The Effectiveness of Child Centered Play Therapy:
A Non-Pharmaceutical Treatment Option for School-Aged Children Diagnosed with ADHD. William Wilson
August 19, 2011
Two research methods - an experiment and survey - were used to answer the research question asked: “How effective is Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT)? A non-pharmaceutical treatment option for school-aged children diagnosed with ADHD”. This paper is set up to show an example of the possible result of a research conducted to show the effectiveness of CCPT. Within the experiment a host of 20 school-aged children were to be used with 10 variables being boys and 10 variables being girls. All variables used were between 7 - 14 years of age. The second method selected - a survey - was a written questionnaire that would be distributed by a physician’s office that treats children with ADHD. The written questionnaire would consist of a host of questions pertaining to children and their current treatments of ADHD.
What is ADHD? ADHD is – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder -, a disorder that can be prevalent in children as well as adults. ADHD is known as an emotional & behavioral disorder with hyperactivity. According to Golden (2009), ADHD - Attention - Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is "the most common emotional, cognitive, and behavioral disorder treated in youth" (p. 325). Ehrlich and Schroeder (2004), argues ADHD is characterized by a short attention span and impulsive behavior (p. 292). Furthermore, Borg (2009) found that ADHD effects 3 to 5 percent of school-aged children, the majority of children effected are boys (p. 325). Furthermore, the CDC (2011) argues that the state of Delaware has the highest prevalent ADHD cases with 14.1% of children suffering from ADHD state wide while Arizona and Idaho have the lowest prevalent cases of ADHD in the United States (p. 1). Most children diagnosed with ADHD are receiving medication to treat ADHD. According to Noteworthy Briefs from the Field (2009), "recent prevalence rates suggest that - 7.8% (4.4 million) of American children have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with - 56% of affected children receiving ADHD medication" (p. 17). The rationale for the research of this paper is to determine if Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) can be used as a significant treatment option for children suffering from ADHD. Most children communicate through play. Given that most psychologists and psychiatrist consider ADHD as a social disorder, CCPT should indeed be considered an effective treatment option for children 10 years of age and younger suffering from ADHD. Child Centered Play Therapy or CCPT is when the adults respond to the child’s over-all choice of play in order to help the understanding to the child and increase the attention of the child to their behavior issues as well as their emotions. According to Schottelkorb and Ray (2009), “Play therapy developed out of the realization that traditional talk forms of counseling did not seem to be effective with young children due to their developmental levels and capabilities. Children under the age of 10 have not developed cognitive and verbal abilities to participate fully in talk forms of counseling and insisted their natural form of communication occurs through play” (p. 1). Furthermore, Smenyak (2011), found since children respond to verbal and non-verbal interactions with adults, in CCPT the roles are reversed where now the adults respond to the child’s over-all choice of play to ensure communication of understanding to the child and to increase the awareness of the child to their behavior and emotions; therefore, bringing a larger meaning to the play (p. 1). The problem with treating the ADHD child with psycho-stimulants – the drugs used to treat most psychological disorders such...
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