This research focuses on the perception of the learning support teacher regarding the use of play therapy with learners with special educational needs. The purpose of the research was to determine the perception of learning support educators regarding the utilization of play therapy as an aid with foundation phase learners with special educational needs. In order to achieve this purpose, information was gathered and a theoretical framework drawn up through an extensive literature study in consultation with experts. An empirical study was conducted by means of in-depth interviews with ten different learning support educators, in order to obtain empirical information. The researcher worked from an applied research perspective to attempt to use this newly gained practical information to determine whether play therapy could be utilized to help the learner with special educational needs. The researcher made use of an exploratory research design and the following research question formed the basis of the study: What is the perception of the learning support educator regarding the value of using play therapy as a form of aid with the foundation phase learner having special educational needs? Flowing from the empirical information gleaned during the interview schedule the following points emerged: · Learning support educators identify emotional, social, behavioural, family and academic problems, as well as other forms of trauma, associated with the learner who has special educational needs; · The learning support educator regards it as his or her task to refer problems connected to the learner and the learner’s family, where such problems are outside of his or her field of expertise. · The learning support educator has both positive and negative perceptions, as well as misconceptions regarding play therapy; and · The learning support educator has a need for a working relationship with the play therapist in the assistance of the learner with special educational needs. The research has therefore shown that the learning support educator has a positive perception regarding the utilization of play therapy with the foundation phase learner with special educational needs.
Dissertation (MSD (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2006.