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The PLAY Project

The Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters (PLAY) Project is an intensive, early intervention program for children ages 18 months - 8 years, who are on the Autistic Spectrum. Therapists work with the child and family to enhance engagement according to the principles of the PLAY Project.  Sessions may be videotaped for continued training and feedback.  Easter Seals Michigan is one of four leaders in early intervention/pediatric medical rehabilitation to act as a peer coach to other Easter Seals affiliates throughout the country regarding the PLAY Project. 

This intervention was developed by Dr. Richard Solomon, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician.  It's aim is to promote emotional development in children with autism from ages 18 months to 8 years, while increasing socialization, improving language and decreasing repetitive behaviors. At the heart of the program are play-based techniques designed to help families “woo” their child with autism out of isolation.
“Play is the way children learn best,” Solomon says.  “When families do what the child loves, then the child will love being with his or her family.”

The difference is that the PLAY Project requires a significant investment of the parents’ time. Whereas other interventions are provided entirely by professionals, the PLAY Project trains and supports parents to provide intensive, one-on-one engagement at home.  Solomon explains, “The focus is on relationships - parents connecting with their child.  Autism is a very stressful condition that disrupts relationships, and it takes a lot of time to repair the deficits.”

For more information on The PLAY Project call 248.475.6300 or email us at playproject@essmichigan.org

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