional world. Children learn to express their thoughts, feelings and behaviour in constructive ways, to make healthy decisions and to accept responsibility. Additionally, some emotions are cognitively difficult for children to understand and so play therapy gives them a platform to express themselves and have this reflected and processed in a way that they can understand. Play therapy involves the support of the parents and regular feedback sessions, which is a vital part of the process. Parent guidance often forms an important part of the therapy process.
This is usually for tweens, teens, parents and young adults. Individual therapy allows one to have a space to process any difficult adjustments, life experiences or promote self-growth.
Assessments are used for a variety of purposes, depending on the individual needs of the child or adolescent. Assessments provide valuable information about an individual’s current level of functioning, and their strengths and growth areas. Recommendations and interventions for the school and home environment are based on the unique needs of each child.
These are comprehensive assessments which focus on cognitive, emotional and academic functioning. They are useful for diagnosing a child’s relative areas of strength and for highlighting areas where further development may be necessary. The results provide an overall picture of a child’s current level of functioning. Interventions are suggested based on the interpretation of the results, which aim to address the individual needs of a child.
School Readiness Assessments
This type of assessment focusses on a child’s level of readiness for Grade 1. It provides an understanding of any strengths and difficulties a child may have, in order to ascertain and advise parents on school readiness. Recommendations can be obtained to determine the type of support a child may require to promote school readiness.
Concessions (GDE and IEB)
This type of assessment is administered to determine what type of support and accommodations a learner requires, in order to ensure that individuals with barriers to learning and development are given a fair opportunity during examinations.
These are tools used to assess an individual’s interests, personality, aptitudes and skills, in order to provide guidance on career options that will provide a goodness of fit.
Children learn in unique ways and at their own pace. They may sometimes require additional learning support, as a supplement to what is being taught in the classroom. While some children show temporary gaps which need to be addressed, other children may have specific learning difficulties. This type of support aims to address gaps in their understanding, and helps to solidify foundational concepts. It provides an opportunity for children to further develop their academic skills. The aim is to give children the specific support they require, in order to help them achieve their unique potential. The level and type of support provided is tailored specifically to the individual needs of each child.
Learning support sessions endeavour to accommodate a child’s specific learning style. These may include the following:
- Kinesthetic/ Tactile: A style that involves learning through movement and physical activities. These children learn best through touching and doing.
- Auditory: A learning style that focusses on hearing and listening. These children learn best through hearing and speaking.
- Visual: This involves learning through reading, seeing information, or visualising concepts.
An informal assessment is administered to determine a child’s dominant learning style. Often, a child learns best through a combination of learning styles. A multi-sensory approach is used, which helps to develop learning in a manner which is fun and engaging. Children are also taught strategies to help them learn effectively. Parents are seen as partners in the process of supporting their child’s learning, and interventions for the home and school environment may need to be addressed to help a child flourish.