A man with mottled gray hair, a gray beard and a stomach like Santa Claus is kneeling on a gym mat.

A man with mottled gray hair, a gray beard and a stomach like Santa Claus is kneeling on a gym mat.

Her method has now fallen into disrepute because of suspected abuse in Germany. News researched the experiences in Austria

A man with mottled gray hair, a gray beard and a stomach like Santa Claus is kneeling on a gym mat. He holds out his hands to a little boy crouching in front of him. After a moment’s hesitation, she takes the child. The bearded man falls to one side. The child lets go. The man sits up again and grabs the child again. This time under the arms. He pulls it to himself, to himself on it. The two balls over the mat. The man is not Santa Claus. He is Fred Donaldson, an American game researcher who developed the so-called Original Play four decades ago. A method in which unfamiliar adults juggle and play with children and young people.

Robin Riess has put the video of the American romping around with the boy and other children online on Youtube. The 51-year-old is a special school teacher and co-founded the association in Austria in 2015. He can understand the concerns parents have about the method. That’s why he wants to explain: “” Children need movement and contact, and it is an obvious thing that we physically interact with one another, “says Robin Riess. It is about adults stepping out of their roles and meeting the children as play partners at eye level. The little ones should learn to set limits and at the same time build trust. All participants have the opportunity to say “” stop “” at any time, says Robert Riess.

»Children need movement and touch, and there it is an obvious thing to physically interact with one another” “«

The association has fallen into disrepute in Germany due to joint research by ARD and ORF. In a report on the ARD program “” Kontraste “”, which was broadcast last Thursday and in which parents from Hamburg and Berlin reported that their children had experienced sexual violence in connection with Original Play.

Facilities stop playing

The association takes the current allegations seriously in this country, even if no case of assault or abuse is known in Austria. In total, physical play was offered in over 100 facilities across the country. Including private and public kindergartens, schools, refugee shelters. News asked almost all institutions and facilities that the association names on its homepage about their experiences with Original Play. Out of 125 institutions asked, 20 replied by the deadline on Tuesday evening. Most of the replies were positive, and a few educators were at least concerned. Most of the institutions are no longer working with the association. Almost all institutions made it important to mention that their own pedagogue was always present and that the parents were informed in advance.

The organization Kinderfreunde, which offered the Original Play in several kindergartens, raves about the advantages.paperwritings reviews The non-verbal course of the game sensitizes the children to pay attention to the reactions, facial expressions and gestures of their play partners. “This promotion of empathy has had a very positive effect on the children and the group dynamics,” says Michaela Müller-Wenzel from Kinderfreunde. The association “” Helping with horses “” in Lower Austria is also surprised that this game could be misused. “” All participants are regularly very deeply touched by the respectful, impartial and well-meaning attitude that Fred Donaldson conveys when playing ‘with the heart’ “, says Anke Huber. The parent-child center in Graz also offered the Original Play. The center said that the few participants were “” very positive. The Diakonie offered it free of charge in a refugee home. At least negative incidents are not known. The Montessori kids were also “” always satisfied “”. The St. Benedikt Education Center in Seitenstetten (Lower Austria) found the offer to be a “” very cautious and appreciative method “”. From at least two answers it is clear that there were also educators who found the wrangling between adults and children strange.

Criticism from authorities and experts

The Ombudsman Board is now also taking action. She wants to research how many Original Play has been deployed in kindergartens and schools and whether there have been any complaints. “We would also be interested in whether the parents were informed in advance about the association’s work at the relevant educational institutions,” “the Ombudsman said in a broadcast. At least in Lower Austria, the association may not continue to operate for the time being.

Not only officials, but also therapists criticized the method. As experts emphasize, physical play is important for children, but with people they trust such as parents. “” I also don’t think that children particularly enjoy doing something like this with strangers, “says child psychologist Valerie Reich-Rohrwig. She thinks that there is a bad aftertaste when it comes to a lot of touch, especially when it goes beyond the usual level of care.

The association in Austria wants to at least draw conclusions from the suspected cases in Germany. Original Play wants to make so-called security guidelines public for institutions. In addition, more attention should be paid to the fact that an educator from the facility is always present while playing and that parents are informed in advance.

Robin Riess is happy about the interest in the association. His YouTube video has been online for five years and was viewed around 30,000 times up to a week ago. Then the “” ZiB 1 “” reported the suspicion of abuse. Since then there have been twice as many clicks. Robin Riess thinks that is not so bad.

News asked 125 facilities and institutions that made use of Original Play for their experiences

“” I personally got to know the Original Play offer as a very cautious and appreciative method, provided, of course, that the principles of Original Play are adhered to. “” St. Benedikt Education Center

“” For two days, two men were in our facility – in the presence of the colleague. I looked at it and immediately had the worst concerns – we haven’t had any contact with the association since then. “” Kindergarten St. Paul / Terrassenhaus in Graz

“” After the game, we reflected on the setting of boundaries and the experiences that the children had made. The children and we were enthusiastic and they still talk about it today and wanted to play again and again on their own. “” Anonymous if requested

According to the headmistress, the lessons were inconspicuous, the children only played voluntarily and a lot with each other. Nevertheless, the headmistress and the deputy at the time had a pedagogically justified ‘unpleasant feeling’, which is why this cooperation was terminated. “” Education Directorate Vienna

“” The parents welcomed this offer until summer 2019. Now, after the report on ORF and Co., there is a big discussion, and they want to distance themselves from this association. “” Montessori kids

“” The association made a free offer in a Diakonie refugee home. The trauma therapist and the educational management of the house were present during the game. No negative incidents are known. The offer is suspended until the allegations against the association have been fully clarified. “” Diakonie

Update: Education Minister Iris Rauskala de facto forbids the federal schools that fall under her responsibility to use the “Original Play” association – and advises other educational institutions against it in a decree “urgently”. This was reported by “” Zeit im Bild “” on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

This article originally appeared in News Issue No. 44/19

Read news for 1 month now for free! * * The test ends automatically. More on this ▶Win true wireless earphones from JBL now! (E-media.at) New access (yachtrevue.at) 8 reasons why it’s great to be single (lustaufsleben.at) Salmon shrimp burger with wasabi mayonnaise and honey cucumber (gusto .at) In the new trend: Shock-Down – how long can the economy withstand lockdowns? (trend.at) The 35 best family series for laughing and feeling good (tv-media.at) E-Scooter in Vienna: All providers and Prices 2020 in comparison (autorevue.at)

Comments

Sign in Connect to Facebook

Unfamiliar adults romp around with children in courses run by the Original Play association. Her method has now fallen into disrepute because of suspected abuse in Germany. News researched the experiences in Austria

A man with mottled gray hair, a gray beard and a stomach like Santa Claus is kneeling on a gym mat. He holds out his hands to a little boy crouching in front of him. After a moment’s hesitation, she takes the child. The bearded man falls to one side. The child lets go. The man sits up again and grabs the child again. This time under the arms. He pulls it to himself, to himself on it. The two balls over the mat. The man is not Santa Claus. He is Fred Donaldson, an American game researcher who developed the so-called Original Play four decades ago. A method in which unfamiliar adults juggle and play with children and young people.

Robin Riess has put the video of the American romping around with the boy and other children online on Youtube. The 51-year-old is a special school teacher and co-founded the association in Austria in 2015. He can understand the concerns parents have about the method. That’s why he wants to explain: “” Children need movement and contact, and it is an obvious thing that we physically interact with one another, “says Robin Riess. It is about adults stepping out of their roles and meeting the children as play partners at eye level. The little ones should learn to set limits and at the same time build trust. All participants have the opportunity to say “” stop “” at any time, says Robert Riess.

»Children need movement and touch, and there it is an obvious thing to physically interact with one another” “«

The association has fallen into disrepute in Germany due to joint research by ARD and ORF. In a report on the ARD program “” Kontraste “”, which was broadcast last Thursday and in which parents from Hamburg and Berlin reported that their children had experienced sexual violence in connection with Original Play.

Facilities stop playing

The association takes the current allegations seriously in this country, even if no case of assault or abuse is known in Austria. In total, physical play was offered in over 100 facilities across the country. Including private and public kindergartens, schools, refugee shelters. News asked almost all institutions and facilities that the association names on its homepage about their experiences with Original Play. Out of 125 institutions asked, 20 replied by the deadline on Tuesday evening. Most of the replies were positive, and a few educators were at least concerned. Most of the institutions are no longer working with the association. Almost all institutions made it important to mention that their own pedagogue was always present and that the parents were informed in advance.

The organization Kinderfreunde, which offered the Original Play in several kindergartens, raves about the advantages. The non-verbal course of the game sensitizes the children to pay attention to the reactions, facial expressions and gestures of their play partners. “This promotion of empathy has had a very positive effect on the children and the group dynamics,” says Michaela Müller-Wenzel from Kinderfreunde. The association “” Helping with horses “” in Lower Austria is also surprised that this game could be misused. “” All participants are regularly very deeply touched by the respectful, impartial and well-meaning attitude that Fred Donaldson conveys when playing ‘with the heart’ “, says Anke Huber. The parent-child center in Graz also offered the Original Play. The center said that the few participants were “” very positive. The Diakonie offered it free of charge in a refugee home. At least negative incidents are not known. The Montessori kids were also “” always satisfied “”. The St. Benedikt Education Center in Seitenstetten (Lower Austria) found the offer to be a “” very cautious and appreciative method “”. From at least two answers it is clear that there were also educators who found the wrangling between adults and children strange.

Criticism from authorities and experts

The Ombudsman Board is now also taking action. She wants to research how many Original Play has been deployed in kindergartens and schools and whether there have been any complaints. “We would also be interested in whether the parents were informed in advance about the association’s work at the relevant educational institutions,” “the Ombudsman said in a broadcast. At least in Lower Austria, the association may not continue to operate for the time being.

Not only officials, but also therapists criticized the method. As experts emphasize, physical play is important for children, but with people they trust such as parents. “” I also don’t think that children particularly enjoy doing something like this with strangers, “says child psychologist Valerie Reich-Rohrwig. She thinks that there is a bad aftertaste when it comes to a lot of touch, especially when it goes beyond the usual level of care.

The association in Austria wants to at least draw conclusions from the suspected cases in Germany. Original Play wants to make so-called security guidelines public for institutions. In addition, more attention should be paid to the fact that an educator from the facility is always present while playing and that parents are informed in advance.

Robin Riess is happy about the interest in the association. His YouTube video has been online for five years and was viewed around 30,000 times up to a week ago. Then the “” ZiB 1 “” reported the suspicion of abuse. Since then there have been twice as many clicks. Robin Riess thinks that is not so bad.

News asked 125 facilities and institutions that made use of Original Play for their experiences

“” I personally got to know the Original Play offer as a very cautious and appreciative method, of course on the condition that the principles of Original Play are adhered to. “” St.