AutPlay® Therapy was created by Dr. Robert Jason Grant. It is a neurodiversity affirming framework for implementing play therapy. The AutPlay framework is neurodiversity paradigm informed and designed to help child and play therapists address the mental health needs of neurodivergent children ages 3-18 (autistic children, those with ADHD, social anxiety, sensory differences, learning differences, and developmental and physical disabilities).
AutPlay Therapy Overview
AutPlay conceptualizes psychological/counseling theory and approaches of play therapy through a diversity understood and informed process for working with Neurodivergent clients. It is designed to assist child and play therapists in selection and implementation of play therapy intervention for children and adolescents toward gains in addressing mental health needs. Parents and children are valued and understood as partners in the therapy process with the therapist.
Phases of AutPlay Therapy
AutPlay framework generally describes three overarching phases of play therapy – 1) Intake and Assessment Phase, 2) Structured Play Intervention Phase (theory and approach selection), and 3) Termination Phase. Additionally, child and play therapists gain confidence in individualization with Neurodivergent clients including prescriptive and integrative play therapy processes such as the AutPlay Follow Me Approach (FMA) – a child led (non directive based philosophy to meet engagement, connection, and relationship development needs.
The Essence of AutPlay Therapy
AutPlay Therapy is a neurodiversity informed and affirming collaborative process designed to value the individual child and highlight their strengths as well as guide areas of intervention, goals, and approaches for addressing the needs of the child and family.
Therapeutic Benefits of Play
The therapeutic powers of play (core change agents) are understood in addressing a variety of possible needs including emotional regulation struggles, social navigation needs, engagement/connection growth, anxiety and fear reduction, sensory challenges, executive functioning struggles, depression and self-esteem issues, trauma issues, advocacy, stigmatization, identity appreciation, the social model of disability, autonomy, inclusion needs, and parent/child relationship struggles.
Learn More and Resources
View the AutPlay Therapy Certification Program PDF Guide to learn how to become a Certified AutPlay Therapy Provider. Visit the Trainings and Store page to learn more about AutPlay trainings and book resources.
AutPlay Welcome Statement
If you are neurotypical, Neurodivergent, any neurominority, or intersectional Neurodivergent, you are welcome here.
If you are a student, a play therapist , a child therapist, a professional who works with Neurodivergent children and families or someone pursuing these categories, you are welcome here.
If you understand the neurodiversity paradigm, don’t understand the neurodiversity paradigm, or are unsure if you understand the neurodiversity paradigm, you are welcome here.
If you understand play therapy, don’t understand play therapy, or are unsure if you understand play therapy, you are welcome here.
If you understand the therapeutic powers of play, don’t understand the therapeutic powers of play, or are unsure about the therapeutic powers of play, you are welcome here.
The AutPlay space is welcoming of all who desire to understand the neurodiversity paradigm, advocate within the neurodiversity movement, and authentically apply neurodiversity affirming principles within and through a play therapy framework. Mental health care, play therapy, processes, programs, systems, and all people are better in a neurodiversity informed and affirming world.
NOTE: The information presented on this website primarily defaults to identity first language in support of research that shows that autistic adults prefer identity first language. Mental health and other professionals should always ask clients what language they prefer and respect the clients voice and choice.