AutPlay® 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, dysregulation issues, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. It combines the therapeutic models of play therapy and behavioral therapy along with relationship development approaches 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 has Shown Effective Treatment Outcomes for the Following Areas:
- Increasing Emotional Regulation Ability
- Improving Social Skills and Functioning
- Improving Relationship Development and Connection
- Reducing Anxiety Levels
- Improving Sensory Processing Challenges
- Increasing Concentration, Focus, and Attention
- Reducing Unwanted Behaviors
- Improving the Parent/Child Relationship
Draw My Feelings Face Structured AutPlay Intervention:
AutPlay Therapy incorporates a combination of structured play therapy interventions, behavioral approaches, and relationship development to improve skill deficits 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 incorporates a parent training component which teaches parents how to implement structured play times and structured play therapy interventions at home. Parents learn the procedures and techniques and are shown how to implement interventions at home to increase skill and ability levels in their child. AutPlay Therapy involves both the child and the parent in the therapeutic process and uses a play therapy base that is not only a natural language of the child but enables the parent to be involved with their child in a way that teaches skills and increases abilities within a positive and connecting process.
Social Skills Ball Structured AutPlay Intervention:
AutPlay Therapy provides a screening and assessment process to evaluate where a child’s level is at in terms of basic functioning and skill development 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 is appropriate for children and adolescents with an autism disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dysregulation issues, neurodevelopmental disorders, and developmental disabilities from severe to mild impairment. AutPlay is appropriate for children ages 3-18.
There are many nervous system, sensory, dysregulation, and metabolic neurodevelopmental disorders that exist. Many neurodevelopmental disorders have no cure, but there are ways to treat the symptoms that present with neurodevelopmental disorders. AutPlay Therapy has been successful in improving AutPlay target areas in children and adolescents with many neurodevelopmental and dysregulation issues including:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Sensory Processing Challenges
- Intellectual Developmental Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder
- Tourette Syndrome
- Learning Disorders
- Social Disorders
- impulsive Disorders
AutPlay Follow Me Approach:
AutPlay Therapy is an adaptable and compatible treatment approach for autism, dysregulation disorders, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. AutPlay Therapy can be implemented in conjunction with other treatments and often is a part of a collaborative approach to helping children and adolescents advance in skill development.
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.
Clinical Outcomes and Case Study Results:
Clinical outcomes and case study designs have shown that children and adolescents that participate in AutPlay Therapy for six months, one time per week, show a gain in skill development in the targeted areas of AutPlay treatment; emotional regulation, social skills, sensory processing, anxiety reduction, concentration and focus, and relationship connection.
Parent rating scales also support an increase in emotional regulation ability, social skills, sensory processing, anxiety reduction, concentration and focus, and relationship connection for children and adolescents who have been participating in AutPlay Therapy for at least six months, one time per week. Parent rating scales also report feeling more empowered to work with their child, feeling more confident in their parenting skills, increased understanding of their child, and a positive increase in parent/child relationship.