Play Therapists for Deanwell

Kylie Pugh   Assistant Principal 

Deanwell Primary School  

My wish is for three Play Therapists for the lunchtimes.  

I chatted to Kylie as we watched the children playing outside. She told me about a programme they had been successfully trialling at the school during the lunchtimes with ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) Play Therapists.   The Play Therapists had been assigned to a child the staff had identified as facing challenges in the playground. These challenges were incredibly varied –they might have a child who was exceptionally shy and sat on their own, reluctant and nervous about joining the boisterous play of the other children - or children who had difficulty with winning and losing, turn taking, waiting, sharing, reading social cues, understanding social nuances, emotionally fragile children or children facing really hard times on the home front.  

Once they identified a child who needed a little support the Play Therapist would join that child, make friends, become their buddy and help form social bridges for the child. Together they would gather other children in around them and help the child learn to successfully negotiate the social jigsaw puzzle that is the dynamic, rapidly changing play environment of a busy school playground.  

Kylie spoke warmly about how successful the initiative had been. Most of the funds to trial the programme had been donated by a local philanthropic trust and it was Kylie's wish that the programme would continue collaboratively with the trust next year. The school just needed the funds. Kylie would dearly love to grow the programme and have three therapists working each lunchtime. The Play Therapist's get paid a similar rate to a teacher aide but they are specially trained by psychologists and the difference they make to the happiness of the children is huge. Their presence has had a very positive effect on the children and the staff.  

We would like to ask for $50.00 a week towards the costs of a Play Therapist at the school. For a ten week term this is $500.00  
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