AUTISM WORKSHOP: Forty Allied Health professionals attended Karen Stagnitti's Play and Autism Spectrum Disorder workshop at the Bargara Cultural & Community Centre. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
AUTISM WORKSHOP: Forty Allied Health professionals attended Karen Stagnitti's Play and Autism Spectrum Disorder workshop at the Bargara Cultural & Community Centre. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Learning the importance of play

MORE than 40 allied health professionals from all over Queensland gathered in Bundaberg to hear about the importance of play based learning in a workshop presented by Professor Karen Stagnetti.

The event was organised by Bushkids and provided vital information on the learning aspects for children who are apart of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Professor Stagnetti said it was important to teach childcare workers and professionals a way in which these children can relate and learn.

"We mostly work with children under the age of 10," she said.

"Looking at and keeping the attention through pretend play - which is important for language and narrative which helps with literacy at school."

She said play based learning can be complex and integrated play assessments for each individual child.

"Play based learning can help all children and can be very valuable especially for those children in grades one and two," Prof Stagnetti said.

"Playing can be all about learning, thinking, and problem solving - simple things like having the child work out what to do next can make a lot of difference to these children."

Councillor Judy Peters who is also the chair of Friends of Bushkids Bundaberg said by looking at the distance some of the participants travelled to go to the workshop she could see how important the play based learning could be.

"The topics spoken about by Karen who is internationally known for her play based childhood development and research are fantastic," Cr Peters said.

"She is showing all of us how to engage young people with autism through what most of us take for granted and that is play."

Bushkids general manager Carlton Meyn said it was important to bring these sort of workshops to regional areas and was happy with the turnout of the day.

Bundaberg YMCA Childcare and Kindy educator Imelda Pavy said she learnt a lot from the workshop and took away skills to share with colleagues.

"We can now provide more support for families and work colleagues and speak with them all regarding issues we may have had in the past," Mrs Pavy said.



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