Saturday, February 17, 2018

School Play Therapy as a Preventive Method of Reducing Emotional Problems in Youth

School Play Therapy as a Preventive Method of Reducing Emotional Problems in Youth

The recent shooting in a Parkland, FL high school has many people thinking about what can
be done to prevent such tragedies. Arming teachers, employing guards, implementing metal
detectors, gun control has been suggested. A more constructive solution would be the
prevention of the development of hostile personalities. The implementation of a play therapy
program in grades K-5 is one possibility. Schools provide counseling programs for middle
and high school, but nothing for elementary schools. These young children do not respond
well to “talk counseling,” but respond enthusiastically to play techniques. Many authorities
believe that early intervention is the preferred approach to minimizing the development of many emotional problems.

Play therapy requires a room about the size of a classroom with many choices of playthings,
including toys, paper, paints, and musical instruments. The room should be large enough to
provide for the active play of up to five children. Psychologists must be specifically trained in
play techniques. They should be tolerant of noise and skilled in the resolution of naturally occurring
conflicts that occur during play. They also should be skilled in counseling parents.

Play therapy provides opportunities for children to learn to channel their hostility into socially
acceptable modes of expression. Also encouraged is having withdrawn children express
themselves socially. All of these gains can occur in an environment where children are free
to express themselves through play by themselves or with their peers. The only limit is that
no one is allowed to hurt another physically.  Noise is never limited. I have worked for years
with children in play therapy and have personally witnessed the improvements in many.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Recent Amtrak Train Derailment Indicates Need for Backup Systems

Recent Amtrak Train Derailment Indicates Need for Backup Systems
"An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle, Washington, on Monday, sending train cars tumbling onto a busy interstate." The train was traveling 80 mph around a curve when the accident happened.  This derailment could have been avoided if a computerized sensing system was in place. Such a system would have the capability to slow the train as it approached the curve by warning the engineer or reducing the speed automatically. Such systems could also activate warnings for other dangers, such as damaged track and obstacles on the track. The technology is currently available and is prominently featured in driverless vehicles.