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Symbolic Play

Symbolic Play

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Sections

  • Introduction
  • Prerequisites
  • License and disclaimer
  • What is symbolic play
  • Play and autism
  • Symbolic play basics
  • Play sequences
  • The importance of play symbols
  • Components of play symbols
  • Kinds of symbols
  • The importance of likeness
  • Difference between play symbols and likeness
  • Degree of obviousness
  • Teaching symbolic play
  • Teaching likeness
  • Training likeness
  • Probing likeness
  • Teaching symbols
  • Choosing symbolic prototypes to teach
  • Choosing symbolic forms to teach
  • Choosing symbolic likeness
  • A teaching protocol
  • How-To guidelines
  • Teaching symbolization
  • Probing the existence of symbolization
  • Teaching play sequences
  • Creating symbolic play scenarios
  • Enhancing non-symbolic play scenarios
  • Demonstrating how to play
  • Using scripts and script fading
  • Fading adult presence
  • Choosing what to play
  • Teaching imaginative play
  • Probing the existence of imaginative play
  • Development of symbolic play
  • Stage I: 9-10 months
  • Game 1: where did mama go?
  • Game 2: stretch for that
  • Stage II: 13-17 months
  • Game 1: plastic boxes
  • Game 2: the pool
  • Game 3: imitations
  • Game 4: wall drawing and painting
  • Game 5: lost toy
  • Game 6: candy in prison
  • Game 7: what's the match?
  • Game 8: the tour of the house
  • Game 9: the tunnel
  • Game 10: self portrait
  • Game 11: obstacle race
  • Game 12: puzzle
  • Game 13: sorting
  • Game 14: the professional taster
  • Game 15: the balance
  • Game 16: trainman
  • Game 17: opening and closing items
  • Stage III: 17-19 months
  • Game 1: reachin' without stretchin'
  • Game 2: going fishing
  • Game 3: box with wonders
  • Game 4: burning boat
  • Game 5: run to color
  • Game 6: go after sound
  • Game 7: the robot
  • Game 8: weave the paper
  • Stage IV: 19-22 months
  • Game 1: follow the color
  • Game 2: monsters in the dark
  • Game 3: treasure hunt
  • Game 4: mystery object
  • Game 5: hard and soft
  • Game 6: smooth and rough
  • Stage V: 24 months
  • Game 1: repeating patterns
  • Game 2: imaginary finger drawing
  • Game 3: mystery drawing
  • Game 4: mystery sound
  • Game 5: set the table
  • Stage VI: 2 ½ years
  • Game 1: find the emotion
  • Game 2: the prompter
  • Quality of symbolic play
  • Symbolic play observation sheet
  • Symbolic play observation summarizer
  • Interpreting results
  • Building a symbolic play repertoire
  • Building a repertoire of symbols
  • Building a repertoire of play scripts
  • Planning symbolic play training
  • Preliminary stage
  • Stage I
  • Stage II
  • Stage I
  • Stage III
  • Stage IV
  • Stage V
  • Stage VI
  • Stage VII
  • Stage VIII
  • Stage IX
  • Stage X
  • Summary

Symbolic Play

Table of Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................................................1 Prerequisites..........................................................................................................................................1 License and disclaimer..........................................................................................................................1 What is symbolic play................................................................................................................................2 Play and autism..........................................................................................................................................3 Symbolic play basics..................................................................................................................................4 Play sequences.......................................................................................................................................4 The importance of play symbols...........................................................................................................4 Components of play symbols................................................................................................................4 Kinds of symbols...................................................................................................................................5 The importance of likeness....................................................................................................................5 Difference between play symbols and likeness.....................................................................................6 Degree of obviousness...........................................................................................................................7 Teaching symbolic play.............................................................................................................................8 Teaching likeness..................................................................................................................................9 Training likeness...............................................................................................................................9 Probing likeness................................................................................................................................9 Teaching symbols................................................................................................................................10 Choosing symbolic prototypes to teach..........................................................................................10 Choosing symbolic forms to teach.................................................................................................10 Choosing symbolic likeness...........................................................................................................10 A teaching protocol.........................................................................................................................11 How-To guidelines.........................................................................................................................12 Teaching symbolization......................................................................................................................13 Probing the existence of symbolization..........................................................................................13 Teaching play sequences.....................................................................................................................14 Creating symbolic play scenarios...................................................................................................14 Enhancing non-symbolic play scenarios........................................................................................15 Demonstrating how to play.............................................................................................................16 Using scripts and script fading...................................................................................................16 Fading adult presence.....................................................................................................................17 Choosing what to play....................................................................................................................17 Teaching imaginative play..................................................................................................................18 Probing the existence of imaginative play......................................................................................18 Development of symbolic play................................................................................................................19 Stage I: 9-10 months............................................................................................................................23 Game 1: where did mama go?........................................................................................................23 Game 2: stretch for that..................................................................................................................23 Stage II: 13-17 months........................................................................................................................24 Game 1: plastic boxes.....................................................................................................................24 Game 2: the pool.............................................................................................................................24 Game 3: imitations..........................................................................................................................24 Game 4: wall drawing and painting................................................................................................24 Game 5: lost toy..............................................................................................................................25 Game 6: candy in prison.................................................................................................................25 Game 7: what's the match?.............................................................................................................25

Game 8: the tour of the house.........................................................................................................25 Game 9: the tunnel..........................................................................................................................25 Game 10: self portrait.....................................................................................................................25 Game 11: obstacle race...................................................................................................................25 Game 12: puzzle.............................................................................................................................26 Game 13: sorting.............................................................................................................................26 Game 14: the professional taster.....................................................................................................26 Game 15: the balance......................................................................................................................26 Game 16: trainman.........................................................................................................................26 Game 17: opening and closing items..............................................................................................26 Stage III: 17-19 months.......................................................................................................................27 Game 1: reachin' without stretchin'................................................................................................27 Game 2: going fishing....................................................................................................................27 Game 3: box with wonders.............................................................................................................27 Game 4: burning boat.....................................................................................................................27 Game 5: run to color.......................................................................................................................28 Game 6: go after sound...................................................................................................................28 Game 7: the robot...........................................................................................................................28 Game 8: weave the paper................................................................................................................28 Stage IV: 19-22 months.......................................................................................................................29 Game 1: follow the color................................................................................................................29 Game 2: monsters in the dark.........................................................................................................29 Game 3: treasure hunt.....................................................................................................................29 Game 4: mystery object..................................................................................................................29 Game 5: hard and soft.....................................................................................................................30 Game 6: smooth and rough.............................................................................................................30 Stage V: 24 months.............................................................................................................................31 Game 1: repeating patterns.............................................................................................................31 Game 2: imaginary finger drawing.................................................................................................31 Game 3: mystery drawing...............................................................................................................31 Game 4: mystery sound..................................................................................................................31 Game 5: set the table.......................................................................................................................32 Stage VI: 2 ½ years.............................................................................................................................33 Game 1: find the emotion...............................................................................................................33 Game 2: the prompter.....................................................................................................................33 Quality of symbolic play..........................................................................................................................34 Symbolic play observation sheet.........................................................................................................34 Symbolic play observation summarizer..............................................................................................36 Interpreting results...............................................................................................................................37 Building a symbolic play repertoire.........................................................................................................39 Building a repertoire of symbols.........................................................................................................39 Building a repertoire of play scripts....................................................................................................40 Planning symbolic play training..............................................................................................................41 Preliminary stage.................................................................................................................................41 Stage I..................................................................................................................................................41 Stage II................................................................................................................................................41 Stage III...............................................................................................................................................42 Stage IV...............................................................................................................................................42 Stage V................................................................................................................................................42

Stage VI...............................................................................................................................................43 Stage VII..............................................................................................................................................43 Stage VIII............................................................................................................................................43 Stage IX...............................................................................................................................................44 Stage X................................................................................................................................................44 Summary..................................................................................................................................................45

Symbolic Play

Introduction
Play in general and symbolic play in special have an important role child development. It is theorized there is a strong liaison between play and socialization (see [Raising The Child (ro)]), symbolic play and language (see [Behavioral Intervention]), play and learning by imitation (see [Lovaas 2003]), as well as between sensory abilities (which best develop through play) and speech (see [Verbal Behavior Analysis]). Children with autism and related disorders have difficulty with playing and with finding joy in play. When they do play though, they favor repetitive play within a narrow niche, up to the point that their play seems inappropriate (see [Lovaas 2003], chapter Early Play Skills). This document aims to address the issue of teaching children with autism how to play, with a focus on symbolic play.

Prerequisites
It is highly recommended to have access to the following books (see Bibliography at the end) : [Autism and Play], [Behavioral Intervention], [Caring For Your Young Child], [Teach Me Do It], [Raising The Child (ro)], [VB-MAPP] and [ABLLS-R]. This document occasionally employs terms from the Verbal Behavior theory of language. Having some knowledge on Verbal Behavior is recommended. An accessible resource to learn about verbal behavior is [The VB Approach]. The liaison between senses and speech is mentioned by [Verbal Behavior Analysis]. The guidelines for adult supervision fading have been extracted from [Portage Guide (ro)]. This document has been designed with a focus on children with autism or related disorders. The latest incarnation of the seminal work of Dr. Lovaas on intensive intervention for young children with autism is [Lovaas 2003]. Having this resource at hand is highly recommended. We suggest scripting and script fading as a possible method to teach symbolic play since it has been successfully used to teach conversation. Hence, having access to [Teaching Conversation] is recommended. The structural assessment of the quality of play has been partially inspired from our multi-dimensional model of LRFFC training which is detailed in LRFFC.pdf. For information on how to obtain this document, see the bottom of the page. The intent of this document is to get integrated into a verbal behavior therapy. A way to design such a therapy is to download and read our VBA package1. It is strongly recommended not to use the present document in isolation.

License and disclaimer
You are free to read, use, store and copy for personal use this document at no cost. You may not distribute the document or parts of it to anyone without explicit permission from the author. You may freely disseminate information on how to obtain a copy of this document. The information in this document has not been reviewed by any specialist in Verbal Behavior, language pathology, behaviorism or psychology. You may use the information herein AS IS, with no warranty expressed or implied. The author of this document makes no claim of suitability of this information for any purpose and no damage or loss resulted from the usage of this information may be imputed to him. Any collision of name, terms, titles or meaning with trademarked elements or works protected by copyright is purely incidental and may not be interpreted as trademark or copyright infringement in any way.
1 One can find the links to the package and other files by checking the blog at http://mariusfilip.blogspot.com, section FILES.

-1-

the child starts to run towards the rock yelling “Aaaaa!” while throwing pebbles intensely. 2. 6. perhaps he “talks” to the rock. We can talk about a small amount of symbolism in this kind of play (rock = character). 4. The same source defines symbolism as “a system of symbols and symbolic representations”. -2- . this activity is probably no play at all but rather a selfstimulatory behavior so characteristic to children with autism.info/free/. a symbol is “something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible”. self = grenadier. If. If the child says “I won't let you pass through!” and shouts “kaboom!” then probably he imagines himself to be a grenadier in battle. pebble = grenade. The example above illustrates that the amount of symbolism of a play session can be measured. This implies that the child engages in certain behaviors whose meaning to him is different from their common.Symbolic Play What is symbolic play According to the WordWeb electronic dictionary2. playground = battlefield). probably he imagines himself throwing grenades towards the rock. at least by counting the number of symbols used. then perhaps he's just launched a counter-attack against the “enemy”. self = grenadier). If the child says “I hit you” and shouts “kaboom!”. We define symbolic play as that kind of play which carries a certain amount of symbolism with it. 3. If the pebbles fall aimlessly around the rock. The words amount of symbolism in this definition bear importance because we believe that play symbolism is measurable. This kind of play carries more symbolism (rock = character to hit. This is very akin to the actions that typical children do repetitively in order to hone a motor skill (like climbing and going down the stairs over and over again). If most pebbles fall close to the rock and many of them actually do hit the rock. this kind of play may have various meanings: 1. We may assume the activity is play. after some “fight”. perhaps the child tries to target the rock on purpose. generally accepted meaning. 5. let us assume that a lone child throws pebbles in the direction of a larger rock which lays a few yards away. For example. pebble = grenade). In this case the playground is endowed with symbolic meaning as well and his play is even richer in symbolism (rock = enemy. 2 One can download a free copy of WordWeb electronic dictionary from http://wordweb. If the child says something like “I hit you”. Most likely the rock becomes in his mind some character that deserves to be hit. This kind of play carries more symbolism (rock = enemy. pebble = grenade. While it is easy to assume this simple activity as purposeless. albeit non imaginative.

If a child with autism can learn abstractions like classes and associations. This seems to happen even when the movements of a play activity and the symbolic meanings of those movements have been given explicitly to them. • Symbolism attached to objects and actions. On the contrary. one can reasonably assume that the initial resistance to tennis came from ignorance rather than from an innate incapacity to enjoy tennis. Either the dislike of physical effort goes away or tennis becomes more rewarding than the physical discomfort. While very young children limit themselves to exploring physically the surroundings. they might turn the truck upside down and spin the wheel over and over. past interactions and experiences are not formative in this respect. We believe that addressing the problem of symbolic play in children with autism requires addressing the three issues from above. especially when loaded with symbolism. Experience suggests that children with autism aren't essentially different: they can find enjoyment in things characteristic to typical children. It is no wonder: due to the pervasive impairments induced by autism. Yet. a 3 year old girl who brushes the hair of a doll does not do it merely to see what happens to the hair when brushed. Just as the autistic child does not learn from the environment how to talk. • • -3- . For example. Either case. including play. A man may resist to learning how to play tennis for reasons like hating to perform physical effort. Children with autism are capable of joy in play. she's playing “mama” while the doll is “the child”. the behavioral intervention for autism relies on the fact that autistic children love rewards just as their typically developed peers do. In fact. Fortunately enough. It seems that autistic children have difficulty to find joy in play. in their essence. no different from the ones of typical children. We also believe that children with autism can make tremendous advances in their development by the mere of resolution of the above mentioned deficiencies. the three characteristics from above can be learned through systematic intervention: • Children with autism can learn the appropriate usage of objects and toys when the information is given in a way appropriate to their learning style. when a child with autism plays with the hair of a doll. children with autism lack three characteristics that typical children have and make them spontaneously engage in play: • Appropriate usage of surrounding objects. Children with autism are capable of attaching symbols to elements they can observe. once they are taught how to experience those things and the teaching is conducted in an appropriate way. Children with autism do not seem to readily understand that the wheels of a truck exist to roll over ground. he does not learn how to find joy in play. In fact. Concerning the joy to play. it's very unlikely that the desire is more than sensory in nature. many programs of ABA (from Block Imitation to Arts and Crafts) can be seen as ways to teach the child how to make appropriate usage of objects. children beyond a certain age start to assign some symbolism even to simplest forms of play. • Joy of play. The deep motivations of autistic children are.Symbolic Play Play and autism As shown in [Lovaas 2003]. Ivaar O. Yet. the same man may find joy in tennis once he learns how to play it. even if symbolism is in the smallest amount. he can learn that a pebble can be a grenade and a large rock can be an enemy tank. Most likely. Lovaas gives a suggestive illustration. absorbed in the movement without trying to explore other usages of the toy.

When a child is “fighting” with a “sword” represented by a wooden stick. Symbols need to be addressed specifically and in isolation before thinking about symbolic play. Components of play symbols A play symbol has three components: 1. i. there are others that are part of the symbolic likeness but not of the real likeness (see “Difference between play symbols and likeness” at page 6). the symbolic content and the complexity of the symbolic sequences grow with age. It consists in the objects or actions used by the child in play. actions or characters that the child represents through play. It consists in objects. The symbolic likeness resides upon a real likeness between the symbolic form and the prototype. whose meaning is entirely apparent from its very constituents may be useful. There is no symbolic play without symbols. Being at the crux of symbolic play.e. Play sequences As mentioned in the Westby Scale of Symbolic Play (see [Behavioral Intervention]). 3. Moreover. the key ingredient to teaching symbolic play is to ensure that the student is able to handle symbols in the first place. Based on the components of symbolic play. The symbolic likeness is the relationship between the symbolic form and the symbolic prototype. Such real likeness is a commonality of properties between the two (see “The importance of likeness” below). hence it must be taught explicitly. play grows in complexity and evolves from isolated actions to longer and more complex sequences of actions. A symbolic play sequence may employ non-symbolic elements. 2. a symbol is “something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible”. the sword is the symbolic form. Children with autism or related disorders do not manifest this growth. -4- . Therefore. the next chapter suggests methods to teach it. healthy and beneficial to the child but is not symbolic. the ability to create and maneuver symbols is of paramount importance. Such ability most likely does not emerge simply by engaging the student in play. Besides those common properties. In other words. A play with no symbols whatsoever. The symbolic form is what an external observer can see. that visible represents something else that is different yet similar in some way. The symbolic prototype is what the child has in mind when playing. But it must include at least one symbol in order to be symbolic. the wooden stick is the symbolic form. at some point in the development of a child. When a child is “fighting” with a “sword” represented by a wooden stick. The importance of play symbols As mentioned in section “What is symbolic play” (page 2).Symbolic Play Symbolic play basics This chapter describes what symbolic play is made of.

but “the child” is not. depending on the name of the item represented. let us revisit our little grenadier from page 2 and think a little about his symbolic play: • • • • The pebbles turned into grenades because pebbles are small like the grenades. To illustrate this. He shouted “kaboom!” that sounds like exploding grenades. like real grenadiers do.Symbolic Play Kinds of symbols A symbol may be static or dynamic. -5- . Extrinsic dynamic symbols are easier than the intrinsic ones because the symbol is virtually identical to the prototype and only the used object differs from its prototype. When a little girl combs the hair of a doll pretending to comb the hair of “her child”. When teaching symbols. but the “driving” is not. Dynamic symbols may be intrinsic or extrinsic. it results that a symbol in children's play is “something visible that by association represents something else that is invisible”. He pretended to be a grenadier because he threw “grenades” by hand. the stick is a static symbol. by their dynamic nature. but they cannot fully grasp the prototypes behind them. Extrinsic dynamic symbols refer to those symbolic actions whose symbolism reside in the symbolism of the objects employed. Intrinsic dynamic symbols are the hardest because actions. These distinctions are important because we believe they bear different levels of difficulty: • • • Static symbols are the easiest to grasp because their symbolism relies on the object likeness between the symbol and the prototype (see “Components of play symbols” at page 4). When a little boy sits on the driver's sit and “drives” the family car in the garage. 3 Symbolic sign conventions are too difficult concepts for young children to understand. Intrinsic dynamic symbols refer to those symbolic actions whose symbolism is independent of the symbolism of the objects employed. Dynamic symbols refer to actions. When a child fights with a stick saying it is a sword. is important to keep in mind the above order and to plan the teaching steps accordingly (see “Teaching symbols”. Assuming that conventions do not apply to young children3. They may learn the signs. We call this association symbolic likeness because it does reside on likeness of some sort. When a child “drives” a car then his “driving” is a dynamic symbol. The importance of likeness By definition. Static symbols refer to objects. he is doing intrinsic dynamic symbolism: the car is real. are concepts harder to grasp than objects. “How-To guidelines” at page 12). she is doing extrinsic dynamic symbolism: combing is real. a symbol is “something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible” (see page 2). His playground was wide and flat like the battlefields he probably saw in movies.

this “reality” is rooted in the objective reality via the likeness between its elements and their prototypes. Despite its “virtuality”. a duck is like a goose because they have many similarities in shape: body. a child can throw pebbles pretending he throws grenades. when he plays this way. a play symbol is a correlation in which one participant (the symbolic form) takes some of the characteristics of the other participant (the symbolic prototype) that fall outside their visible likeness. Yet. this is their likeness. etc. This essential difference between play symbols and likeness is so important that the ability to create “virtual realities” of play symbols has to be trained explicitly (see “Teaching likeness” at page 9). neck. Therefore. In other words. there are significant differences between the two: • • likeness is a closeness between two entities along a few characteristics.Symbolic Play If our little friend have had pieces of aluminum foil instead of pebbles. an artificial tree instead of a big rock and a room corner indoors instead of an open playground then most likely he would have tried to “decorate” a “Christmas tree” instead of fighting heavily with the enemy. Thus the child creates during symbolic play a “virtual reality” of his own with many made-up attributes. For example. in order to ensure that the student has symbolic likeness we must ensure that he is able to detect likeness in the first place. Because they are alike. he endows the symbolic form with attributes of the prototype that the form does not have at all. when constructing a symbol during play. he shouts “kaboom!” pretending that the pebble “explodes”. a child does more than identifying a likeness. Why? Because aluminum foil is like Christmas tree decorations and not like grenades. a pebble is small like a grenade. This ability of the pebble to “explode” exists in the child's mind only and does not belong to the physical likeness between a pebble and a grenade. -6- . the artificial tree may be like a Christmas tree and not like a tank and the corner of the room may be like a part of his living room at home and not like a battlefield. legs. It is this ability of children to construct made-up worlds that adorns their play with unparalleled originality and beauty. Difference between play symbols and likeness Although play symbols rely on likeness. For example.

the symbolism is less obvious. a rod or a toy sword when pretending to fight by sword. the symbolism has a very low level of obviousness. If she uses a rectangular piece of wood for a comb. If she uses no comb whatsoever but pretends to have a comb in her hand. we can speak of a degree of obviousness from the most obvious to the very unobvious. the symbolism is less obvious. the more imaginative the play his play may be. the symbolism is less obvious. the symbolism is most obvious. While it is nearly impossible to measure obviousness rigorously. Needless to say. intermediate obviousness and strong obviousness. If she uses a doll. may use a stick. more obvious symbols are easier for the child than the less obvious ones. it is important to teach the child symbols as less obvious as possible. A child. If she replaces the doll with a rolled towel. Yet. The less obvious the symbols he can grasp are. it is useful to assign a value in one of the two forms: • • A numeric value from 0 to 10 where 0 is “least obvious” and 10 is “most obvious” (nearly identical). the symbolism is less obvious. Choosing one form over another depends on the degree of granularity you want to assign to obviousness monitoring. So. the symbolism is less obvious. One of the following values: weak obviousness. If she uses a toy comb in the stead of a real comb. -7- .Symbolic Play Degree of obviousness The same symbolic prototype may be represented by more than one symbolic form. Some of the symbolic forms represent more obviously the prototype than others. let us consider a girl who does pretend play representing the action “I comb the hair of my child”: • • • • • • • If she combs the hair of her younger sister. For example. for instance. If she has bare hands and no “child” in her arms but pretends to comb an invisible child with an invisible comb simply by going through the motions. The symbolic form differs from the prototype only in terms of “my child”.

Teaching symbolic play goes through specific phases: 1. [Caring For Your Young Child]. Since symbols come in stages. Teaching likeness 2. As shown in “Development of symbolic play” (page 19). The student must be able to construct his own symbols corresponding to his level of development. this comes in stages. Teaching symbolization 4. [Behavioral Intervention] or [Portage Guide (ro)]. The specificity comes from symbols playing a central role. However. the scripts consist in isolated actions first but they gradually evolve in more complex scenarios. Teaching how to play in general has been addressed by many works: [Lovaas 2003]. Teaching play sequences 5. The student must have a predefined repertoire of symbols that he can use in play. so does the teaching of symbolization. 3. Teaching symbols The student must be able to detect likeness between objects apart from symbolization. we believe that symbolic play deserves special treatment due to its specifics. As shown in “Development of symbolic play” (page 19) and “Building a symbolic play repertoire” (page 39). Teaching imaginative play -8- . to name a few. The student must have a predefined repertoire of play scripts that he can use in play. The student must be able to construct his own sequences by altering or combining the ones in his portfolio or by inventing new ones.Symbolic Play Teaching symbolic play This section is concerned with how to teach symbolic play.

“resembling”. a book is like a brick. when there is an inconsistency within a picture (a rabbit with three ears). -9- . This resembles both Difference and Likeness from above. “much like”. Probing likeness The student has mastered likeness when he exhibits unhindered ability to detect likeness and more likeness spontaneously in natural settings: a stick is like a rod. A threshold of 5 instances per hour assuming favorable circumstances is enough. when two images differ more or less. a donkey is like a horse. a rabbit with gray fur resembles a rabbit with dark fur more than a rabbit with white fur. For example. when an image resembles a prototype more than another image.Symbolic Play Teaching likeness Teaching likeness comes in two phases: training and probing. Probing is verifying that the ability is really acquired. Training likeness The good thing about likeness is that there are plenty of ABA programs to teach it. using expressions like “alike”. Such verbal expressions will become vehicles to teach play symbols later on (see “Teaching symbols” below). The way to go is by showing a large number of pairs of pictures to the student and the goal is to make him able to decide upon: • • • Identity Likeness More likeness Less likeness Difference What's wrong? when two images are truly identical. This may not seem like a likeness exercise. • • • We believe it is important to verbalize likeness with the student so that the concept of likeness gets a name. is the opposite of More likeness. when two images resemble with each other but are not identical. Therefore. “similar” as often as possible during training is recommended. yet it is one in some way: the student has to mentally visualize the correct picture or the absence of the defect and compare the real image with that mental prototype in some fashion. a duck is like a goose and a goose is more like a duck than like a swan. Training consists in the teaching itself. a bicycle wheel is like a circle.

it is better to simply state that the form “is like” the prototype without much detail. The goal of teaching symbolic forms is to use them later in play. It is better to start with one such attribute first. For example. Both kinds of attributes have to be chosen carefully. . Choosing symbolic likeness Symbolic likeness resides on attributes that the form and the prototype have in common as well as in attributes that the form does not have except in the child's interpretation during play. The symbolic prototypes must be well known to the child. a wooden stick is “long and stiff” like a sword. Symbolic forms that do not make good toys or play actions should be avoided. If necessary. Choosing symbolic forms to teach The teacher should choose symbolic forms to teach based on the following criteria: • • The level of obviousness should decrease gradually. For example. a symbolic form and a symbolic likeness between the two. A way to probe how well the student knows the tacts is to put them through LRFFC trials. expressing non-likeness attributes must take place in a playful.10 - . pretending mood. Obviously. Choosing symbolic prototypes to teach The teacher should choose symbolic prototypes to teach based on the following criteria: • • The symbolic prototypes must conform to the level of child's development (see “Development of symbolic play” at page 19). one or two characteristics suffice. A good source of prototypes is the student's repertoire of tacts. When the teacher expresses the likeness to the student. The teacher must also express the attributes of the prototype that the student may endow the form with. when trying to present a wooden stick as a sword the teacher may say that it “pierces”. from very obvious to the least obvious (see “Degree of obviousness” at page 7). Expressing likeness is not enough. Later on.Symbolic Play Teaching symbols This section is concerned with teaching play symbols in isolation. he may add that the wooden stick also can “cut heads” like a real word does. Teaching a symbol requires choosing a symbolic prototype. otherwise the student may learn that a wooden stick really pierces and one can really cut heads with such an inoffensive object.

11 - . “It cuts flesh and bones in battle!” (3rd trial). we don't say: “This wooden stick looks like a sword. prototype and one variant of symbolic likeness. Examples for “This wooden stick looks like a sword”: “We can pierce the enemy with it!” (1st trial). Either case. Using sessions of 20 trials consisting in five symbols repeated four times is in line with the standard teaching practice of Verbal Behavior Analysis (see [Verbal Behavior Analysis]). 5. Suggest to the student that the form may be endowed with properties that it doesn't have by expressing attributes of the prototype as naturally belonging to the form. 2.. The second mastery criterion means that no symbol should take the frozen form of rote memorization. This protocol has several steps for the teacher to carry out: 1. At least two variants of the symbolic likeness per form/prototype couple. objects in their natural placement. . the teacher should not say that the form may have a property of the prototype. Decide which prototypes to teach. whatever is necessary to ensure that the student has them fresh in memory. Indirect expressions must be avoided. if the student masters likeness (see “Probing likeness” at page 9) the answer should not be a problem. If the student has intraverbal skills. “We carry it at the hip” (4th trial). It can also have the property to pierce an enemy!”. For example. 3. Present the student with the prototypes. It is not the only way to do it and teachers should feel free to change it as they see fit. In other words. For example: “This wooden stick looks like a sword. each time mentioning slightly different properties that the form may get from the prototype. Present a symbolic form to the student and ask him which of the prototypes is best resembling the form.” and wait for the student to complete the sentence. Use pictures. The mastery criteria are: • • A 18/20 rate of spontaneous utterances per session obtained without prompt. 4. then “Show the one that resembles this” is enough.Symbolic Play A teaching protocol The therapist may use the following protocol to teach symbols. the teacher may ask “This resembles a . We say “We can pierce the enemy with it!”. “We can cut the head off with it!” (2nd trial). The goal of each teaching session is to make the child utter without prompt the symbol in terms of form.. in-vivo demonstrations. it must say that the form can be the prototype. We can pierce the enemy with it!”. If the student has no intraverbal skills. Rotate the trials by repeating each form/prototype couple several times. 3D objects.

. The teacher should start teaching with static symbols. Teaching as many forms for the same prototype empowers the student with more choices during play. The most obvious symbolic forms are the easiest. the least obvious ones are the hardest (see “Degree of obviousness” at page 7).12 - . it's recommended to follow several guidelines: • • • Static symbols are the easiest. Teaching multiple forms for the same prototype should start with the most obvious ones.Symbolic Play How-To guidelines When teaching play symbols in isolation. The same symbolic prototype may have more than one symbolic form. intrinsic dynamic symbols are the hardest (see page “Kinds of symbols” at page 5).

If the student associates the same prototype as the one you thought of initially.. it's a plane” then tell him “Why don't you play with that”. Select five objects or actions that the student knows very well (they have been probed through tacting and autoclitic training.. Without this ability. Choose four symbolic forms for each prototype of various degrees of obviousness (the forms should not be less obvious than the level of obviousness he's been trained for).5 points. This means that while the student still fails to gather all the necessary 18 points. . The next sub-section shows how to check for the existence of symbolization. Whether this ability does emerges and how fast depends heavily on the individual. 3. the child has to restrict his play to a predefined set of symbols without being able to exploit fully the potential of his environment. A 18/20 rate is common practice in ABA and VBA. being able to symbolize is essential for symbolic play. his score may still grow from one probing to another. Add all the points obtained by the student. For example. These five elements will be symbolic prototypes. Just as we cannot teach speech in itself and we have to resort to teaching verbal operants. give him 1 point. verbal capabilities (higher order operants.5 points. 2. if it's something that resembles a plane. We cannot offer clear thresholds in the matter: just teach many symbols and check periodically whether the student exhibits symbolization. see [Verbal Behavior Analysis]) and to practicing phrase expansion over and over. give him 1 point. Another method is to say “I'd like play with this . Moreover.13 - . If the student associates a prototype different from the one you intended.Symbolic Play Teaching symbolization Symbolization is the ability to construct symbols. then: 1. The student may not know what to do with the symbolic form shown to him.” followed by the name of a prototype that is very different from the actual prototype. Present the symbolic forms to the student one by one in random order and see whether the student is able to construct a symbol based on it: 1. When this happens. If the student needs a hint to find a symbol. Most likely symbolization occurs gradually. we cannot teach symbolization in itself. If the student spontaneously finds a symbol with a correct form/prototype/symbolic likeness triad. If the student spontaneously finds a symbol with a correct form/prototype couple but with a symbolic likeness lacking prototype attributes. 2. LRFFC training and/or intraverbal training) and that have never been used in symbol teaching. The teacher should do the following: 1. it is a sign that training must continue. 2. there may be a danger that he will not understand the symbols of his playmates. If the student says “It's not a cow. and there is no reason to change it (see [Lovaas 2003] and [Verbal Behavior Analysis]). A score of 18 or greater shows that the student has the capacity to symbolize. While acquiring many symbols is important. give him 0. The teacher may hint the student by saying “Let's play a little with this”. say “I'd like to play with this cow”. 3. thus reducing his ability to engage in group play. The only tool at our disposal is to teach as many symbols as possible until spontaneous symbolization eventually emerges. Probing the existence of symbolization The teacher can probe the existence of symbolization by checking that the student is able to construct novel symbols in 90% of the occasions where such an event is prone to occur. give him 0. 4.

Creating symbolic play scenarios Creating scenarios has the advantage that symbolism is not forged into something already existing. Obviously. 8. It is better to have as many as possible: this way the student does not learn mechanically a sequence of events. Although the child may know the actions in isolation. He needs training. The teacher may use one of the following methods to teach the student how to play symbolically: • • By creating play scenarios containing a certain kind of symbolism right from their inception. 6. Replace some elements with their symbolic forms. . A play sequence is formed of several actions. Going to the lavatory. some of them symbolic. he may be unable to put the pieces together to produce symbolic play. For example. the same chain of events may have more than one resulting play scenario. let us consider writing a symbolic play scenario for “wake up in the morning”. 3. Going to the drawer and dressing. The chain of real events as they happen to the student is the following (showering. 2. Both speech and play have to be taught explicitly. Drying hands. Yawning and stretching. The student must be able to play by himself or with others freely and naturally. Getting out of bed. symbolic play does not follow in the footsteps of symbols just as speech does not rise spontaneously from learning separate words. 10. Sleeps. The events must make use of known objects only. some of them not. Washing hands and face. Putting sleepers on. 4. Unfortunately. but learns that the same chain of actions may be represented in many ways during play. Turning the water on. Thus the final outcome has better chances to be fluent and natural. By enhancing existing non-symbolic play scenarios with a certain amount of symbolism. 9.14 - . use of toilet not included): 1. 7.Symbolic Play Teaching play sequences Having a rich repertoire of play symbols is not enough. 5. The alarm clock rings. Creating a scenario is easy: • • Chain a sequence of real events that are well know to the student.

nothing (just pretending to put invisible sleepers on). a sun bed. Another way is to leave the play session untouched but to attach symbolic interpretations to it. real sink. the corner of the room. i. the second method requires better verbal abilities from the student's part. the outside of the house. a towel on the floor. other kind of footwear. real lavatory.15 - . real washing. none. nothing. then we can teach the student that the beads are pieces of diamonds. a couch. real alarm clock. real bed. a part of the playground. an ad-hoc object in place of an alarm clock. This requires that the teacher should begin with the scenarios that resemble reality to the fullest. One way to do that is by following the method at page 14. a bottle of water held by a peer. real drawer. real tower. magazines. the most obvious forms should be considered first (see “Degree of obviousness” at page 7). While it is tempting to replace all the elements used in this scenario with their symbolic forms. the Internet) is an effective way to build a portfolio of play activities for a child. This way the beads mutate into glamorous jewelry that may stir the student's imagination.e. the child has to experience the presence of symbols gradually. a balcony. a bucket. combing may be replaced with a fake combing (like combing with a fake comb). imaginary drawer. For example. a lounger. We may also tell the student that's a necklace for Cinderella to wear when she meets her prince. pretending by going through the motions. toy alarm clock. rubies and sapphires. nothing (just pretending to stand in front of an invisible sink). When selecting a form from a collection of forms for the same prototype. by replacing some elements of the play sequence with a symbolic form when possible. if the play consists in stringing beads on a wire. the floor itself. real sleepers. nothing. a lounge chair.Symbolic Play The teacher may choose from the following symbolic forms when altering the above list in order to produce symbolic play sequences: • • • • • • • • • • • • Sleeping Alarm clock Alarm clock ringing Bed Sleepers The lavatory The sink The faucet Water Washing Drying hands Drawer pretending to sleep silently. real faucet. For example. pretending to snore. . In order to learn how to employ symbolization when playing. no physical form. this is rather bad practice. Many such games and play ideas do not have symbolism yet they may be transformed to acquire symbolic qualities. then slowly replace some of the elements with their corresponding symbolic forms. real ringing. if the play sequence consists in combing and dressing a play doll. another person imitating the sound. real water. Enhancing non-symbolic play scenarios Gathering already existing play scenarios from various sources (like books. Obviously.

the teacher has to fade his presence. It relies partially on images. Using scripts and script fading The method of scripting and script fading has been used successfully in teaching conversational skills that are hard to teach via regular establishing operations because motivation is weak in casual talk (see [Teaching Conversation]). It requires magnetic cards and a special audio device in its less advanced incarnation.Symbolic Play Demonstrating how to play No matter how well we craft the play scenarios. For the reasons above it is highly recommended to use scripts and script fading as a last resort only. Another advantage is that the student controls his own activity schedule which encourages responsibility and discipline. The student is supposed to run the cards through the device in order to learn what the script is about. in its advanced incarnation. Either way. . There are disadvantages to this method.16 - . The main advantage of this method consists in the physical support that reminds the student what is to do. he can open up his activity schedule and follow the script that lays out a play scenario. Demonstrating the scenario to the student requires to play either by showing the session from start to finish or by engaging as a partner. Images are weak at representing symbols. The idea is to replace the conversation scripts with play scripts. It is hard to expect that from a child who is so delayed that he doesn't know how to play well. though: • • • It requires the student. If the student is empty of play ideas or if he's got idle time. eventually leaving the student to play alone or with a peer. then he withdraws to let the student play by himself. It is necessary that the teacher demonstrates how to play first. the student must become proficient in applying them. to read quite fluently. We believe that scripting and script fading can be used successfully for play as well.

guiding the decision making. By the same token. This “play age” is behind the chronological age. 4. it is important to keep in mind the “play age” of the student. The teacher ensures that the student is able to play well in his presence. The teacher sits with his back turned to the student. suggesting variants. The symbols. 3. . It is wonderful that a child with autism can learn how to play. Such an ability may require training as well. The teacher exists temporarily the room for periods that grow gradually in duration. pretending of being busy with something. When speaking about play with peers. half-way turned from the student who is playing. The goal of the therapy is to eliminate that delay by developing functionality where missing. No child acquires the ability to play suddenly. The teacher leaves the root at the beginning of the play session and comes back at the end.17 - . A simple method to fade adult supervision and presence in the case of play exists in [Portage Guide (ro)] and consists of the following steps: 1. otherwise the student may remain be unable to play without the teacher's presence. Based on tests that evaluate a child's play behavior. the ability to play symbolically develops gradually (see “Development of symbolic play” below). no matter how simple that play might be. During the therapy.Symbolic Play Fading adult presence The [VB-MAPP] test has several milestones related to play. 8. Some milestones refer to independent play. one can compute a psychological age relative to play. 7. when the adult intends to play with his typically developing child. 5. 2. others to playing with peers. Children with autism and related disorders may be considered as either dysfunctional or developmentally delayed in terms of play behavior. Yet. Section “Development of symbolic play” at page 19 helps with determining the “play age” of a student and what kind of play to choose at any point of the therapy. The teacher reduces his involvement in play: instructions. he has to choose toys and games that are age appropriate. spontaneous play with no adult guidance is assumed. The teacher gradually grows the distance between him and the play area. The student requires time to get accustomed to playing by himself. but this is not enough. Section “Planning symbolic play training” at page 41 shows how to plan symbolic play training while respecting the “play age”. Choosing what to play In typically developing children. The teacher simply watches how the student plays. The teacher sits remotely. the play sessions and the teaching in general has to be in line with the current development of the child. If the student learns from a teacher how to play it doesn't mean he'll know how to play independently and without guidance. The teacher cannot parse all these steps over one session. it is training that has to be done. 6.

the student starts to create new sequences by the following means: • • • Combining existing sequences into new ones.18 - . The student repeats no novel play sequence identically over the next two subsequent play sessions. see “Development of symbolic play” at page 19). imaginative play does not extend from one development stage to another (for development stages. i. there is no silver bullet to teaching imaginative play. This problem reflects in play as well. This means that it must be checked for each stage of symbolic play development (see “Planning symbolic play training” at page 41 and further). Altering sequences to produce new variants. Transferring steps from one sequence to a different. Probing the existence of imaginative play Assuming that a play session is a period of time during which the student engages in uninterrupted play.Symbolic Play Teaching imaginative play A child's play becomes imaginative when the child begins to imagine play sequences he hasn't seen or wasn't taught before. One such example is the teaching of symbolization (see page 13). we believe that children with autism can become creative when they are given systematically a larger number of elements and instances of composition laws that they cannot acquire otherwise by natural means. However. imaginative play has the following mastery criteria: • • Any play session exhibits novel play sequences that the student has never learned or seen. Two variants of basically the same sequence are good candidates for such combination. The solution is to teach as many play sequences as possible with as many variants as possible each. but not over both. Just as with teaching symbolization.e. Play imagination does not come out of nothing. . Just like symbolization. the teaching of an essentially creative endeavor. The child learns to become imaginative by acquiring first many play patterns from his parents and peers. Children with autism and related disorders have an overall problem with creativity and imagination. Repeating identically the play sequence over one of the next two sessions is permitted. unrelated sequence that supports the steps in a completely different setting. One play sequence is enough and generating variants of previous sequences is accepted. Eventually.

Tool use (uses stick to reach toy). may have performative words (associated with actions or the total situation). Does not mouth or bang all toys – some used appropriately. Exhibits following communicative functions: • request • command • interactional • personal • protesting • label • responsive • greeting. finds toy hidden under the scarf. Uses most common objects and toys appropriately. symbolic play develops in 10 stages from the age of 9 months to 5 years. Language No true language. Exhibits following communicative functions: request (instrumental) and command (regulatory). 2.19 - .Symbolic Play Development of symbolic play According to the Westby Symbolic Play Scale List (see [Behavioral Intervention] page 303). child pretends to go to sleep or pretends to drink from cup or eat from spoon. Each stage exhibits a certain amount of symbolism as well as a certain level of language development. discovers operation of toy through trial and error. child may use word “car” when riding in a car. for example. Beginning of true verbal communication. but not when he sees a car. Context-dependent single words. . 3. words tend to come and go in child's vocabulary. for example. pulls string toys. uses a variety of motoric schemas. Means-end behavior – crawls or walks to get what he wants. 9-12 mo Play Awareness that objects exist when not seen. Age 1. Words have following functional and semantic relations: • recurrence • existence. 17-19 mo Autosymbolic play. 13-17 mo Purposeful exploration of toys. Hands toy to adult if unable to operate. • nonexistence • rejection • denial • agent • object • action or state • location • object or person associated with object or location. Finds toy invisibly hidden (when placed in box and box emptied under scarf).

• Teacher-child. • Plurals. 19-22 mo Play Language Symbolic play extends beyond child's self: Refers to objects and persons not present. Uses earlier pragmatic functions and semantic relations in phrases and short sentences. • Agent-action • Child performs pretend activities on more than one person or object: • Action-object for example feed self. • Responses to why questions inappropriately except for wellknown routines. pouring and dumping. do . stirs and eats.Symbolic Play Age 4. puts wh-word at the beginning of sentence. Events short and isolated. Block play consists of stacking and knocking down. .. such as: “Why is the doctor here?” or “Baby sick”. • Asks why. Roles shift quickly. but often inappropriately and does not attend to answer.questions in context: • What? • Who? • Whose? • Where? • What .. a doll. • Doctor-nurse-sick child.. no true sequences. some self-limiting sequences – puts food in pan. • Plays with dolls: brushes doll's Beginning of word combinations with hair. feeds doll a bottle or covers following semantic relations: doll with a blanket. • Possessive • Dative Represents daily experiences: plays house – is the mommy. Responds appropriately to the following wh. 5. • Store-shopping..questions – generally props still required. • Possessives. Sand and water play consists of filling. The following morphological markers appear: • Present progressive (ing) on verbs. Realistic • Asks wh. objects used are realistic and close to life-size. • Agent-object mother and another child.20 - . • Attribute • Combines two toys in pretend • Action-locative play: for example puts spoon in • Object-locative pan or pours from pot into cup. daddy or baby. 2 ½ years Represents events less frequently experienced or observed. ? Events still short and isolated. 24 mo 6. particularly impressive or traumatic events.

or doctor checks patient. which are attempts at reproducing specific structures child has seen.. so. Builds three-dimensional structures with blocks. Plans ahead. Events are not isolated: for example child mixes cake. because). Language Uses past tense.” • uses indirect requests.. Verbalizes intentions and possible future events: • Uses modals (can. would. if. such as “I ate the cake” or “I walked”. airport. Child uses • spatial relationship one object to represent another. 8. Blocks used primarily as enclosures • sizes (fences and houses) for animals and dolls. Hypothesizes “what would happen if . 3 .Symbolic Play Age 7.” Uses dolls and puppets to act out scenes. Uses terms for the following concepts (not always correctly): Uses blocks and sandbox for imaginative • shapes play.21 - . but.. may. village). such as “mommy lets me have cookies for breakfast” • changes speech depending on listener Begins to problem-solve events not experienced. could). might. garage. • Begins to respond appropriately to why and how questions that require reasoning about perception. Associative play. but now the play has a sequence. washes the dishes. such as “I'm gonna wash dishes”. 3 ½ – 4 years . serves it. 3 years Play Continues to pretend activities of Stage V and VI. 9. Note: full competence of these modals and conjunctions does not develop until 10-12 years of age. takes patient to hospital and operates. will. Uses future aspect (particularly “gonna”) forms. Sequence evolves. • colors • texture Play not totally stimulus-bound. bakes it. calls ambulance. • Uses conjunctions (and. Compensatory toy. • gives dialogue to puppet and dolls Uses doll or puppet as participant in play. not planned. • metalinguistic language use such as “Mommy said .3 ½ years Carries out play activities of previous stages with a doll and Fisher-Price toys (barn. reenactment of experienced events with new outcomes. Descriptive vocabulary expands as child becomes more aware of perceptual attributes..

Symbolic Play Age 10.22 - . last. Language Uses relational terms (then. The following sub-sections contain play suggestions for the first six stages. The examples have been drawn from [Teach Me Do It] and [Raising The Child (ro)]. Sets the scene without realistic props. they develop skills that favor symbolization later on. after). while. Organizes what he needs – both objects and other children. Coordinates more than one event occurring at a time. While the proposed games are not necessarily symbolic in nature. . Full cooperative play. first. when. Note: full competence does not develop until 10-12 years of age. Highly imaginative. 5 years Play Plans a sequence of pretend events. before. next.

23 - . take a desirable object put it close to the child. pulls string toys. stretch or crawl to get it. He must move. . hide behind a door or a curtain. Game 1: where did mama go? Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Exhibits following communicative functions: request (instrumental) and command (regulatory). but not in his reach. Awareness that objects exist when not seen. When appearing. may have performative words (associated with actions or the total situation). finds toy hidden under the scarf.Symbolic Play Stage I: 9-10 months Symbolic play: • • • Speech: • • No true language. make a joyful sound (like in the peek-a-boo game). Game 2: stretch for that Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Ask “where did mama go?”. Means-end behavior – crawls or walks to get what he wants. Does not mouth or bang all toys – some used appropriately.

Hands toy to adult if unable to operate.Symbolic Play Stage II: 13-17 months Symbolic play: • Purposeful exploration of toys. • Speech: • Context-dependent single words.24 - . Game 4: wall drawing and painting Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. in the bathroom or in the back yard. Ask the child to imitate you when you use various objects (kitchen utensils. fix a piece of white paper on the wall and encourage the child to write. Hand him small objects (a pile of cereals) that he can fill the boxes with and empty the boxes. silverware. bathroom toys. for example. . pieces of clothing. Game 3: imitations Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. child may use word “car” when riding in a car. while busy in the kitchen. uses a variety of motoric schemas. etc). Commend him when he tries to wear your cloths and imitate you. ask the child to imitate you while you touch your body parts. words tend to come and go in child's vocabulary. telephone. hand plastic boxes to the child and encourage him to put them one into another to discover shape. Game 2: the pool Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. discovers operation of toy through trial and error. but not when he sees a car. draw and paint on it. Game 1: plastic boxes Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. • Exhibits following communicative functions: ◦ request ◦ command ◦ interactional ◦ personal ◦ protesting ◦ label ◦ responsive ◦ greeting. Instruct the child that the piece of paper is the only area allowed. or stack them to discover size. give to the child a large bowl of water and some several objects (sponge. etc).

so that he develops fine motor skills. Make the child lay down over the sheet. Talk about the items he sees. Game 8: the tour of the house Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Let the child find the toy. Game 6: candy in prison Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. take the piece of candy and put it into a bottle. Put an small object inside the tube and then push it with a long stick or spoon until it appears at the other end. shoes. Encourage the child to do the same. turn lights on. take a big sheet of paper or make one by gluing several smaller sheets together. OBS: great care so that the child doesn't hurt himself. Put the sheet on a wall and encourage the child to color the interior of the contour with the colors corresponding to his clothing.Symbolic Play Game 5: lost toy Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)].25 - . get a cylinder made of plastic or cardboard. Game 9: the tunnel Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. etc. Game 7: what's the match? Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. You can make the game more complex by putting a cap or a cork – the child is supposed to ask for help. a large toy) and engage him into a “race” that has to make him go over all the obstacles. Game 11: obstacle race Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. show a toy to the child and then cover it with a towel. a box. . put many obstacles within the child's room (chairs. Ask him which one he has to put on. etc. Game 10: self portrait Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. put a red sock onto one child's foot and hand him two other sock. Let the child get the candy. You can imagine similar variants with anything that goes in pairs: gloves. Encourage him to open doors. More complex game: choose the non-transparent bottle. Encourage him to touch them and explore them. make daily tours with the child in each room within the house. Draw his contour on the paper with a crayon. skin and hair (see also Game 4: wall drawing and painting at page 24). a pillow.

Game 16: trainman Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. make pairs of objects of similar size but of different weight. move to 4 pieces or more. make the child close his eyes or cover the child's eyes and give him various foods and drinks to taste (mashed foods are especially suitable). etc) and ask the child to separate the two kinds. Another variant: use screws and bolts. establish a starting point. OBS: make sure the child doesn't swallow anything. Another variants: use padlocks and keys. etc. You ask “the train” to run from start to end and back with various speeds. “even more faster”. seeds and beads. Ask the child to restore the picture. Game 15: the balance Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Have the child compare the weights and tell which one is heavier. Another variant: make the child sort the objects based on weight. close them and open them.26 - . array in front of the child several bottles and jars of different dimensions with their lids. an end point and a path between the two. take a picture and cut it in 3 pieces. Ask the child to match the lids to bottles or jars. Another variant: use boxes and lids. Game 14: the professional taster Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Another variant: mix Lego pieces. You can command: “faster”. “the fastest”.Symbolic Play Game 12: puzzle Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Another variant: make the child taste and smell the food. Another variant: mix two kinds of silverware. mix many small objects of two different kinds (matches and coins. change the picture. Game 13: sorting Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. When he gets used to that. . Another variant: more than two kinds of objects. The child will be the train. Game 17: opening and closing items Source: Description: [Teach Me Do It]. seeds of two kinds. When he's proficient with 3 pieces. “slower”.

Game 2: going fishing Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Repeat several times by putting desirable object on the pillow.27 - . Another variant: the the toy out of the box and put it under a towel nearby. Game 4: burning boat Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Uses most common objects and toys appropriately. put a towel onto the floor. show a toy to the child and put it in a box. for example. a long spoon) and let him grab the desired object. take a small pillow and attach a wire to it. that will be the “boat”. the child has to jump into the “sea” (outside the towel). Finds toy invisibly hidden (when placed in box and box emptied under scarf).Symbolic Play Stage III: 17-19 months Symbolic play: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Autosymbolic play. Let the child find the toy. recurrence existence nonexistence rejection denial agent object action or state location object or person associated with object or location. . covered candy) and put it into a place that the child cannot retrieve it except by using a tool. take a desirable object (toy. Give the tool to the child (a stick. When you shout “burning boat!”. Show to the child that by pulling the wire he can get the pillow. Words have following functional and semantic relations: Game 1: reachin' without stretchin' Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Game 3: box with wonders Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Tool use (uses stick to reach toy). child pretends to go to sleep or pretends to drink from cup or eat from spoon. Another variant: put the box with the toy into another larger box. Speech: beginning of true verbal communication. The child must look under the towel and not in the box. The child has to sit onto the towel.

28 - . Another variant: color the rectangles before cutting them out. Game 7: the robot Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. have the child to cut narrow rectangles in a sheet of paper. The child must “turn you on” and then command you until you stand up. The child has to find an object of the same color and run to it as fast as possible.Symbolic Play Game 5: run to color Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. alarm clock. Place yourself in some part of the room and make a sound (bell. cover the child's eye or make him close his eyes. Game 8: weave the paper Source: Description: [Teach Me Do It]. You may change roles. Another variant: move slowly while you are making the sound. Game 6: go after sound Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Start with small distances then grow the distance gradually. . name a color and start to count. The child has to find you by following the sound's direction. Reward better performances. lay on the floor and pretend you are a robot. etc). Weave the resulted strips transversally through the paper holes to obtain a small rug.

when you are on a trip. Another variant: ask the child to think about bringing objects with two attributes into the same time. During the trip name objects from the environment that have that color. Child performs pretend activities on more than one person or object: for example feed self. one yellow. Combines two toys in pretend play: for example puts spoon in pan or pours from pot into cup. ask the child to bring to you four objects: one round. Beginning of word combinations with following semantic relations: Game 1: follow the color Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Game 4: mystery object Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. establish a color with the child. turn the light off in the room or cover the child's eyes. allow him to touch the object under the towel. take an object and hide it under a towel. Another variant: start with one object. Ask the child to guess what it is just by looking the the object covered by the towel. tree .” for color green). Put an object in the child's hand and ask him what it is.. . Game 2: monsters in the dark Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. It's forbidden to repeat the objects (like “tree. tree.. Game 3: treasure hunt Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. one thorny and one that can float. when outside in a park or a forest. feeds doll a bottle or covers doll with a blanket.Symbolic Play Stage IV: 19-22 months Symbolic play extends beyond child's self: • • • • • • • • • • • Plays with dolls: brushes doll's hair. Agent-action Action-object Agent-object Attribute Action-locative Object-locative Possessive Dative Speech: refers to objects and persons not present. If he cannot guess. a doll. tree.29 - . mother and another child.

Another variant: use four objects.Symbolic Play Game 5: hard and soft Source: Description: [Teach Me Do It]. make the child say which object is the hardest and which one the softest. the same as in Game 5. the softest and intermediate. take a soft object and a hard object. Another variant: go to up to eight objects. Another variant: use three objects. Game 6: smooth and rough Source: Description: [Teach Me Do It]. but with rough and smooth objects.30 - . the hardest. Cover the child's eyes. Make him touch the objects and say “this is hard” and “this is soft”. .

Make sounds with various objects (open and close scissors. draw an image on a large sheet of paper. some self-limiting sequences – puts food in pan. Game 4: mystery sound Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. rectangle. yellow. Game 1: repeating patterns Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. pouring and dumping. draw an imaginary shape on the table with your finger and let the child guess what it is. stirs and eats. Sand and water play consists of filling. but not entirely. Ask the child to guess what object is by looking at the uncovered portion of the drawing. apple. Another variant: grow the number of colors. ◦ Plurals. . hat. Another variant: switch from color pattern to object pattern: apple. Game 3: mystery drawing Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. Another variant: draw on his belly (assuming he doesn't tickle). yellow. red ... Game 2: imaginary finger drawing Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)]. If he cannot guess. objects used are realistic and close to life-size. Another variant: draw simple objects (apple. so that the child can see more. rectangle. use various pieces of two colors (like Lego pieces) and form chains of repeating patterns: red. etc) and ask the child to guess what's happening without looking. pear. . daddy or baby. Block play consists of stacking and knocking down.. Ask the child to continue the chain by keeping the pattern.. Represents daily experiences: plays house – is the mommy. rip paper off. red. Cover the image with smaller pieces of paper. ◦ Possessives. no true sequences. Events short and isolated.. square. pear. ask the child to stay with his back turned to you. Another variant: switch from color pattern to shape pattern: square. open and close a book loudly. pear.Symbolic Play Stage V: 24 months Symbolic play: • • • • Speech: • • Uses earlier pragmatic functions and semantic relations in phrases and short sentences. The following morphological markers appear: ◦ Present progressive (ing) on verbs..31 - . take one small piece of paper out. .).

32 - . knife. . take a big sheet of paper and draw with a pencil the contours of a plate. glass. Then ask the child to set the table by matching the objects to their contours. spoon and desert spoon. After several trials make the child set the table without the help of contours.Symbolic Play Game 5: set the table Source: Description: [Teach Me Do It]. fork.

33 - . What? Who? Whose? Where? What . ? Asks wh. such as: “Why is the doctor here?” or “Baby sick”.. particularly impressive or traumatic events. Events still short and isolated. Asks why. Pretend to forget the next step of what you need. Responses to why questions inappropriately except for well-known routines. The child has identify a person or an animal showing that emotion.. ◦ Store-shopping. Roles shift quickly.Symbolic Play Stage VI: 2 ½ years Symbolic play: • Represents events less frequently experienced or observed. Game 2: the prompter Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)].questions in context: Game 1: find the emotion Source: Description: [Raising The Child (ro)].. Realistic props still required.questions – generally puts wh-word at the beginning of sentence.. a book or a pile of pictures to the child. but often inappropriately and does not attend to answer. ◦ Doctor-nurse-sick child. do an activity that you usually do accompanied by the child. name an emotion and hand a magazine. • • • • • • • • • Speech: responds appropriately to the following wh. Ask the child to assist you and follow his commands. do . . ◦ Teacher-child. Discuss the reasons to choose one picture over another with the child.

Symbolic Play Quality of symbolic play It is hard to talk about the quality of an activity so complex and personal as play. Is the start moment of the play session or of a symbolic sub-session. Is a period of time during which the student plays without significant interruption. Type Play session Symbolic play sub-session Start End Symbols Is the ordinal number of the symbolic sub-session. Yet. This section is concerned solely with the quality of symbolic play and not with play in general. Is a period of time during a play session in which the student performs symbolic play without significant interruption. he must transfer the data into the summarizing sheet present at page 36. He must strike out afterwards the repeated symbolic forms. For a questionnaire of play observation. Is the type of the session recorded. It may be either the whole play session or a sub-session with symbolic content. Is a symbolic form . the repeated symbolic prototypes and the indexes of the repeated symbols (repeated form = prototype couples).34 - . see [Autism and Play]. the teacher must record the data about the student's play. With the observation sheet in his hand. Symbolic play observation sheet The teacher may use the sheet on the next page in order to record the symbolic content of a play session of the student. The elements in the sheet have the following meanings: • • • • • • • Nr.symbolic prototype couple representing a symbolic liaison during play. Is the end moment of the play session or of a symbolic sub-session. . quality seems to exist considering that parents and educators admonish sometimes the children for not playing “nice” or commend them when they play in an imaginative and intelligent way. After eliminating duplicates.

_____________ = _____________ 5. Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 3. 7. n/a 1. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 2. 3. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. Type Play session Start (hh:mm) End (hh:mm) Content Enter the start and the end of the play session. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. 5. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1.Symbolic Play Nr. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 2.35 - . _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 3. 8. _____________ = _____________ 2. 4. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 5. 6. _____________ = _____________ 3. . _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 4.

It is the ratio of 2) to 1). It is the ratio of 6) to 4). 1) 2) Name Duration of the play session (min) Duration of symbolic play (min) I II Observer's name: ________________ Date: ________________ III IV Description It is the total duration of a play session. It is the ratio of 6) to 2). It is the number of form = prototype unique pairs. It is the number of subsession symbolic in nature. It is the ratio of 2) to 4). It is the ratio of 12) to 2). It is the ratio of 6) to 1). It is the ratio of 10) to 2). It is the sum of the length of all symbolic play subsessions. It is the ratio of 12) to 10). 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) Proportion of symbolic play (%) Number of symbolic play sub-sessions Average duration of continuous symbolic play (min) Number of different symbols used Average number of symbols per symbolic subsession Average number of symbols per minute of play (symbol/min) Average number of symbols per minute of symbolic play (symbol/min) Number of different symbolic forms used 11) 12) Average number of symbolic forms per minute of symbolic play (form/min) Number of different symbolic prototypes used 13) 14) Average number of symbolic prototypes per minute of symbolic play (prototype/min) Average number of forms per prototype (form/prototype) .Symbolic Play Symbolic play observation summarizer The teacher must summarize the results obtained with the sheet at page 35 into the following sheet: Student name: ________________ Symbolic Play Observation Summarizer Nr. It is the number of unique elements represented in symbolic play by symbolic forms.36 - . It is the number of unique concrete objects or actions used in symbolic play.

if the student used the symbol stick = sword three times. This value has to be as large as possible. IV The summarizer has room for up to four session. then the summarizer records “stick = sword” only once. It is a measure of the amount symbolism contained by a student's play. 0 means no symbolic play. in average. This value has to be as large as possible. For example. This value has to be as large as possible. III. • Average number of symbols per minute of play • Average number of symbols per minute of symbolic play . Is the length of time that the child sustains continuous play. It tells how much. The teacher obtains this number by summing up the lengths of the symbolic sub-sessions. II. By summarizing different sessions on the same sheet. It does not include duplicates • Average number of symbols per symbolic sub-session It is an indicator of how imaginative the symbolic play of the child is. It the summed length of time that the child sustains symbolic play. This value has to be as large as possible. This value has to be as large as possible. It is a measure of symbolic “density” of a student's play.Symbolic Play Interpreting results The values in the summarizer have the following meanings: • I. the student sustains continuous symbolic play. It cannot be larger than Duration of play session. 0% means total absence of symbolic play. It tells how much of the play time the student has spent on symbolic play. the teacher can compare how the symbolic play behavior evolves over time. • Duration of play session • Duration of symbolic play • Proportion of symbolic play • Number of symbolic play sub-sessions • Average duration of continuous symbolic play • Number of different symbols used. This value has to be as large as possible with the mention that rejecting nonsymbolic forms of play like board games of physical play is not good either. It tells how many times the student engaged in continuous symbolic play. This value has to be as large as possible. 100% means the play was entirely symbolic. Too large a value means the student switches from symbolic to non-symbolic play too quickly.37 - .

if the student represents a fuse both by a wooden stick and by a metal rod. . a value as stable as possible from one evaluation to another is better. then the summarizer records “stick” only once. • Average number of symbolic forms per minute of symbolic play • Number of different symbolic prototypes per minute of symbolic play • Average number of symbolic prototypes per minute of symbolic play • Average number of forms per prototype It is a measure of the student's ability to match available objects to elements in his mind. then the summarizer records “fuse” only once. It is a measure of the student's proficiency in using the environment in symbolic play.Symbolic Play • Number of different symbolic forms used It does not include duplicates. It does not include duplicates. While there is not optimal value for this number. For example.38 - . A value much smaller than 1 means that the student does not know how to exploit the environment. This value has to be as large as possible. A value much larger than 1 means that the student is not very imaginative. It is a measure of the student's proficiency in using his knowledge in symbolic play. if the student uses a stick both as a sword and as a flag pole. For example. This value has to be as large as possible.

it is strongly recommended to try to derive new stages' repertoires from the previous ones by enhancing the existing symbols with new attributes. which is the concept that the child has in mind and intents to represent in play. As shown in “Components of play symbols” at page 4. Building a repertoire of symbols Children with autism have trouble with extracting and using symbols in play. The attributes that the symbolic likeness rests upon may belong to a real likeness between the form and the prototype or may belong solely to the prototype. symbolic abilities grow over time. Pebble Stick Rock . round Long. They need to be taught symbols explicitly. The symbolic likeness which links the two.39 - . it is better to devise a repertoire for each stage of development than a single repertoire for all. thin. by reusing the existing forms to represent additional prototypes or by adding new forms to represent existing prototypes. as proven by the list of trained tacts and their usage in LRFFC training. moving. As explained in “Development of symbolic play” at page 19. Moreover. 2. 3. throwing projectiles It is essential to use symbolic prototypes that the student knows well. snaps Big. a symbol has three components: • • • The symbolic prototype. 1. The teacher may use the following table to keep track of the symbols taught to the student: Nr. . The symbolic form.. Therefore. Likewise. heavy Virtual likeness Explodes Cuts. the child adorning the form with a prototype attribute the form does not have.. 4. stiff Sturdy.Symbolic Play Building a symbolic play repertoire A symbolic play repertoire consists of a repertoire of symbols and a repertoire of games and play scripts. Symbolic form Symbolic prototype Grenade Sword Enemy tank Real likeness Small. which is what the child use or does in play. the symbolic form must be familiar to the student.

Symbolic Play Building a repertoire of play scripts After constructing the repertoire of symbols for the current stage of symbolic play (see “Development of symbolic play” at page 19). They must contain symbols in the repertoire of symbols corresponding to the current stage or earlier stages. They should be developments of scripts corresponding to earlier stages.40 - . • • • We believe that having a portfolio emerging from an initial set of fifty core scripts into a repertoire of several hundred variants suffices in terms of the necessary variety necessary teach to children how to play as naturally as possible. it is useless to design play scripts representing occasional events like doctor-nurse-patient (see Stage VI: 2 ½ years at page 33). the teacher may proceed with creating a repertoire of play scripts for the same stage. . The same core scenario should come in as many variants as possible to avoid rote memorization of scripts. If the student is developmentally at Stage II. The new scripts should satisfy the following conditions: • They must be appropriate in contents and complexity to the existing stage of symbolic development.

Do the games shown in “Stage I: 9-10 months” at page 23 or other similar games. A good source to find non-symbolic games for ages 0 to 6 is [Raising The Child (ro)]. Build a repertoire of objects by adding objects appropriate for this stage to the repertoire of objects from Stage I. However. Check the mastery of likeness capabilities if not already checked. 3. the following sub-sections give guidelines for each stage. That being said. then symbolic play training should proceed while postponing mastery verification for a later moment. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage II before moving to Stage III. 4. 2. we believe this correlation should be maintained for children with autism and related disorders. 4. Fortunately enough. 5. Stage II If the student is at the Stage II of symbolic play development. it is essential that the student learns how to play non-symbolically as well. Preliminary stage Before commencing. . The teaching steps have already been detailed in “Training likeness” and the protocol for mastery verification has been laid out in “Probing likeness”. Therefore.Symbolic Play Planning symbolic play training As [Autism and Play] witnesses. Like any difficult task. Such correlation requires from the therapist that he does not advance to the next stage of symbolic play until the child demonstrates the verbal skills corresponding to the current stage. Check for mastery all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage I before moving to Stage II. we have the Westby Scale of Symbolic Play Development that we can use as a guide. it is necessary to teach likeness. One should keep in mind that the planning below refers to symbolic play only. 2. the planning below follows it closely. 6. 3. teaching a child with autism is hard yet the reward is great for both the student and the teacher. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Because the half of the scale referring to symbolic play is closely related with the verbal development half. Check the mastery of likeness capabilities if not already checked.41 - . Build a repertoire of objects that will be used as symbol prototypes later on. do the following: 1. training symbolic play requires careful planning. do the following: 1. Do the games shown in “Stage II: 13-17 months” at page 24 or other similar games. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Stage I If the student is at Stage I of symbolic play development. If the student does not master likeness.

Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage IV. Using the repertoire of objects from the previous stages. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage III before moving to Stage IV. 4. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. do the following: 1. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage III. . 4. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. 3.Symbolic Play Stage III If the student is at Stage III of symbolic play development. The repertoire should contain a least 20 different scripts. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. 2. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 7. 8. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 3. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage V. 5. Maintain the repertoire of objects separately. 5. Do the games shown in “Stage III: 17-19 months” at page 27 or other similar games. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. Start a repertoire of symbols starting from the repertoire of objects of the previous stages augmented with objects and body parts appropriate for Stage III. Build a repertoire of very short play scripts appropriate for Stage III. 3. do the following: 1. The repertoire should contain no less than 100 different core scripts with a few variants each. Do the games shown in “Stage IV: 19-22 months” at page 29 or other similar games. 2. The repertoire should contain at least 50 different core scripts with a few variants each. Adding new symbols. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Stage V If the student is at Stage V of symbolic play development.42 - . 3. 2. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 6. 4. 7. Stage IV If the student is at Stage IV of symbolic play development. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage V before moving to Stage VI. 8. 6. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. 6. 7. 8. Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage V. Check the mastery of likeness capabilities and do not move to Stage IV until mastery is achieved. 2. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage IV before moving to Stage V. 2. do the following: 1. 7. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IV. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Do the games shown in “Stage V: 24 months” at page 31 or other similar games. 5. Adding new symbols. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire.

2. 2.43 - . Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage VI. Stage VIII If the student is at Stage VIII of symbolic play development. The repertoire should contain no less than 150 different core scripts with a few variants each. . Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 6. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage VIII before moving to Stage IX. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Adding new symbols. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. 7. 6. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage VI-VII. Create scripts that represent play sequences. do not postpone move to Stage VII. 8. 4. Combining similar scripts to obtain longer scripts (sequences).. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. If mastery fails. do the following: 1. Combining similar scripts to obtain longer scripts (sequences). do the following: 1. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. 2. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Adding new symbols. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 7. 3. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage VII before moving to Stage VIII. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Do the games shown in “Stage VI: 2 ½ years” at page 33 or other similar games. 3. Create scripts that represent play sequences. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage VII by: 1. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level.Symbolic Play Stage VI If the student is at Stage VI of symbolic play development. 7. 2. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage VI-VII if mastery has failed at Stage VI. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. 5. 5. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 2. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage VII by: 1. 2. 4. 4. Stage VII If the student is at Stage VII of symbolic play development. Adding new symbols. 2. 5. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage VIII. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage VI before moving to Stage VII. 2. 3. 6. do the following: 1.

2. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage IX by: 1. 2. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IX. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. Create new scripts in line with the stage. Modify existing scripts to include hypotheses and problem-solving. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. do the following: 1. 5. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IX. 3. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage X before considering the stage mastered. 3. 6. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Create new scripts in line with the stage. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 2. 5. Modify existing scripts to include cooperative play. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage IX before moving to Stage X. Adding new symbols. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. 6.44 - . 7.Symbolic Play Stage IX If the student is at Stage IX of symbolic play development. 2. . Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. do the following: 1. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage IX by: 1.. Stage X If the student is at Stage X of symbolic development. 4. 2.. 4. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire.

It shows the major stages of symbolic play development. Children with autism and related disorders have certain characteristics that prevent them from engaging spontaneously in play or finding joy in it.45 - . This document presents the central role of symbols and symbolization in the ability to perform symbolic play. The document is meant to be used in conjunction with the other kinds of therapies for autism (applied behavior analysis.Symbolic Play Summary Symbolic play is an essential part of child development and there is a strong correlation between the cognitive and verbal abilities of typically developing children and their play. verbal behavior. It proposes criteria to measure the quality of symbolic play and it offers guidelines to plan the training of symbolic play. . speech therapy) so that the child with autism gains a harmonious and natural development as possible.

Verbal Behavior Alaysis..46 - . 2008. The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills .. Inducing and expanding verbal capabilities in children with language delays. ISBN: [ABLLS-R]: James W. ISBN: 978-089079889-8 [Verbal Behavior Analysis]: Douglas R. Partington. 1998. ISBN: 978-1-890627-32-4 . 2004. Steven P. Lovaas et al. ISBN: 978-0-205-45837-0 [Autism and Play]: Jannik Beyer. ISBN: [The VB Approach]: Mary Lynch Barbera. Denise E. The Verbal Behavior Approach. Montessori activities for you and your child. Teaching Individuals with Developmental Delays. ISBN: 0-553-11045-4 [Teach Me Do It]: Maja Pitamic. 1985 [Teaching Conversation]: Lynn E. ISBN: 0-7641-2789-6 [VB-MAPP]: Mark L. 2008. Birth to Age 5. Scripts and script fading. How to teach children with autism and related disorders. Caring For Your Baby and Young Child. Behavioal Intervention for Young Children with Autism. Ghidul PORTAGE pentru educaţia timpurie. Ross. Tracy Rasmussen. ISBN: 978-1-84310-852-8 Portage Guide (ro): S. Teaching Conversation to Children with Autism. 2003. ISBN: 978-1853028458 [Caring For Your Young Child]: Shelov. Autism and Play. Basic intervention techniques. McClannahan. Robert E. ISBN: 973-200675-7 [Behavioral Intervention]: Catherine Maurice et al. Greer. ISBN: 978-089079683-2 [Lovaas 2003]: Ivaar O.. Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program. et al.Revised. 2000. Sundberg. Teach Me Do It Myself. 2005. 2008. Krantz. 1996..Symbolic Play Bibliography [Raising The Child (ro)]: Anne Bacus. 2005.. Lone Gammeltoft. 2007. Bluma et al. Patricia J. Hannemann. Creşterea Copilului de la o zi la şase ani.

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