PLAY Project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The PLAY Project (acronym for Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) is a community-based, national autism training and early intervention program established in 2001 by Richard Solomon, MD.[1][non-primary source needed] Based on the DIR (Developmental, Individualized, Relationship-based)[2] theory of Stanley Greenspan MD, the program is designed to train parents and professionals to implement intensive, developmental interventions for young children (18 months to 6 years) with autism. The program is operating in nearly 100 agencies worldwide including 25 states and in seven countries outside the U.S. (Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Israel, Ireland and Switzerland).[3] The PLAY Project has been operating since 2001 from its headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI.

Professional training model[edit]

The PLAY Project trains those with accredited degrees in child development fields or who have demonstrated superior knowledge and experience with children on the autism spectrum, including psychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, teachers, occupational therapists.

Once trained as Certified Consultants,[4][non-primary source needed] these professionals implement the model in their own communities, teaching parents the play-based, developmental intervention.


The PLAY Project follows The National Academy of Sciences[5][citation not found] recommendations for the education of young children with autistic spectrum disorders:

  • Begin interventions early (18 months to 5 years)
  • Use intensive intervention 25 hours per week
  • Have a teacher/play partner to child ratio of 1:1 or 1:2
  • Use interventions that are engaging and
  • Have a strategic direction (e.g. social skills, language, etc.)


In September 2009, The PLAY Project received a $1.85 million grant[6] from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to conduct a three-year controlled, clinical study of the PLAY Project model. Drawing participants from five Easter Seals autism service locations, the study compares the outcomes of 60 children who participate in The PLAY Project with the outcomes of 60 children who receive standard community interventions, making it the largest study of its kind. Before and after the 12-month intervention, each child is assessed with a battery of tests to measure developmental level, speech and language, sensory-motor profile, and social skills.

The results of previous research on the program were published by the peer-reviewed British journal, Autism[7][non-primary source needed]


  1. ^ Richard Solomon, MD
  2. ^ ICDL website Archived 2008-02-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ P.L.A.Y. Project locations
  4. ^ "Certified Consultants"
  5. ^ The National Academy of Sciences website Archived 2011-04-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Gossiaux, P. (2010, April 11). Ann Arbor-based PLAY Project awarded $1.8 million for autism therapy trial. (Ann Arbor, MI) [1]
  7. ^ Solomon, R., Necheles, J., Ferch, C., & Bruckman, D. (2007). Pilot study of a parent training program for young children with autism. Autism vol. 11 no. 3 205-224 doi:10.1177/1362361307076842 [2]<May, 2007).

External links[edit]