PLAY Project™

The Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters (PLAY) Project at ESNorCal is an evidence-based and intensive intervention model for young children between 18 months and 5 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is parent-implemented and designed to improve relationships between parents and their child with autism and enhance the child’s social and functional development.

Highlightd of the PLAY Project™ include:

  • Early intervention for children 18 months to 5 years old
  • Based on rigorous, evidence-based research
  • Delivered by parents who are coached by trained PLAY consultants
  • Hours of intervention between parent implementation and the direct session
  • Family-centered, cost-effective, and play-based
  • Practical, effective, and fun
  • Designed to improve the child’s social development


Program Components

A certified PLAY consultant partners with a family to build trust, promote family confidence and competence, and strengthen family-child relationships by teaching families principles, methods, techniques, and activities. PLAY consultants model how to play and coach parents. Coaching helps families improve their children’s language, development, and social interaction.

Sessions are scheduled weekly for 1-2 hours and take place in the ESNorCal clinic or a family’s home. PLAY consultants also collect 10-15 minutes of video and provide written feedback that is shared with the family for review between visits.

Ongoing reassessments ensure the interventions are addressing the child’s needs.


What is the Goal of PLAY Project™?

The goal is to support families in having a joyous and playful relationship with their children with autism, so each child can reach his or her fullest potential.

The Play Project™ service offered at ESNorCal is accredited by CARF International. The CARF surveyors noted that “the organization demonstrates a strong commitment to the clients [which is] clearly visible in the staff members’ conscientious attention to detail and collaborative efforts.” This three-year accreditation is the highest level of accreditation that CARF awards.

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