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What children with disabilities learn through play


A cognitive or intellectual disability is not the same as a motor disability and, therefore, the way of working education with each of these groups of children is totally different. What if it is a common denomination is everything what children with disabilities learn through play: autonomy, winning and losing, rules, ability to excel ...

A motor disability does not have to carry an intellectual disability or vice versa. The motor disability within its varieties is linked to a poor functioning of the locomotor system, either at the bone-articulatory, muscular or nervous level and, therefore, affects posture, movements, walking ... Instead, intellectual disability is more related to behavior.

Although the procedure is different, when working with these children the objective is the same, which is not another that the child is capable of reaching the maximum possible development in all dimensions of his person (physical, mental, emotional, social, health) to achieve the maximum degree of autonomy possible and to be able to generalize it in different environments and contexts. Obviously this will depend on the type of disability and the degree of affectation it has.

Play is a very serious activity for the child. Through play the child learns things that can then be generalized to other environments: concentration, waiting, keeping the turn, following rules, adopting certain roles, knowing how to win and lose, effort; but fundamentally, the game should be fun and should serve to socialize, that is, it should be an opportunity for children with and without disabilities to play together in a normalized way.

Working with a child with a disability would be aimed at achieving the highest degree of autonomy possible, that is, to carry his backpack with tools that he can use throughout his life to have the greatest possible independence.Play boosts your self-esteem, helps you improve and have fun.

From day-to-day habits (dressing / undressing, eating, toilet training, toilet), with the home (cooking, making a shopping list, going shopping, taking the subway or a bus ...), social skills (adapting their mood to the corresponding situation, following established social norms, road safety, knowing how to live in a community ...) or conceptual (knowing how to read, write, basic academic skills ...) and even ability to their own safety (recognize yourself when you are sick, know road safety rules, don't be fooled ...)

Regarding the types of toys for children with intellectual disabilitiesIt must be said that children with intellectual disabilities receive, process and organize information with difficulty and slowly, so their ability to respond presents limitations. In these people, everything that allows the arrival of external information and sensory stimulation will favor their brain development.

The toys must be easy to handle in all their functions so that the child can play independently. They should be attractive toys that allow you to keep your attention from the beginning to the end, that adjust to your response time, that do not require high levels of concentration or reasoning, that if they are games of rules they can be adapted to the different levels of participants etc.

It will also depend on what we want to promote: language and communication, concentration, memory, waiting time ... The market offers a large number of toys for these interests, without giving up the classic board games (ludo , goose, four in a row, bingo, who's who ...)

In the case of children with motor disabilities, it will depend on the degree of autonomy they have, but obviously all related activities should focus on avoiding deformations, the appearance of bedsores (wounds), achieving good postural control and activities that enhance their autonomy and that allows them to do the maximum of things by themselves, from moving around, dressing, eating, toilet training ... But of course, this will depend on their degree of disability and the type of disability they have, because it is not The same is a child with cerebral palsy with a monoplegia than another with a tretraplegia.

Regarding the most appropriate toys There are many people with physical disabilities who have difficulties handling toys, precisely because they require skills such as movement, movement of parts of the body, precision or coordination, so many toys cannot be fully used by this type of children and require adaptations or the help of another person.

In this sense the toys must allow them to be controlled motorically by them, that is to say, that they are accessible; that if they have pieces they are easy to fit; that allow them to reach them with their wheelchairs, that have velcro or magnets so that the pieces do not fall easily due to some unexpected movement; other than toys that require several simultaneous movements at the same time (press two keys at the same time).

Above all, the family must avoid being overprotective and falling into pain. Play is an opportunity to have fun, but it is also an opportunity to learn. It is important to learn by progressing and the game allows you to progress through minimal effort.

Games that favor the relationship between siblings are highly advisable, avoiding competition and comparisons; games in which family participation is encouraged and in which the child with a disability has the opportunity to learn while enjoying themselves.

Gambling is a very serious activity in which there is the opportunity to work on concentration, waiting time (so difficult for many of these children), control of impulsivity, roles, patience, etc. Outdoor games with natural elements (sand, water, mud) are also very stimulating, for example, the park is a context that favors motor, sensory and social development for any child. We play?

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