What is the Play Project?
The PLAY PROJECT is an evidence-based autism intervention program developed by Rick Solomon, MD, a Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrician. The PLAY PROJECT is devoted to helping parents develop a better connection with their child through play and helping the child to improve their language, development, behaviour and social skills.
The PLAY PROJECT Home Consulting Program offers support and training for families of young children with autism in the home setting or in our clinic. Parents are coached by credentialed professionals to implement methods and techniques that are effective, fun, and useful in day to day interactions with their child. A benefit of contracting with ACT is that each Certified Play Consultant receives direct supervision by Cindy Harrison, speech language pathologist, Play Project Consultant and ACT co-founder and CEO. The manager of the PLAY PROJECT program at ACT is Caitlin Lacelle, an Occupational Therapist.
How does the PLAY PROJECT help my child?
You are your child’s first and best teacher and you know your child better than anyone else. The PLAY PROJECT is a parent mediated model of treatment meaning that we train you how to interact with your child to facilitate their development. The PLAY PROJECT consultant assesses your child’s developmental and behavioural changes at each visit. The assessment is used to develop the child’s individualized play plan which includes a set of techniques and activities designed to help your child reach these outcomes:
- Increased caregiver/parent and child interaction
- Increased social interaction of the child with autism
- Improved social-emotional development of a child with autism
- Improved autism related diagnostic category/symptoms including behavioural compliance
Our certified PLAY PROJECT consultants are specialists in the fields of child development and autism spectrum disorders who are trained to educate, guide and support you as you learn to nurture your child’s social and emotional development, but we consider you, as parents and caregivers to be the expert on your child.
What is a typical PLAY visit like?
Your PLAY Project Consultant coaches you in the PLAY Project methods, principles and techniques so you can help deliver the intervention with your child throughout your everyday interactions. During visits, you and the PLAY project Consultant work with your child. Siblings and other caregivers are welcome to join in the play-based activities too. Our Consultants show you practical way of making every interaction with your child a growing and learning experience. To keep your child’s autism intervention at the high intensity level, we recommend 2 hours per day of PLAY-time between caregiver and child; this can usually be done in multiple 15-20 minute sessions. Families report that this time is enjoyable and does fit in to their schedules. We can also provide training to childcare workers/nannies to allow them to complete these sessions as well.
How long is a PLAY Project Session?
PLAY sessions typically include:
- Ten to twelve 3 hour visits per year that includes a total of 15 minutes of video tape interaction between parent and child (coaching) and PLAY consultant and child (modeling)
- A PLAY Plan is sent within 2 weeks of each visit with detailed PLAY recommendations for methods, techniques, and activities.
- Family support (to get resources, help with school, etc.)
What are typical PLAY PROJECT visits like?
In between coaching and modelling the PLAY PROJECT consultant will assess your child’s progress and videotape short playful interactions between you and your child. This monthly video analysis helps the Play Project consultant develop an ongoing PLAY plan with individualized suggestions and recommendations for you to help your child keep making progress.
What can I expect after each visit?
Within 2 weeks of the first visit and every monthly visit and every monthly visit, your PLAY Consultant will send you:
- A video of you and your child’s playful interaction.
- A written assessment and PLAY Plan.
- Written coaching and feedback feedback and detailed recommendations.
- An assessment of your child’s progress.
- Supplemental handouts that will guide you in playing and interacting with your child.