PlayFirst +. Play as a basic need. Highlight the importance of play and promote opportunities to play through the collection and donation of toys to needy children. This project, in conjunction with ASI Vision 2020 Road Show aims to disseminate the Sensory Integration Theory of J. Ayres, which has significantly contributed to help children with sensory dysfunctions, in Occupational Therapy Universities in Europe and the importance of Play in intervention process.
Sensory Integration (SI) is a neurological process that organizes the sensations of one's own body and environment and organize it to an effective response in different contexts. When the brain cannot process all the sensory information properly, people have difficulty in carrying out their daily tasks (dressing, undressing, comply with school assignments, etc.).
The Sensory Integration problems increasingly affect children worldwide. Yet they are still few families who know help is available to deal with the problems of their children.
In order to contribute to the development and knowledge of SI theory developed by Jean Ayres, emerged the international project ASI Vision 2020 Road Show, in order to promote the dissemination of Ayres Sensory Integration® (ASI) for 8 European countries: Portugal, Spain, France, England, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Austria.
The ASI 2020 Vision Roadshow will boost various activities in Schools of Occupational Therapy, in the mentioned countries, with lectures on SI presented by experts in the field, and presenting material on the theory of Sensory Integration through an interactive booth.
Under the ASI Vision 2020 Road Show comes the PlayFirst+. Once Play is a primary occupation of children, some intervention approaches of pediatric Occupational Therapists, as Ayres Sensory Integration®, use play in intervention as a mediator to develop the capabilities of children.
Although Play is essential for children's development and was considered one of the Children Rights by the United Nations, we all witness a reduction in opportunities for children to play by several factors (increasing school load, unavailability of parents , poverty, etc.). Thus, PlayFirst+ aims to publicize and raise awareness of the importance of play for the biopsychosocial development of children and contribute to the increased opportunities to play in their day-to-day.
Initially, PlayFirst + will operate in conjunction with the Road Show, contributing to the promotion of Occupational Therapy, ASI and the use of play as a therapeutic process.
During the month of September we will collect toys in universities during the Roadshow and in various parts of Portugal by PlayFirst+ partners. All toys will be raised and later distributed to needy children in each local community.