The PLAY Project® (Play & Language for Autistic Youngsters) is an evidence-based developmental intervention for families of young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The PLAY Project is the pragmatic application of the theory of DIR® (Developmental Individual Differences & Relationship-Based)/Floortime™ and emphasizes the importance of helping parents become their child’s best PLAY partner.
This model is comprised of two programs:
1) The Home Consultation Program: The Home Consultation Program is devoted to helping parents develop a better connection with their child through play with the close guidance of a trained Home Consultant.
2) The Professional Training Program: our international training program is designed to prepare pediatric professionals to implement PLAY Project services in their communities.
The PLAY Project was founded in 2001 by Richard Solomon, M.D. out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Solomon developed this program in response to the lack of intensive early intervention services for children with ASD. The PLAY Project is a cost effective, practical approach to autism intervention that has helped thousands of families in close to 30 states and 7 countries (and counting!). Please visit our Find a PLAY Project Near You page to get started with PLAY.
By doing what your child loves, your child will love being with you.
-Richard Solomon, M.D.
The PLAY Project envisions that all parents will be supported in developing a joyous relationship with their children with autism spectrum disorders in a way that will help each child reach their full potential.
The PLAY Project’s mission is to train a global network of pediatric professionals to deliver an evidence-based, low-cost, intensive developmental intervention to families of young children with autism spectrum disorders.
Family-Centered Developmental Intervention:
- Families are at the center of care
- Intervention strategies grow out of an understanding of child development and respect for a child’s emotional life and intrinsic motivations
- All children, including those with ASD, learn and grow through play
- Parents can build strong relationships with their child with ASD by responding to their child’s cues, joining their child’s interests, and engaging in playful interactions
Access and Delivery to Families:
- All families who have children with ASD deserve access to community-based therapeutic and educational services that are evidence-based and affordable
- In order to deliver intensive early intervention services in the most efficacious and practical way, we advocate for: 1) the use of high quality train-the-trainer models; 2) broad dissemination through established systems of care (e.g. Early Intervention, Community Mental Health, etc.); and 3) the use of cutting edge technologies
- As outlined in the National Academy of Sciences recommendations, children with ASD benefit from intensive intervention that is: 15-25 hours per week; has an adult:child ratio of 1:1 or 1:2; is engaging and strategic; and begins between the ages of 18 months and 5 years of age
- Evidence based practice integrates the best scientific research, professional expertise, and client choice (Sackett, et al. 2000)
- Early identification and intensive intervention are essential to helping children with ASD reach their full potential
- Professionals are most effective when they empower and support parents to implement interventions in the natural environment of the home
- A multidisciplinary approach (SLP, OT, MSW, PSY, etc.) is necessary to address the wide-ranging needs of children with ASD