Enhancing Play and Social Skills:
Physical interaction plays a pivotal role in fostering a child’s social development.
By incorporating various play activities, we can improve a child’s self-confidence, enabling them to engage more effectively with their peers, whether within a school setting or beyond. This, in turn, bolsters their capacity for meaningful social interactions.
Moreover, research has demonstrated that regular exercise and physical activity have positive effects on disorders like depression or anxiety. Thus, the integration of physical activity not only aids in the development of social skills but also offers valuable support for those facing mental health challenges, further enriching their social growth.
At Total Health Physio, enhancing play and social skills is a key outcome of our caring Physiotherapy services.
What Sports or Recreational Activities Are Helpful for Children Aged 7-18?
Group sports offer an ideal avenue for enhancing social skills, but the choice of sport should align with the child’s interests.
It’s essential to identify their interests, as long as the chosen activity involves interaction with others, promoting valuable socialisation skills.
Individual & Group Sports
While it’s fine to perform individual activities, as they improve physical abilities, they can lack the interpersonal social aspect of a child’s development, which is why we also recommend group sports where appropriate.
Organisations to Consider for Children Using Mobility Equipment
When a client uses a wheelchair or other mobility equipment, it’s worth exploring suitable all-abilities sports clubs in Melbourne.
It’s encouraging to note that both the child and their parent or guardian can explore the option of joining these clubs. A great way to begin this journey is by starting with physiotherapy sessions that introduce them to the sport.
Equipment Prescriptions from an OT
In instances where a child uses a standard wheelchair for daily activities, collaborative efforts with an Occupational Therapist (OT) can lead to an assessment for a purpose-built sports wheelchair.
This customised approach ensures that the child’s unique needs are met as each chair can be tailored to their individual physical presentation. Such a multidisciplinary allied health approach leads to an inclusive and effective means of promoting social development through sports participation, with the child feeling adequately equipped to do so.
Barriers to physical play and socialisation fall under the generic term – general developmental delays, which can also encompass emotional, social, and speech-related challenges, all of which can hinder a child’s ability to engage with the world around them.
Parental Perspectives: Unexpected Challenges
Some parents have shared their experiences where their child has developed in line with age related milestones through to aged 2-3, but then experienced a sudden halt in their speech, socialisation and/or physical play abilities, signaling a form of general developmental delay.
In such cases, it becomes crucial to collaborate with pediatricians and medical specialists to make specific diagnoses and uncover the underlying issues.
A Compassionate Approach
Regrettably, many children in this category have either been misdiagnosed or left without adequate support.
They may therefore be misunderstood at school, unfairly labeled as disruptive or uncooperative, when in reality, they are grappling with untreated physical and/or psychological medical conditions.
Caring Physiotherapy can play a pivotal role in addressing these underlying cause factors.
Embracing Unique Paths
In some instances, children may need to progress at their own pace or attend specialised schools that cater to their unique needs, allowing them to reach their fullest potential rather than conforming to conventional school norms that may not adequately address their situation.
Collaborative Care for Bright Futures
It’s important to mention that many referrals for pediatric physiotherapy through NDIS initially present as cases of general developmental delay.
So, from the time of the initial assessment by our Physiotherapist, we work closely with Pediatricians and GPs, hand in hand, to unlock the full potential within each child, celebrating their unique journey every step of the way.
What Happens During a Physiotherapy Session Focusing on Play?
Once a trusting rapport is established, the child, accompanied by a caregiver, engages in interactive activities with our Physiotherapist.
As an example, we may play with a tennis ball or a soft toy to practice catching, passing and throwing skills. Through such activities, the child not only hones their physical skills but also learns the invaluable skill of sharing various objects, including toys they may be particularly fond of.
This fosters not only physical development but also the development of social skills, as they transition from individual activities to group participation, enhancing their capacity for socialisation.
Furthermore, these sessions can take place in the familiar and comforting surroundings of the child’s home, often in their own backyard or rumpus room. Starting in their own environment helps them feel safe and at ease with participating in the physiotherapy session.
However, if it’s appropriate and feasible, the Physiotherapist may also facilitate sessions in other settings such as parks or indoor play areas. These outings can help the child become more comfortable with venturing beyond their home and interacting in broader social environments, promoting their overall social development.
What Advice Does Total Health Physio have for Parents?
When the child is ready, it’s time to establish a tailored Home Exercise Program.
This program extends beyond the physiotherapy sessions and allows the child to engage in regular physical activities or specific prescribed exercises with their caregiver in between treatment sessions, as well as participate in appropriate sporting groups which they may have been referred to through the physiotherapy sessions.
Ideally, we aim for progressing the child to daily participation in their individualised Home Exercise Program to maximize their progress and overall development.
Get Started – Book a Home Visit from Our Physios Today
Our caring company would be delighted to support your child with our kids program catering for children between the ages of 7 and 18
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Please get started by visiting our contact page, we look forward to hearing from you!Contact Us Call Us1800 847 847