THE INFLUENCE OF PLAY THERAPY IN DEVELOPING THE INTELLIGENCE OF SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN WITH MENTAL RETARDATION

Machmudah, Wesiana Heris Santy

Abstract


Mental Retardation (MR) is a heterogeneous disorder that consists of lower than average
intellectual function along with the disruption of adaptive skills. Play therapy is an effective
approach to train children with mild MR in studying the concept of learning. Play therapy is
conducted in a special room designed as a playground, equipped with special toys to
stimulate potential development of children with mild MR. This research aimed to improve
the success of the potential development of intelligence in children with mild MR using
WISC instrument through play therapy. The study design used quasi-experimental method
(quasi-experiment) and qualitative analysis. The subjects of this study were thirteen 7–12
years old children with mild MR in extraordinary school Putra Bangsa Surabaya. The
analysis approach used was statistical analysis with Wilcoxon and Kruskal Wallis
approaches. A descriptive analysis was subsequently carried out to provide a snapshot of
MR conditions that accompany the child including: internal factors, i.e. the phase experienced
by the child during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and the stage of growth and
development, and external factors i.e. the family's socioeconomic condition and children
upbringing. The results showed that 7 out of 13 children with mild MR had experienced an
increase in the potential development of intelligence. In terms of the relation between the
therapy frequency and the children success rate, 5 of 7 mild MR children who were successful
were in the category of frequent treatment of play therapy. In conclusion, play therapy can
increase the potential for successful intelligence development of children with mild MR. This
success is associated with treatment frequency and is supported by the presence of
concomitant conditions (internal and external factors) in children.
Key words : Play therapy, developing intellegience

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