Early Childhood


What is play therapy?

Play and Creative Arts Therapy is a play-based child-centred form of therapy for children experiencing a range of challenges which compromise their emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Children can use a variety of play and creative arts materials to express themselves, work through their thoughts and feelings, and make sense of their life experiences. They do not have to use words.

Play therapy is suitable for deaf children aged 3 – 12+ years and can be offered on a 1:1 basis or in a small group.

What happens during sessions?

Therapy sessions normally take place in a safe and comfortable playroom at our premises in Belfast, where only a few rules are agreed with the child.

Our playroom is attractive and welcoming to the child and contains a wide range of toys, craft materials, everyday objects suitable for play, creative resources, dressing up, messy play, musical instruments, puppets, and the like.

Sessions take place once a week and usually last for around 40 to 45 minutes.

Please click here to find out more.

Referring a deaf child for play therapy

Play therapy is by referral only. We accept referrals from parents or from professionals who know the child well.

To make a referral, please download and complete the referral form and the appropriate questionnaire:

Action Deaf Youth Play Therapy Referral Form

Pre-therapy Questionnaire (Parents only)

Pre-therapy Questionnaire (Professionals only)


  • (Play therapist) is lovely, makes me smile. (Play therapist) is my friend.


  • My (child) loves attending play therapy. Their behaviour problems and frustration has settled from when they started attending play therapy. (Therapist) is amazing … and I am so thankful.


  • We’ve seen a huge difference in these children at the end of play therapy. We’ve had children who had concentration difficulties, behavioural difficulties, attachment difficulties with parents. Attending ADY with (therapist) helped them make progress in respect of that – it’s been great.