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.

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For example. If the child says “I hit you” and shouts “kaboom!”. 2 One can download a free copy of WordWeb electronic dictionary from http://wordweb. If. the child starts to run towards the rock yelling “Aaaaa!” while throwing pebbles intensely. pebble = grenade. self = grenadier. -2- . This kind of play carries more symbolism (rock = enemy. We may assume the activity is play. 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. 2. after some “fight”. then perhaps he's just launched a counter-attack against the “enemy”. albeit non imaginative. 4. perhaps the child tries to target the rock on purpose. Most likely the rock becomes in his mind some character that deserves to be hit. This kind of play carries more symbolism (rock = character to hit. probably he imagines himself throwing grenades towards the rock. this kind of play may have various meanings: 1. pebble = grenade. The words amount of symbolism in this definition bear importance because we believe that play symbolism is measurable. We define symbolic play as that kind of play which carries a certain amount of symbolism with it. If the child says something like “I hit you”. playground = battlefield). a symbol is “something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible”. If the pebbles fall aimlessly around the rock. We can talk about a small amount of symbolism in this kind of play (rock = character). pebble = grenade). perhaps he “talks” to the rock. The same source defines symbolism as “a system of symbols and symbolic representations”.Symbolic Play What is symbolic play According to the WordWeb electronic dictionary2. 3. 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). this activity is probably no play at all but rather a selfstimulatory behavior so characteristic to children with autism.info/free/. While it is easy to assume this simple activity as purposeless. self = grenadier). 6. The example above illustrates that the amount of symbolism of a play session can be measured. at least by counting the number of symbols used. let us assume that a lone child throws pebbles in the direction of a larger rock which lays a few yards away. In this case the playground is endowed with symbolic meaning as well and his play is even richer in symbolism (rock = enemy. This implies that the child engages in certain behaviors whose meaning to him is different from their common. If most pebbles fall close to the rock and many of them actually do hit the rock. generally accepted meaning. 5.

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

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

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

he shouts “kaboom!” pretending that the pebble “explodes”. legs.Symbolic Play If our little friend have had pieces of aluminum foil instead of pebbles. Why? Because aluminum foil is like Christmas tree decorations and not like grenades. in order to ensure that the student has symbolic likeness we must ensure that he is able to detect likeness in the first place. Despite its “virtuality”. For example. 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. It is this ability of children to construct made-up worlds that adorns their play with unparalleled originality and beauty. 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. neck. etc. Because they are alike. there are significant differences between the two: • • likeness is a closeness between two entities along a few characteristics. a child does more than identifying a likeness. this “reality” is rooted in the objective reality via the likeness between its elements and their prototypes. 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. a child can throw pebbles pretending he throws grenades. For example. a pebble is small like a grenade. Yet. Thus the child creates during symbolic play a “virtual reality” of his own with many made-up attributes. -6- . 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). he endows the symbolic form with attributes of the prototype that the form does not have at all. a duck is like a goose because they have many similarities in shape: body. 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. Difference between play symbols and likeness Although play symbols rely on likeness. In other words. this is their likeness. when he plays this way. when constructing a symbol during play. Therefore.

may use a stick. For example. the symbolism is less obvious. The symbolic form differs from the prototype only in terms of “my child”. One of the following values: weak obviousness. Choosing one form over another depends on the degree of granularity you want to assign to obviousness monitoring. the symbolism has a very low level of obviousness. intermediate obviousness and strong obviousness. 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. a rod or a toy sword when pretending to fight by sword. the symbolism is less obvious. The less obvious the symbols he can grasp are. Some of the symbolic forms represent more obviously the prototype than others. Yet. Needless to say. If she uses a doll. it is important to teach the child symbols as less obvious as possible. If she uses a rectangular piece of wood for a comb. 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). for instance. If she uses no comb whatsoever but pretends to have a comb in her hand. -7- . While it is nearly impossible to measure obviousness rigorously. the symbolism is less obvious. If she replaces the doll with a rolled towel.Symbolic Play Degree of obviousness The same symbolic prototype may be represented by more than one symbolic form. more obvious symbols are easier for the child than the less obvious ones. 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 symbolism is less obvious. the symbolism is most obvious. A child. the more imaginative the play his play may be. the symbolism is less obvious. So. we can speak of a degree of obviousness from the most obvious to the very unobvious. If she uses a toy comb in the stead of a real comb.

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

when two images resemble with each other but are not identical. a rabbit with gray fur resembles a rabbit with dark fur more than a rabbit with white fur. This resembles both Difference and Likeness from above. a donkey is like a horse. Training likeness The good thing about likeness is that there are plenty of ABA programs to teach it. is the opposite of More likeness. using expressions like “alike”. 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. Therefore. “resembling”. when an image resembles a prototype more than another image. Probing is verifying that the ability is really acquired. a duck is like a goose and a goose is more like a duck than like a swan. “similar” as often as possible during training is recommended. • • • We believe it is important to verbalize likeness with the student so that the concept of likeness gets a name. a bicycle wheel is like a circle. 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. when there is an inconsistency within a picture (a rabbit with three ears). a book is like a brick. “much like”. Such verbal expressions will become vehicles to teach play symbols later on (see “Teaching symbols” below). when two images differ more or less.Symbolic Play Teaching likeness Teaching likeness comes in two phases: training and probing. For example. -9- . 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. Training consists in the teaching itself. A threshold of 5 instances per hour assuming favorable circumstances is enough. This may not seem like a likeness exercise.

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

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

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

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

The student must be able to play by himself or with others freely and naturally.Symbolic Play Teaching play sequences Having a rich repertoire of play symbols is not enough. 4. 8. 10. let us consider writing a symbolic play scenario for “wake up in the morning”. some of them not. 5. Getting out of bed. For example. 9. Creating symbolic play scenarios Creating scenarios has the advantage that symbolism is not forged into something already existing. The alarm clock rings. he may be unable to put the pieces together to produce symbolic play. Creating a scenario is easy: • • Chain a sequence of real events that are well know to the student. symbolic play does not follow in the footsteps of symbols just as speech does not rise spontaneously from learning separate words. Yawning and stretching. Thus the final outcome has better chances to be fluent and natural. The chain of real events as they happen to the student is the following (showering. . the same chain of events may have more than one resulting play scenario. but learns that the same chain of actions may be represented in many ways during play. use of toilet not included): 1. Going to the lavatory. He needs training. The events must make use of known objects only. A play sequence is formed of several actions.14 - . Going to the drawer and dressing. Turning the water on. 6. Both speech and play have to be taught explicitly. Washing hands and face. Replace some elements with their symbolic forms. Unfortunately. Sleeps. 3. 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. Although the child may know the actions in isolation. Drying hands. It is better to have as many as possible: this way the student does not learn mechanically a sequence of events. 7. some of them symbolic. By enhancing existing non-symbolic play scenarios with a certain amount of symbolism. 2. Putting sleepers on. Obviously.

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

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

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

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

may have performative words (associated with actions or the total situation). Language No true language. Means-end behavior – crawls or walks to get what he wants. but not when he sees a car. Hands toy to adult if unable to operate. discovers operation of toy through trial and error. Exhibits following communicative functions: request (instrumental) and command (regulatory). Finds toy invisibly hidden (when placed in box and box emptied under scarf). 3. child pretends to go to sleep or pretends to drink from cup or eat from spoon. Beginning of true verbal communication. for example. Words have following functional and semantic relations: • recurrence • existence. finds toy hidden under the scarf. for example. 2. words tend to come and go in child's vocabulary.19 - . 17-19 mo Autosymbolic play. Age 1. Exhibits following communicative functions: • request • command • interactional • personal • protesting • label • responsive • greeting. • nonexistence • rejection • denial • agent • object • action or state • location • object or person associated with object or location. symbolic play develops in 10 stages from the age of 9 months to 5 years. Tool use (uses stick to reach toy). Context-dependent single words. child may use word “car” when riding in a car. uses a variety of motoric schemas. 9-12 mo Play Awareness that objects exist when not seen. Each stage exhibits a certain amount of symbolism as well as a certain level of language development. . Uses most common objects and toys appropriately. pulls string toys.Symbolic Play Development of symbolic play According to the Westby Symbolic Play Scale List (see [Behavioral Intervention] page 303). Does not mouth or bang all toys – some used appropriately. 13-17 mo Purposeful exploration of toys.

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

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

next. Note: full competence does not develop until 10-12 years of age. after). when. while. 5 years Play Plans a sequence of pretend events. Highly imaginative. Organizes what he needs – both objects and other children. The following sub-sections contain play suggestions for the first six stages. first. Language Uses relational terms (then. The examples have been drawn from [Teach Me Do It] and [Raising The Child (ro)].22 - . before. last. . Full cooperative play. While the proposed games are not necessarily symbolic in nature. Sets the scene without realistic props. they develop skills that favor symbolization later on. Coordinates more than one event occurring at a time.Symbolic Play Age 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is a symbolic form . Yet. Is the start moment of the play session or of a symbolic sub-session. Is the type of the session recorded. He must strike out afterwards the repeated symbolic forms. For a questionnaire of play observation. 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.Symbolic Play Quality of symbolic play It is hard to talk about the quality of an activity so complex and personal as play. he must transfer the data into the summarizing sheet present at page 36. 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. It may be either the whole play session or a sub-session with symbolic content. After eliminating duplicates. The elements in the sheet have the following meanings: • • • • • • • Nr. the repeated symbolic prototypes and the indexes of the repeated symbols (repeated form = prototype couples). Is a period of time during a play session in which the student performs symbolic play without significant interruption.34 - . . This section is concerned solely with the quality of symbolic play and not with play in general.symbolic prototype couple representing a symbolic liaison during play. 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. Is the end moment of the play session or of a symbolic sub-session. With the observation sheet in his hand. see [Autism and Play]. the teacher must record the data about the student's play.

_____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. 6. 8. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 3. 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 4.Symbolic Play Nr. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 4. Type Play session Start (hh:mm) End (hh:mm) Content Enter the start and the end of the play session. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 3. . _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. n/a 1. _____________ = _____________ 3. 3. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1.35 - . _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 5. 5. _____________ = _____________ 2. 7. Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 5.

It is the number of unique elements represented in symbolic play by symbolic forms. It is the ratio of 2) to 4). It is the ratio of 6) to 4).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 ratio of 6) to 2). It is the ratio of 6) to 1). It is the number of subsession symbolic in nature.36 - . It is the ratio of 12) to 2). It is the ratio of 12) to 10). It is the sum of the length of all symbolic play subsessions. It is the ratio of 10) to 2). It is the number of unique concrete objects or actions used in symbolic play. 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) . 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 2) to 1). It is the number of form = prototype unique pairs.

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

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

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

The new scripts should satisfy the following conditions: • They must be appropriate in contents and complexity to the existing stage of symbolic development. • • • 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 same core scenario should come in as many variants as possible to avoid rote memorization of scripts.40 - .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). . the teacher may proceed with creating a repertoire of play scripts for the same stage. If the student is developmentally at Stage II. They should be developments of scripts corresponding to earlier stages. They must contain symbols in the repertoire of symbols corresponding to the current stage or earlier stages.

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

Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 4. 3. 3. 8. 3. The repertoire should contain at least 50 different core scripts with a few variants each. Do the games shown in “Stage V: 24 months” at page 31 or other similar games. 2. Do the games shown in “Stage IV: 19-22 months” at page 29 or other similar games. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 2. Adding new symbols. 7. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage III. Maintain the repertoire of objects separately. 4. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 8. 6. do the following: 1. Stage V If the student is at Stage V of symbolic play development. 2. do the following: 1.Symbolic Play Stage III If the student is at Stage III of symbolic play development. Build a repertoire of very short play scripts appropriate for Stage III. The repertoire should contain a least 20 different scripts. 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. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. The repertoire should contain no less than 100 different core scripts with a few variants each. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage V. . 2. 6. Using the repertoire of objects from the previous stages. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage IV before moving to Stage V. Do the games shown in “Stage III: 17-19 months” at page 27 or other similar games. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage III before moving to Stage IV. 5. 2. 5. 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. 3. Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage IV. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Check the mastery of likeness capabilities and do not move to Stage IV until mastery is achieved. 8. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. do the following: 1. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. 4. 5.42 - . Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage V. 6. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IV. Adding new symbols. 7. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 7. 7.

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

6. do the following: 1. 4. 6. Modify existing scripts to include cooperative play. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IX. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage IX by: 1. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 2. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level.. 3. Create new scripts in line with the stage. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 2. 3.Symbolic Play Stage IX If the student is at Stage IX of symbolic play development. 5. 2. 2. Stage X If the student is at Stage X of symbolic development. 5. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Adding new symbols. do the following: 1. 7. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage IX before moving to Stage X.. 2. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. 4.44 - . Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. . Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage IX by: 1. Create new scripts in line with the stage. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IX. Modify existing scripts to include hypotheses and problem-solving. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage X before considering the stage mastered. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage.

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

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

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