Play and Social Skills Programs: Available in individual or group format focusing on social interaction and/or play skills based on various evidence-based applied behavior analysis (ABA) and therapy programs offered to children diagnosed with ASD and their siblings.

Play and social skills training may be requested for all ages, are individualized,  and may be provided as:

Social skills/play training: in a 1:1 setting, the therapist will teach valuable strategies and important skills for play and socializing. Skills are taught in a variety of ways and practiced with the therapist as a precursor to peer interaction, play dates, or community outings.

Play/social facilitation: facilitated play/interaction with one peer or sibling. The therapist will facilitate targeted skills. The family is responsible for providing and scheduling the peer.

Play/social skills group: small group setting of 4-10 children in which at least 2 therapists provide a structured format that allows for social/play opportunities. Skills are taught, practiced and supported so children can build on their current level of skill and experience success and fun.

Play & social skills training by Courtney Olinger (Learn more)

Play is a crucial part of a child’s development

Social: Children learn how to interact with others, the implicit and explicit rules of socialization come through play.

Language: Children learn to express their desires, needs and pleasures. Other children model appropriate language. Vocabulary can grow through interaction with objects, games, and others.

Emotional: Children are free to express their desires, needs, pleasures, protests. Self-esteem can grow through play as children learn to deal with disappointment, excitement, etc.

Physical: Fine and Gross Motor skills are incorporated and able to increase through play. Children learn about their bodies, the way they move and how their bodies and the world out there can interact.

Cognitive: Children make sense of the world out their through play. They are able to expand on knowledge of the world and the way things work. Abstract thinking often begins through imagination.

Click here for a Snapshot of Typical Play Development