PLAY Project™

The Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters (PLAY) Project is an evidence-based and intensive intervention model for young children between 18 months and six 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.

Elements of the PLAY Project are:

  • Early intervention for children 18 months to 6 years old
  • Based on rigorous 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
  • Play-based
  • Practical, effective, and fun
  • Designed to improve the child’s social development



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 one to two hours long and take place in the ESBA 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 on point with the child’s needs.



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

More Stories