Toy Play & Leisure
As a neurodiversity affirming model, Mission Cognition recognizes that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to play. All individuals deserve the right to be exposed to and experience a range of materials, toys, games, and activities in an enriched environment to allow for the identification of interests and preferences. Through exposure and observation, social coaches can facilitate the development of a pure play and well matched leisure skills repertoire by following learner motivation, interests, and preferences. It is through play in early childhood that children have increased opportunities to interact with their peers and benefit from in vivo coaching and supports to acquire higher level, developmentally appropriate social, language, cognitive, and motor skills.
It is through hobbies and leisure activities that older learners may meet and connect with others who have shared interests, which may result in the development of friendships and relationships.
Toy Play involves the use of toys and objects for exploration, self-directed learning, and enjoyment. Play is automatically reinforcing. As neurotypical children grow and develop, their toy play becomes more complex, reflecting their growing understanding of the world around them. The development of toy play can also provide important insights into a child’s communication and language development as well as provide opportunities for connecting with others socially. Examples of play levels include exploratory play, functional play, symbolic play, constructive play, and rule based play.
Leisure refers to the activities or hobbies that individuals engage in during their free time for fun, relaxation, or personal enjoyment. These skills can include a wide range of activities, such as sports, music, arts and crafts, cooking, and gaming, among others.
Downloadable Assessment & Intervention Resources for this global focus area
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