AutPlay® Therapy is a play therapy and behavioral therapy based treatment approach for working with children and adolescents affected by autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders. AutPlay protocol is designed to identify and increase skill deficits and functioning levels in children and adolescents with developmental delays. Typical treatment involves using structured play therapy interventions designed to build relationship, increase engagement, and strengthen skill deficits.

In AutPlay Therapy, parents participate equally in therapy with their children and become co-change agents with the therapist in helping their children develop needed skills. AutPlay® Therapy incorporates a parent training component which teaches parents how to conduct structured play therapy interventions at home.  The therapist is training the parents to do structured play therapy interventions at home with their child. These interventions are typically chosen by the therapist (although parents can participate in choosing interventions) as interventions to use to help develop skill deficits in the six target areas covered in AutPlay; emotional regulation ability, social skills development, connection, sensory processing struggles, anxiety, and behavioral challenges. The Therapist continues to meet with parents and train parents in implementing the interventions at home until treatment goals have been meet.

Parent training sessions may cover some level of behavior modification approaches. This might include teaching parents how to set up a weekly visual schedule for their child, developing routine and consistency, establishing appropriate consequences, and how to implement consequences and reward systems. The AutPlay Situation Behavior Assessment can be completed by the therapist, parents, or others observing the child’s behavior. Parents are taught how to use this inventory which can be helpful in identifying what might be causing particular behaviors and what might be implemented to help decrease negative behaviors.

Connect with a Certified AutPlay Therapy Provider
Parents can know that Certified AutPlay Therapy Providers have participated in intensive training and have extensive knowledge in using AutPlay Therapy. View the Certified AutPlay Therapy Provider list to find a provider closest to your community.

Participate in a Consultation Session
Sometimes parents have a few questions or simply need some “next step” guidance, sometimes parents want more formal information on autism treatments. We offer consultation sessions for parents. Consultations can be provided in person, by phone, or video conference. No matter where you live, you can participate in a consultation. Typical consultation services include: Understanding Unwanted Behavior, AutPlay at Home, and Treatment Approaches for ASD. Visit the Consultations Page for more information or email us at [email protected].

What parents say…

“I am a mother of a 10 year old son on the Autism Spectrum. He knows that he has this thing called Autism, and has a love/hate relationship with that diagnosis.  As parents, our goal is to ensure he has the tools to tackle each challenge he faces, and know that his future is full of endless potential. He struggles with social interactions and self regulation. He participates in Autplay once a week, and looks forward to his sessions. Learning social skills and appropriate ways to express anger and sadness through games and play has been the most successful way for him to learn. As parents we get to learn these games and the skills that they are teaching our son, and then we get to play! When we are playing together as a family I’ve seen our son open up and express feelings and ideas that he couldn’t or wouldn’t express in a typical conversation. I love when he encounters a new problem and can relate it to a skill he learned with his therapy. I love the idea behind Autplay of teaching and learning through play and I know that because of this teaching process it becomes ingrained in his memory. My son has enriched my perspective on all things, and opened my mind with his endless fascination of asking questions about any and everything”.

“Play therapy has helped my son in so many ways! I didn’t know what to expect when we started, but within just a few weeks, he was talking more. Over time he began to play with toys appropriately, pretend play, and initiate play with me! I love being given the tools to work with my son at home as well, because it allows many opportunities in our daily life to implement what he is learning in play therapy. Through play therapy, I am learning to communicate with my son in a way that is fun for him!”

“When we came to Dr. Grant with serious concerns about our 9 year old daughter, we were scared and at a loss as to what to do next. He helped us understand her diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, and began to work with her through play therapy. She immediately liked Dr. Grant, and obviously felt comfortable with him and enjoyed the sessions. Soon we noticed positive changes in how she handled situations that were tough for her, like unexpected changes in our schedule, or how to handle other children at school. She began using her words more often, and has made incredible progress in communicating her feelings to us, and her teachers, in an appropriate way. Dr. Grant has also been wonderful to work with for us. We have learned a lot about her disorder, and how to work with her and help her, so we can all have more successful days. Overall we have a much happier daughter now, and are thrilled with the progress she continues to make.”

“The social skills that my son acquired through AutPlay were life changing. Before receiving therapy, verbal communication was poor and interactions with other people often resulted in severe anxiety attacks. AutPlay presented my son with ideas in a way he could understand, and had him practice those ideas to achieve confidence. This past summer my son applied for and completed ten weeks of undergraduate research out of state, and is currently a student council representative for an organization at his college. What a difference therapy has made. I hope to encourage anyone in need of social skills training to participate in AutPlay Therapy.”

Complete an AutPlay Therapy Certification TrainingLearn more