What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a type of therapy that uses play to help children communicate and work through social emotional challenges. These challenges include, but are not limited to, delays in sensory, cognitive, speech and/or motor skills, unresolved trauma, and developmental disorders. Play therapy promotes better social integration and emotional regulation, as well as better overall growth and development. Adventures in Play, LLC uses a play therapy approach within all of the services provided.

What is Developmental Consultation?

Some families are not necessarily looking for therapy for a specific delay, disorder, or behavioral difficulty, etc. However, they are looking for some guidance and suggestions for supporting their child’s overall achievement of developmental milestones.

Additionally, professionals may be wanting direction and advice on how to support overall achievement of developmental milestones with the children they work with.

Developmental Consultation may be helpful if families and/or professionals are looking to:

  • Make sure the child’s overall development is on track and how support the next stage of development
  • Receive suggestions on strategies to increase skills in a specific area of development
  • Improve the child’s peer interactions
  • Improve the child’s independent self-help skills (sleep patterns and routines, independent feeding, etc.)
  • Learn how to set age appropriate limits and consequences in a loving and consistent way
  • Etc.

What is Toy Consultation?

Toy Consultation assists parents and professionals working with children in identifying toys, activities, and spaces in the home, center, etc that can be used to support the child’s optimal development and increase positive adult-child interactions. Consultation sessions range from 1-2 hours in length depending on what the goals are.

How do I know if my child needs services?

Every child is unique and develops at their own unique and individual rate. However, if your child continues to miss developmental milestones or their behavior is becoming increasingly difficult to handle it may be time to seek support. Parent’s instincts are often their best guide in telling them when it is time to seek advice and support. The earlier your child receives support, the better the prognosis. Below are some “red flags” that may indicate a need for a professional evaluation/assessment:


  • Does not cry when hungry or uncomfortable
  • Resists being held
  • Difficult to console
  • Not interested in exploration of toys and people, with hands or mouth
  • Does not make eye contact
  • Not responsiveness to voices, sounds, or music
  • Does not respond to own image in mirror
  • Has not begun to laugh by 5 months in response to play
  • Not beginning to play with toys according to function
  • No babbling noticed by 9 months of age


  • No imitation or gestures, sounds, or words by 12-15 months
  • Does not respond to own name
  • Does not point or look where you are pointing
  • Play and behavior is repetitive (has difficulty when play is changed)
  • Words are repetitive or memorized from books or television
  • Inability to follow simple, novel, commands such as “Go get the ball?” (with hands)
  • Play is immature (only throws, drops, or lines up toys)
  • Does not or cannot play symbolically (pretend play)
  • Does not imitate adult behaviors
  • Cannot persist in play (gestures)

Preschool/School Aged:

  • Difficulties with following the school routine
  • Lack of conversational speech and “rich” language
  • Difficulties re-telling a story or telling about an event
  • Child has difficulty playing with peers
  • Difficulty with transitions (frequent tantrums)
  • Cannot stay seated or wait in a line
  • Difficulty expressing feelings in a controlled manner
  • Does not adjust behavior to fit rules and routines of different situations
  • Cannot remain on task when distractions are present
  • Does not engage in dramatic play (using imaginary objects or dolls/action figures to act out sequences)

If you have concerns regarding your child’s development and/or behavior and your child is between zero and three years of age, s/he may be eligible for the Wisconsin Birth to 3 Program. Adventures in Play, LLC also offers help in negotiating the Birth to 3 Program and advocating for your child to receive services, within the program, that will allow him/her to reach their optimal potential. If your child does not qualify for the program (because of age or level of delay) and you continue to have concerns or you are seeking alternative services, Adventures in Play, LLC offers initial assessments to help you determine the best way for your family to move forward.

What age groups do you provide services for?

Adventures in Play, LLC specializes in providing services to children birth to six years of age.

My child receives therapy through the Birth to 3 Program now. Why should we hire a private therapist, as well?

The Birth to 3 Program is an excellent way for families to receive therapy and has many amazing therapists providing services. However, if you are looking for a therapist with a global developmental therapy background*, something the state of Wisconsin does not have, Adventures in Play, LLC therapy can be a nice addition to your current program and/or after your child ages out.

*Developmental Therapy focuses on all areas of development simultaneously; sensory regulation, cognition, speech, motor, social emotional, and independent self-help skills. While Stephanie was a Developmental Therapist in Chicago she was able to provide comprehensive services to families since she was targeting all areas of development at once. For example, when a child has a speech delay there may be certain cognitive delays making it difficult for the child to acquire language. In addition, the child may feel frustrated and tantrums may become extreme because they are unable to communicate what they need. At Adventures in Play we make sure all of these areas of a child’s development are progressing together as it should be, not just each area separately, in order to help your child progress more comprehensively.

My child received therapy through the Birth to 3 Program and then aged out of the program at 3 years old. Doesn’t this mean he/she doesn’t need therapy anymore?

Children stop receiving therapy services through Wisconsin’s Early Intervention program when they turn 3 regardless of whether or not they still need it. Many children can still benefit from some 1:1 therapy or are ready to start playing with peers, but may need support for success.

How is Adventures in Play, LLC therapy different than therapy offered at school?

Therapy services that are provided in the school setting focus on developing skills that are needed specifically for education. Goals are developed that will impact the child’s role as a student. Adventures in Play, LLC therapy services will focus on the many roles of a child’s life within their home, school and community activities.

How long is a typical session?

  • Initial Assessment: 2 hours
    The last 15-30 minutes is reserved for a brief summary.
  • On-going Therapy: 60 minutes
    The last 10-15 minutes is designated for clean-up, transitioning from the session and for the therapist to provide additional therapeutic strategies for the family to incorporate outside of sessions.
  • Developmental Consultation:
    • Developmental Consultation for families: 60 minutes. The last 10-15 minutes is designated for clean-up, transitioning from the session and for the therapist to provide additional therapeutic strategies for the family to incorporate outside of sessions.
    • Developmental Consultation for professionals: Amount of time will vary depending on the need.
  • Playdate Facilitation/Social Coaching: 60 minutes
  • Toy Consultation:
    • Toy Consultation for families: 1 -2 hours in length depending on family’s needs/goals
    • Toy Consultation for professionals: Amount of time will vary depending on the need.

Where are services provided?

Sessions can take place in any of the child’s natural environments such as home, a playroom or at a park.
Please note that services are not exclusive to one setting or another. Some therapists find it useful to use a combination of settings depending on the needs of the child.

What is the process by which my child will receive services?

  • Call (847) 722-6704 or email adventuresinplaymke@gmail.com for information on services provided. You will be asked some simple questions about the services you are looking for and if appropriate a complimentary in-home consultation meeting will be scheduled.
  • Play Groups: Information on the various groups, schedule, locations, and fees will be provided when you call or email.
  • Complimentary in-home consultation: At your home the therapist will gather information regarding your concerns about your child and obtain more background information. The therapist may want to briefly watch your child play as s/he normally does or observe him/her in a familiar daily routine. The therapist will provide a more detailed explanation of available services and how to proceed, depending on your family’s concerns and the therapist’s observations. An assessment is required for on-going therapy and 1:1 developmental consultation.
  • Assessments may include:
    • Usage of a formal assessment tool
    • Parent interview
    • Assessments are typically 2 hours in length with the last 15-30mins designated for a brief summary of findings. After the appointment you will receive a brief report with suggested goals and recommendations for moving forward.
  • If further services are recommended, the therapist will work in collaboration with your family to create individualized goals and a recommended treatment plan for your child.
  • Frequency of sessions will be decided by you and the therapist in order to address your child’s needs. If services are not recommended, you and your child will be provided with ideas and therapeutic strategies/suggestions to use at home and in the community.

How long will my child receive services?

The frequency and duration of your child’s services is dependent on your child’s particular needs, skills and challenges. To encourage rapid progress, your therapist will work with you to determine a realistic schedule, provide therapeutic strategies to use outside of sessions, and will discuss discharge plans regularly.

How much do services cost?

Adventures in Play, LLC offers a sliding fee scale in an effort to help families receive affordable quality services. Families are required to provide proof of income (two most recent consecutive pay stubs) on the day of the first charged visit.

At this time, Adventures in Play, LLC is unable to accept insurance. However, joining insurance networks is something that is currently being pursued.

In the meantime, you may submit Adventures in Play, LLC’s invoice for services to your health insurance company for reimbursement. However, you are solely responsible for the payment of any and all charges and fees associated with services that your child receives from Adventures in Play, LLC regardless of whether the insurance company refuses to cover in full or in part charges and fees incurred. All disputes regarding coverage shall be taken up with the insurance company directly and all balances due to Adventures in Play, LLC shall be promptly paid without waiting for resolution of such dispute.

Adventures in Play, LLC gladly accepts payment by cash or check.