The P.L.A.Y. Project™ is an early intervention program for young children (ages 18 months to 7 years) diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This program was created by Dr. Rick Solomon in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is a practical application of the DIR®/Floortime model of Stanley Greenspan, MD, a nationally-respected child psychiatrist.
The P.L.A.Y. Project™ Home Consultation Program provides training and support for families of children with autism right in their home. Trained consultants teach parents techniques that are effective, fun, and useful in day-to-day interactions with their child with autism. By providing training in the home, consultants see the family in an environment where the child feels comfortable, rather than in a setting unfamiliar and possibly intimidating to the child.
Parents spend more time with their children than all of their teachers and therapists combined. By training parents to be their child’s best P.L.A.Y. Partner, the child receives intensive (more hours of), high quality intervention. The program consists of 3-hour visits every 4-6 weeks (9 per year) in the family’s home to teach parents how to provide intensive, one-on-one, play-based services to their young child. Consultants show parents practical ways of making every interaction with their child a growing and learning experience. Bath-time, meals, outdoor play: each of these daily routines can be used to help your child build meaningful relationships.
The P.L.A.Y. Project™ began in 2001 when Dr. Rick Solomon, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, decided to create an affordable early intervention program for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dr. Solomon realized that parents needed guidance, support and effective treatment options. In addition, he saw that most families could not afford to pay $40,000-$60,000 per year for the intensive interventions recommended for young children with ASD. The P.L.A.Y. Project™, by comparison, trains parents to provide the hours of intervention their child needs, reducing the cost to around $4,000 per year.
The P.L.A.Y. Project™ has been piloted with over 1,000 families in sites all over the Midwest and is currently offered by more than 80 agencies, schools and hospitals in 23 states. Research findings have been published in Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice (May 2007). Current research is being conducted in collaboration with Michigan State University, funded by a grant from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH).
To learn more about The P.L.A.Y. Project™ organization and its background visit www.playproject.org
For more information regarding The P.L.A.Y. Project, to get started, or with questions about financial assistance, contact EnCourage Institute.
PLAY Project Home Consulting Summary: A downloadable PDF for parents considering The P.L.A.Y. Project™ through EnCourage Institute for Teaching and Learning.