Putting the Power of PLAY to Work for Kids with Autism

CTU Play ProjectResearch strongly suggests that child-centered, relationship-based intervention is very effective in helping young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) gain language and social skills.

The PLAY (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) Project, also known as PLAY Autism Intervention, is an intensive, home-based approach focused on helping children with autism ages 2 to 6 build relationships and learn to engage, interact and communicate with others.

PLAY trains parents to provide treatment at home, and shows parents practical ways of making every interaction with their child a growing and learning experience.

Although not designed to replace a child’s on-going therapy services, such as occupational or speech therapy, PLAY helps families provide a more intense, successful and cost-effective overall intervention program for their children with autism.

PLAY at Children’s Therapy Unit (CTU)

PLAY at CTU is a year-long program that includes:

  • Pre- and post-assessment
  • A training DVD and manual
  • Ten three-hour home visits
  • Ten video analyses

Home visits consist of modeling, coaching, re-assessing, videotaping, problem solving, and specific written home program instructions.  In between home visits, families are provided with a video analysis of their interactions with their children, as well as specific guidelines on how to more effectively engage their children.  The program also helps parents address other development issues and overall programming for their children.

We've seen excellent to good progress in children in this program over time, and parents reported that they have felt empowered and supported.

Currently the cost of PLAY at CTU is $5,500 and is being funded through private pay. We are working toward getting insurance reimbursement for this amazing program.

History of the PLAY Project

The PLAY Project is a national program that was developed 13 years ago by Richard Solomon, MD, based on the DIR Floortime® (Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-based) theory of Stanley Greenspan, MD.  Dr. Solomon adapted DIR Floortime into a home-based model, developed a manual and established a certification program for the Home Consultants.

Currently there are over 100 PLAY Autism Intervention Programs in the United States and several in other countries across the world.