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How does the PlayBig Method work?

The PlayBig Method uses a neuro-physiological approach growing the brain through targeted big movement, sensation, emotion & affect; engaging children & teens in social play and learning; unlocking individual potential for communicating & connecting with others.

Neuroplasticity-based therapy is founded in the most current brain research regarding how children’s brains develop. The power of the PlayBig Method is targeted sensorimotor therapy in combination with social emotional therapy. The PlayBig Method is administered with intensity, frequency & duration sufficient to stimulate dendritic growth of the neurons and strengthen neurological pathways.

Brain growth allows children to process their world more automatically and efficiently, freeing higher brain centers to be available for learning. It also leads to improved dendritic pruning, eliminating the older & less efficient pathways, resulting in further efficiency.


Who benefits from the PlayBig Method?

Our brains continue to change throughout our lifetime, so PlayBig’s neuro-physiological approach is valuable for all ages. The most prolific brain growth activity is from 0-3 years old with the next critical period of brain growth between 3-7 years. While early intervention is optimal, tremendous results can be achieved with tweens, teens, and young adults using the PlayBig Method.

The PlayBig Team specializes in trans-disciplinary treatment of children & teens with sensory processing disorder, autism, developmental delay, attention system deficits, and social emotional & behavioral challenges.


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How is the PlayBig Attitude different?

Our children with special challenges thrive when therapists and families come alongside them to improve the trajectory of their development. Improving neurological function diminishes the fight-flight-freeze nervous system reactions so our children feel safe, connected, and available for learning. This holistic team approach supports achieving thousands of different gross and fine motor skills, improves verbal and non-verbal communication, and develops the social emotional pathways in the brain responsible for knowing oneself and forming friendships with others. As your child’s brain becomes more efficient at processing their sensorimotor world, undesirable behaviors become greatly reduced or eliminated.


Dr. Mary Beth Seay | Medical Director

Having treated pediatric patients for 40 plus years in Tallahassee, I have witnessed a dramatic increase in Autism and related disabilities. Without appropriate early intervention, these neurodevelopmental deficits often become mental and behavioral health concerns as well. 

PlayBig Therapy is taking a multi-specialty approach to treatment of the pediatric patient with autism and related conditions, combining developmental therapies with behavioral health therapies to treat the child holistically.

Utilizing targeted case management, the families are further supported by securing the most beneficial resources in the community for their child.

Bringing the medical management piece of the puzzle to this multi-specialty approach will improve overall care for the pediatric patient in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas.

As medical director/advisor for PlayBig Therapy & Learning Center, I enthusiastically endorse the PlayBig Method, Model, and Attitude of treatment.

 

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PHYSICAL THERAPY

PHYSICAL THERAPY addresses gross motor movement and the sensory systems. The gyms are designed to be playful and naturally rewarding for our athletes. Using neuroplasticity based therapy, we encourage improved neural circuitry that is the foundation for developing motor skills rather than splinter skills. This approach results in improved motor planning for large movements and small as well as improved motor planning affecting the child's ability to motor plan novel speech and language and is more functional to their lives. This might be seen during an obstacle course or trampolining for improved endurance, strength, and balance. Typically, you will find our therapists swinging children and "crashing" them into our giant crash pad. This regulates their sensorimotor system and improves body and safety awareness as well as gives them an opportunity to explore more mature movement patterns and gross motor skills.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY addresses fine motor skills and activities of daily living. Therapy begins with sensorimotor input, changing brain chemistry and improving circuitry for improved feelings of wellbeing and body awareness. Strengthening the shoulder and hip girdles as well as core work for trunk stability to achieve improved static and dynamic sitting balance allows the therapist to offer challenges that build more mature movement patterns. A therapy session might advance to oculomotor activities and higher level fine motor challenges such as handwriting, manipulating play dough to find treasures inside, puzzles and games to address sequencing, turn-taking, and problem solving.

SPEECH THERAPY

SPEECH THERAPY addresses the comprehension and expression of communication. This includes the more typical notions about speech therapy - addressing syntax, grammar, proper articulation, vocabulary, etc. - but also less commonly known areas including feeding and social communication. Social communication and skills are often self-taught by children through social interactions. In order to become successful navigators of the social waters they need the basic skills of theory of mind, joint attention, self-regulation, and awareness. Our athletes typically don’t have these skills and the rules of communication must be explicitly taught until neural circuitry is sufficient to allow for improved communication processing and an understanding of the social dance. A therapy session starts with sensorimotor preparation of the body and the oral structures. Often our athletes play social games like duck, duck, goose and tag, board games, crafts, read books, play music, and even have snack together.

PLAY THERAPY

PLAY THERAPY is an evidence-based practice that seeks to provide a way of communicating and processing psychosocial difficulties and enhance optimal development. Children’s ability to play is fully developed, while their ability to process difficult things verbally is only beginning to develop. Therefore, they are less likely to benefit from a therapy that relies on a child’s verbal abilities. Play therapy allows children to communicate their feelings in a developmentally appropriate way, without having to rely on their vocabulary to express their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and needs. What makes play in a clinical setting therapeutic is the child’s ability to communicate in a way that is natural with the support of a trained therapist to maintain felt safety and full acceptance. A play therapy session is child-directed, with the therapist following the child’s lead. The playroom is filled with options for the child to choose from and the child is trusted to choose the most efficient option for the task at-hand. The therapist offers reflection and support to strengthen the child’s inner resources.

ART THERAPY

ART THERAPY is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being (ATTA, 2013). Art therapy does not require art skills, in fact, adults and children without a lot of art experience often thrive in the therapy setting as their work is emotionally authentic. An art therapy session takes place in the art therapy room and might include a brief scribble type drawing to reduce anxiety, followed by the creation of an art piece using selected art materials. The therapist and your child may take the end of the session to process their work and discuss his/her thoughts and feelings about the piece.

TARGETED CASE MANAGEMENT

TARGETED CASE MANAGERS (TCMs) are professionals who serve as dedicated advocates for children and families at PlayBig. TCMs are important members of the PlayBig team. They work with families to help them find solutions to the unique needs of their children, helping families identify medical, educational, financial, social, and other needs through personalized assessment, customized service plan development, and regular monitoring of the child’s progress. TCMs help families work through challenges and crises and connect with community resources. Each TCM advocates for children and families at PlayBig to ensure they have access to quality service and opportunities to meet identified needs.