ERIC Number: ED344665
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Making Sense of It: The Role of Play in Assisting Children Requiring Extensive Hospitalization To Understand and Cope with Their Illness, Its Treatment and Their Hospital Experience.
Case studies of three children who participated in the play program at Auckland Hospital in New Zealand are presented. About a third of the children admitted to the hospital have access to the play program, but only a few are able to participate in individual sessions with a hospital play specialist. The first case study described in this report is that of a 3-year-old child who required only minor surgery, but who associated hospitals with death, separation, and acute illness due to experiences of several family members. His avoidant behavior was overcome by means of play on medical themes and the involvement of other members of his family. The second case is that of a 6-year-old developmentally delayed boy whose emergency surgery resulted in an extended stay with postsurgical complications. His unexpected admission, and the frightening circumstances surrounding it, caused him to withdraw and revert to babyish behavior. But 11 sessions of play therapy using role-playing enabled him to progress. The third case study is that of a 4-year-old boy who had congenital problems requiring repeated corrective surgery and who was fearful of hospitals and refused to be examined by a physician. His free play represented symbolic themes common in the play of hospitalized preschoolers, including helplessness, powerlessness, separation, and lack of control or autonomy. Contains 18 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New Zealand
Note: Paper presented at the Early Childhood Convention (5th, Dunedin, New Zealand, September 8-12, 1991).