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Alternative Treatments: Play Therapy

Alternative Treatments: Play Therapy [Photo: Amanda Maile, WFUV]


Everyone knows kids play.  But many may not realize fun and games can be used to help children cope with trauma and overcome disabilities.

Wendy Ludlow's basement is full of toys. Cabinets of art supplies line the walls, with children's artwork framed above. Once you enter, you feel like a kid again. But this isn't just part of Ludlow's home, it's also her office.

Ludlow's just begun a play therapy session with two of her young clients. The social worker's been using creative activities to help children tackle serious issues for the past few decades.

"The same way that adults utilize language, kids utilizie play. So, toys are the words for the child. What they draw and how they play is the communication of what they need to communicate," Ludlow said.

Six-year-old Lucas Greenblatt's shooting foam darts at a board filled with different tasks. Ludlow says Lucas is on the spectrum for Autism, and games like this help him concentrate and express himself.

Lucas's mother, Erika Greenblatt, says she sends her daughter Gabe to visit Ludlow each week as well.

"Well both of my kids are very different, and what I like about play therapy is that it really is customized for them. It fits itself into whatever needs there are." Greenblatt said.

Greenblatt says Gabe's social skills and Lucas's focus have greatly improved since coming to see Ludlow. She says Play Therapy's been a benefit to her family as a whole.

To learn more about play therapy and Wendy Ludlow, visit her website Therapy With A Twist.