Child: Care, Health and Development Volume 31 Page 703 - 6. November 2005
BACKGROUND: We have previously reported the developmental gains achieved, after introducing a simple programme of structured play to stimulate children in an orphanage. It was envisaged that the caregivers could continue the programme. However, the enthusiasm of the caregivers waned over the year the programme was entrusted to them. After 1 year, a full time play therapist was recruited to rejuvenate the play programme. METHODS: Children's development was assessed using the Indian adaptation of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. The first assessment was done when the play therapist joined. Subsequently, three-monthly assessments were done and the scores achieved were recorded. RESULTS: The initial mean motor and mental scores, when the play therapist joined, were 66.14 and 56.95, respectively (similar to the pre-intervention scores of the pilot study reported in an earlier paper). The scores improved to 81.84 and 78.25 within 3 months of restarting the play programme. CONCLUSION: The schedule of the 'Not by Bread Alone' project can accelerate the motor and mental development of children in orphanages. However, it requires a highly motivated and dedicated person to sustain this programme over long periods.