THE INFLUENCE OF PLAY THERAPY IN DEVELOPING THE INTELLIGENCE OF SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN WITH MENTAL RETARDATION
Keywords:Play therapy, developing intellegience
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.