Scarlett’s Story – Interaction & Play in the Early Years

Hi there, this month’s blog looks at how I play and interact with my blind daughter.  It has been inspired by a recent course I attended which looks specifically at play, communication and interaction in the Early Years.  This course was for practitioners working with special educational needs children for Portage Workers.


I was luckily enough to secure a place on the course and it has really helped me as a parent think outside the box when it comes to ‘playing’ with my little Scarlett.


Children learn through play, whether it early ’cause and effect toys’ or ‘roll play’ games and developmentally they grow and their ‘play’ becomes more intricate and advance as they develop.  Children with additional disabilities do not always have that natural ability to play.


Scarlett who is due to turn 4 plays differently I suppose to a sighted child.  Her inability to mimic a movement makes mastering a new toy difficult.  Visual prompts and learning are so pivotal, not to mention how toys are designed to be aesthetically pleasing.  With Scarlett I have had to take a very ‘child-led’ approach to instigating play and promoting shared interaction.  For example, Scarlett likes to bang, it is very musical and rhythmic and happens all day and all night long.  She loves to compose and will use any item she sees fit to give a right good bang to make her music.  From this I have tried to make this as creative as possible, such as buying her real life musical instruments rather then toy ones to give her that real rich sound and as much auditory feedback as possible.  She now has music therapy twice a week to explore and grow via musical means, this type of therapy can promote learning, develop shared interaction and help with communication skills.  As music is such an important part of her life I try to make it as fun and exciting as possible and we attend music festivals and listen to musicians regularly to try and promote this ‘play experience’.


I suppose what I am trying to say is that Scarlett doesn’t play with dolls or want to make house or can’t copy me whilst I complete a jigsaw….. but she plays in her very unique way and it my job as her mummy to find what she likes and although it doesn’t fit into the norm make it as fun and enjoyable as possible.  Unique and delightful Scarlett has got music living inside her and I just need to work hard to tantalise that passion and include all the principals to learning at the same time.


If you would like to read more about Scarlett my little Mozart in the making please follow this link to a more in depth article about Scarlett’s talents and what is our next step!

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