About this Issue: The Power of Play and Its Role in Developmental Integration
Time to play! Thinking about play and its contribution to healthy living across the lifespan comes with reading the articles in this current issue of TLD. For this issue on The Power of Play and Its Role in Developmental Integration, issue editor, Dr. Sima Gerber, invited authors from several disciplines to contribute. The result is an issue packed with stimulating information about play, both its typical development and its role in intervention for varied populations, including children on the autism spectrum, as well as those facing other language development challenges. Gray writes about play by children developing typically, but the work has significant implications for those of us who work with people (both children and adults) with language disorders, including the importance of play across the lifespan in supporting mental health. Gerber emphasizes the integrative developmental opportunities for intertwining play and language and offers practical suggestions for handling dilemmas in play in therapeutic settings, including for children on the autism spectrum. Foley continues the theme about the role of play in fostering mental health, including abilities for self-regulating and for responding to anxiety producing experiences. Wieder* updates thinking about the DIR Model (Development, Individual differences, Relationship-based) that she developed with Stanley Greenspan (e.g., Greenspan & Wieder, 1997) and emphasizes the essential emotional meaning of symbols and the role parents can play in promoting children's growth along the cognitive-emotional developmental ladder. Last, but certainly not least, Westby and Wilson update Westby's previous work on the assessment of play, focusing on theory-of-mind and describing a preschool intervention program that targets play, narratives, and early literacy experiences, using examples drawn from implementation with children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. It is a richly informative and thought-provoking issue, well worth your time. I highly recommend it and finding ways to integrate play in your life—both professional and personal.
Nickola Wolf Nelson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief
Julie Wolter, Ph.D., Associate Editor
Sarah E. Wallace, Ph.D., Associate Editor