How to Increase Play and Engagement in Children with Autism


Play is often child-led and follows certain patterns and trends which any person can readily elaborate on. Using this knowledge, this workshop will teach you why play is integral in increasing and teaching new social skills to children and how you can effectively set up play routines for your child or client to engage in.

Course Description

Why is play so important for learning? In this presentation, we teach you what effective play and engagement looks like and why it plays such a significant role in increasing new social skills for children. This workshop will also introduce the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and how it can be used to increase a child’s attention, social skills, and learning using both Sensory Social Routines (SSRs) and Object-Based Joint Activity Routines (JARs). Though many children struggle with social communication, knowing to spot the areas of communication they lack in is integral in increasing these communication skills. By the end of this course, you will learn how to (1) increase your child or your client’s attention to yourself or an external party, (2) improve their rates of learning within the realms of social communication, and (3) strengthen positive reinforcers commonly associated with social interactions and play.


Participants will:

  • Learn why play is integral to the development of new social skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Understand the purpose of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and its objectives
  • Learn 5 detailed steps to effectively increase a child’s attention span
  • Describe and provide examples of both Sensory Social Routines (SSRs) and Object-Based Joint Activity Routines (JARs) and how to accurately set these routines up for your client or your child

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