Child engaged in AutPlayAutPlay® Therapy was created by Dr. Robert Jason Grant and is a play and behavioral therapy approach to working with children and families affected by autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, neurodevelopmental disorders, dysregulation issues, and other developmental disabilities. It integrates therapeutic approaches of play therapy and behavioral therapy together in a collaborative model to assist children and adolescents in gaining needed skills and abilities. AutPlay Therapy is a combination of behavioral and developmental methodology that is both therapist-led and parent-led.

AutPlay Therapy Addresses Six Target Areas  For Treatment Change

  1. Increasing Emotional Regulation Ability
  2. Increasing Social Skills Development
  3. Increasing Connection (Relationship Development)
  4. Improving Sensory Regulation Challenges
  5. Reducing Anxiety levels
  6. Addressing Behavioral Struggles

AutPlay Therapy infuses relational approaches with structured play therapy interventions and behavioral therapy methodology to teach children skill development in the areas of emotional regulation, social functioning, and relationship connection. When children can learn to self-regulate, possess social skills that relate to the environments they are asked to function in, and learn appropriate and meaningful relationship connection, they are less likely to have behavioral issues and more likely to function in their day-to-day environment successfully.

AutPlay Therapy provides a screening and assessment process to evaluate a child’s level in terms of basic functioning and skill level in emotional regulation, social functioning and relationship development. This procedure allows the therapist to direct specific play therapy interventions to address each individual child’s skill deficits.

AutPlay Therapy Benefits
1. Children and adolescents with an autism disorder, ADHD, neurodevelopmental disorder, dysregulation issues, or other developmental disabilities.
2. Children and adolescents ages 3-18.
3. Children and adolescents who have a mild to severe impairment in their functioning and skill level.

Evidence Based Practices in AutPlay Therapy
The National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the National Standards Project (NSP) reviewed literature to establish evidence-based practices for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder between the ages of birth and 22 years. Both reviews included literature up to and including 2007, and both applied rigorous criteria when determining which studies would be included as evidence of efficacy for a given practice. In 2014, the NPDC conducted an expanded and updated review, which yielded a total of 27 evidence based practices.

The full results and criteria used by the National Professional Development Center (NPDC) can be found on their website NPDC – Autism Spectrum Disorder. The full results and criteria used by the National Standards Project can be found on their website National Autism Center.

AutPlay Therapy incorporates several of the approaches identified as evidence based practices for treating children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Practices incorporated into AutPlay Therapy procedures include: Cognitive Behavioral Intervention, Modeling, Naturalistic Intervention, Parent-Implemented Intervention, Reinforcement, Scripting, Self Management, Social Narratives, Social Skills Training, and Visual Supports.

Single case study designs have shown that children and adolescents that participate in AutPlay Therapy for 6 months, one time per week, show a gain in skill development in the three target areas of AutPlay; emotional regulation, social skills, and relationship connection. Parent rating scales also support an increase in emotional regulation ability, social skills, and relationship connection for children and adolescents who have been participating in AutPlay Therapy for at least 6 months, one time per week.


AutPlay Therapy Certification is a curriculum-based competency credential. Certification in AutPlay Therapy is a credential which shows that a person has achieved a proficiency and specialized training in AutPlay Therapy. This certification is designed to establish a stringent and meaningful credential for professionals using AutPlay Therapy. Its purpose is to demonstrate to consumers and referral sources that a person has achieved training, experience, and competence in AutPlay Therapy; a comprehensive treatment approach for autism spectrum disorder, dysregulation issues, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. .

Benefits of AutPlay Therapy Certification

  1. Gaining knowledge in a comprehensive approach to using play therapy to treat children and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
  2. Expanded services and growth of one’s practice.
  3. Advancement in professional career by demonstrating specific knowledge of autism disorders.
  4. Opened doors for public speaking, presentations, and publications about autism and play therapy.
  5. Added confidence and excitement in the daily work of treating children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
  6. Continual support and maintenance of professional certification and consultation/question services by professionals at the Robert Jason Grant Ed.D AutPlay Therapy clinic.
  7. The AutPlay Therapy certification is a lifetime certification.
  8. Certified Providers name and contact information are always displayed on the AutPlay website and a social media press release is provided for all new providers.
  9. Certified Providers receive a free copy of AutPlay training materials.
  10. Training hours are applicable for continuing education for NBCC (Certified Counselor), APT (Registered Play Therapist), and IBCCES (Certified Autism Specialist and Autism Certificate) credentials.

What professionals are saying

“The AutPlay techniques are easy to follow and use for any child or adolescents.  The children I have used the techniques with love them; they ask to do them again and again!” – Sherry Dotts MS, LPC, NCC, RPT-S (Owner-D&D Counseling)

“Good information! I like all the AutPlay techniques compiled into something that works well for children with autism. Therapist are given specific techniques that can be used for children with autism, this is something any therapist would like. I’m impressed!” – Barb Hylton MS, LPC, RPT-S (Owner-CC Counseling Services)

“What a great training! It is packed with information and techniques for kids with autism and      neurodevelopmental disorders. I would highly recommend this training to parents and colleagues. Thank you!” – Val Miraglia, LPA, RPT-S, Certified Filial Therapist

Mental Health Professionals:
Mental Health Professionals can become Certified  AutPlay Therapy Providers by completing an in person or correspondence training. AutPlay Certification is appropriate for Registered Play Therapists, Licensed Professional and Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Psychologists, School Counselors, any licensed mental health professional or individual pursuing a licensed mental health status.

Other Professionals:
Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Special Education Teachers, and other professionals in case management, education, and medical fields working with children and adolescents with autism and related conditions can complete an AutPlay training but will not be granted certification status and will not receive Play Therapy (APT) or NBCC continuing education hours.  These professionals will receive IBCCES continuing education hours.

There are Two Options for Obtaining Certification

Option 1) Complete an In Person (contact) AutPlay Certification Training:

  • You may complete an in-person (contact) AutPlay Therapy training worth 16 hrs of continuing education.
  • In person certification is obtained by registering for and attending one of our contact trainings. Visit our In Person Trainings page for dates of upcoming in person trainings.

Option 2) Complete the Correspondence (non-contact) AutPlay Certification Training:

  • You may complete the AutPlay Therapy (non-contact) home based, correspondence training worth 16 hrs of continuing education.
  • Participants will receive and read the AutPlay Therapy book, Nuts and Bolts book, PowerPoint and complete a post exam that will be sent back to Robert Jason Grant Ed.D AutPlay Therapy clinic.
  • Participants can register for the correspondence training at any time on the Correspondence Trainings page.

If you would like us to conduct an AutPlay Therapy certification training in your area, please contact us by phone 417-755-9042 or email at [email protected].

Note: If you are interested in becoming a registered play therapist or registered play therapist supervisor, please visit the Association for Play Therapy website. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Autism Specialist or obtaining the Autism Certificate credential, please contact IBCCES for more information.

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