PMLD Passport to Play

The Passport to Play is intended to be used in play schemes or short break services for childrens and yuoung people with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). It can also be used anywhere where there may be people who need to know how to have playful interactions with someone with PMLD but may not know them well. Debby Watson tells us more about this free resource she has created for anyone who would like guidance on playful interactions with children with PMLD...

A Passport to Play!

Have you ever wondered where to start when playing with a child who has profound impairments? During the course of completing a PhD on playfulness and children with profound impairments, I realised that there was a need for a detailed passport that would give some clues as to what a child may enjoy » What stimulates, motivates them and allows them, as one of my participants said, to ‘shine’.  If you know a child well, you build up this knowledge over time, but if you work on a play scheme or are based, for example, in a short stay facility or hospital, then it can be hard to know where to start. I consulted widely with families, professionals and academics in developing the Passport so that it would, hopefully, be both useful and relevant. Children with profound impairments often express their playfulness in very subtle and specific ways:
  • A flicker of an eye
  • hand flapping 
  • raised eyebrow
      ↑ These examples may be indications of excitement and enjoyment. Therefore it has become clear throughout my research that support is needed to find a child’s playfulness. The findings from my study show an interesting link between the number of identified ‘strengths’ in the five study children and the level of active playfulness that they are engaged in, indicating that playfulness is definitely something to be encouraged! Completed by someone who knows the child well, the Play Passport enables others to understand a specific child’s playfulness within a relatively short space of time.  You can download The Passport to Play here.  Happy Playfulness! The team at the Brain Injury Hub are currently working on a Parents' Passport on childhood brain injury. The finished product wil help parents record appointments and health information. It will also provide prompt cards on what they may like to discuss or ask their child's various therapists. Watch this space! Maria Coyle, information editor & Clair Cobbold, information officer
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