Parent Communication Night Sharing on Play by Suet Leng

Thursday, 30 December 2021
Parent Communication Night Sharing on Play by Suet Leng

In our recent sharing during PCN (Parent communication night). Suet Leng, our speech language therapist shared about the importance of play and its impact on learning. Play as most parents know is the dominant activity that takes up most of our children’s time during the day. Suet Leng talked about how play is not only enjoyable for children but is a critical medium for learning skills. Play helps children to learn about our world, our culture, how to use their bodies, how tools work through observation, experimentation, and creative imagination. Suet Leng talks about how play being intrinsically motivating also incidentally becomes a vehicle for promoting language development as children use language to request for toys, ask for help, discuss, plan, negotiate and problem solve. A discussion on how play develops for children with autism and why play is difficult for children with autism also helps reinforce why this is an important skill to develop. By pointing out the areas of difficulties children with autism tend to struggle with (ie joint attention, social communication and symbolic play), parents have a better understanding of why their child/children continue to struggle in a area that appears to develop naturally for other neurotypical children. 

During the sharing, Suet Leng walked parents through the different stages of play (namely solitary play, parallel play, and cooperative play stages) and helped them recognise their own play style. By helping parents to understand the stage of play their child is at, parents understand how to individualise their play styles to support their child at home. Suet Leng also shared tips and strategies on how parents can encourage their child to play with them. By incorporating simple strategies such as following their child’s lead and using their observational and listening skills, parents can immediately take part and support their children’s play regardless of whichever stage of play their child is in.