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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

there may be a danger that he will not understand the symbols of his playmates. 2. A score of 18 or greater shows that the student has the capacity to symbolize. 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. If the student spontaneously finds a symbol with a correct form/prototype couple but with a symbolic likeness lacking prototype attributes. being able to symbolize is essential for symbolic play. If the student says “It's not a cow. the child has to restrict his play to a predefined set of symbols without being able to exploit fully the potential of his environment. This means that while the student still fails to gather all the necessary 18 points. The student may not know what to do with the symbolic form shown to him. If the student associates the same prototype as the one you thought of initially.Symbolic Play Teaching symbolization Symbolization is the ability to construct symbols. If the student spontaneously finds a symbol with a correct form/prototype/symbolic likeness triad. Without this ability.13 - . and there is no reason to change it (see [Lovaas 2003] and [Verbal Behavior Analysis]). While acquiring many symbols is important.5 points. give him 1 point. LRFFC training and/or intraverbal training) and that have never been used in symbol teaching. Just as we cannot teach speech in itself and we have to resort to teaching verbal operants. give him 1 point. it is a sign that training must continue. if it's something that resembles a plane. 3. The teacher should do the following: 1. give him 0. 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). These five elements will be symbolic prototypes. We cannot offer clear thresholds in the matter: just teach many symbols and check periodically whether the student exhibits symbolization.. For example. give him 0. then: 1.5 points. 2. 4. say “I'd like to play with this cow”. verbal capabilities (higher order operants. The only tool at our disposal is to teach as many symbols as possible until spontaneous symbolization eventually emerges. . his score may still grow from one probing to another. we cannot teach symbolization in itself. 2. If the student associates a prototype different from the one you intended. Another method is to say “I'd like play with this . thus reducing his ability to engage in group play. A 18/20 rate is common practice in ABA and VBA. it's a plane” then tell him “Why don't you play with that”.. Select five objects or actions that the student knows very well (they have been probed through tacting and autoclitic training. 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. The teacher may hint the student by saying “Let's play a little with this”. When this happens. If the student needs a hint to find a symbol. The next sub-section shows how to check for the existence of symbolization. Most likely symbolization occurs gradually. Add all the points obtained by the student.” followed by the name of a prototype that is very different from the actual prototype. see [Verbal Behavior Analysis]) and to practicing phrase expansion over and over. Moreover. 3. Whether this ability does emerges and how fast depends heavily on the individual.

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

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

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

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. The teacher cannot parse all these steps over one session. The teacher reduces his involvement in play: instructions.Symbolic Play Fading adult presence The [VB-MAPP] test has several milestones related to play. The goal of the therapy is to eliminate that delay by developing functionality where missing. The student requires time to get accustomed to playing by himself. half-way turned from the student who is playing. when the adult intends to play with his typically developing child. others to playing with peers. The teacher sits remotely. Such an ability may require training as well. 3. he has to choose toys and games that are age appropriate. one can compute a psychological age relative to play. 8. otherwise the student may remain be unable to play without the teacher's presence. Choosing what to play In typically developing children. the play sessions and the teaching in general has to be in line with the current development of the child. spontaneous play with no adult guidance is assumed. Some milestones refer to independent play. pretending of being busy with something. The teacher ensures that the student is able to play well in his presence. It is wonderful that a child with autism can learn how to play. 6. Children with autism and related disorders may be considered as either dysfunctional or developmentally delayed in terms of play behavior. no matter how simple that play might be. 2. Yet. This “play age” is behind the chronological age. guiding the decision making. suggesting variants. No child acquires the ability to play suddenly. When speaking about play with peers. but this is not enough. 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 sits with his back turned to the student. The teacher simply watches how the student plays. During the therapy. . 5.17 - . 4. The teacher gradually grows the distance between him and the play area. it is training that has to be done. The symbols. If the student learns from a teacher how to play it doesn't mean he'll know how to play independently and without guidance. Based on tests that evaluate a child's play behavior. The teacher leaves the root at the beginning of the play session and comes back at the end. 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. the ability to play symbolically develops gradually (see “Development of symbolic play” below). 7. By the same token. Section “Planning symbolic play training” at page 41 shows how to plan symbolic play training while respecting the “play age”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 4. . _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. 3. 6. _____________ = _____________ 5. 5. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 2. Type Play session Start (hh:mm) End (hh:mm) Content Enter the start and the end of the play session. 7. 8. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 4. Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. n/a 1. _____________ = _____________ 3.35 - . _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 3. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1. _____________ = _____________ Symbolic play sub-session ____ : ____ ____ : ____ Symbols: 1.Symbolic Play Nr. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 2. _____________ = _____________ 4. _____________ = _____________ 3. 4. _____________ = _____________ 5. _____________ = _____________ 4.

It is the ratio of 2) to 1).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 1). It is the ratio of 12) to 10). It is the ratio of 2) to 4). 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.36 - . 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) . It is the ratio of 12) to 2). It is the number of subsession symbolic in nature. It is the ratio of 6) to 4). 1) 2) Name Duration of the play session (min) Duration of symbolic play (min) I II Observer's name: ________________ Date: ________________ III IV Description It is the total duration of a play session. It is the number of form = prototype unique pairs. It is the ratio of 6) to 2). It is the number of unique elements represented in symbolic play by symbolic forms.

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

It is a measure of the student's proficiency in using his knowledge in symbolic play.38 - . For example. It does not include duplicates.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. • 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. . A value much smaller than 1 means that the student does not know how to exploit the environment. then the summarizer records “stick” only once. For example. 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. if the student uses a stick both as a sword and as a flag pole. a value as stable as possible from one evaluation to another is better. if the student represents a fuse both by a wooden stick and by a metal rod. then the summarizer records “fuse” only once.

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

They should be developments of scripts corresponding to earlier stages. If the student is developmentally at Stage II.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). it is useless to design play scripts representing occasional events like doctor-nurse-patient (see Stage VI: 2 ½ years at page 33). They must contain symbols in the repertoire of symbols corresponding to the current stage or earlier stages.40 - . the teacher may proceed with creating a repertoire of play scripts for the same stage. The same core scenario should come in as many variants as possible to avoid rote memorization of scripts. . 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 essential that the student learns how to play non-symbolically as well. Do the games shown in “Stage II: 13-17 months” at page 24 or other similar games. Preliminary stage Before commencing. then symbolic play training should proceed while postponing mastery verification for a later moment. it is necessary to teach likeness. teaching a child with autism is hard yet the reward is great for both the student and the teacher. Therefore. the following sub-sections give guidelines for each stage. 4. Fortunately enough. 2. we have the Westby Scale of Symbolic Play Development that we can use as a guide. Stage I If the student is at Stage I of symbolic play development. Do the games shown in “Stage I: 9-10 months” at page 23 or other similar games. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. 3. One should keep in mind that the planning below refers to symbolic play only.41 - . do the following: 1. . we believe this correlation should be maintained for children with autism and related disorders. the planning below follows it closely. Because the half of the scale referring to symbolic play is closely related with the verbal development half. A good source to find non-symbolic games for ages 0 to 6 is [Raising The Child (ro)]. 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. Like any difficult task.Symbolic Play Planning symbolic play training As [Autism and Play] witnesses. The teaching steps have already been detailed in “Training likeness” and the protocol for mastery verification has been laid out in “Probing likeness”. Build a repertoire of objects that will be used as symbol prototypes later on. do the following: 1. training symbolic play requires careful planning. Check for mastery all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage I before moving to Stage II. 2. Stage II If the student is at the Stage II of symbolic play development. 6. If the student does not master likeness. Check the mastery of likeness capabilities if not already checked. 3. That being said. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage II before moving to Stage III. 4. However. Check the mastery of likeness capabilities if not already checked. 5. Build a repertoire of objects by adding objects appropriate for this stage to the repertoire of objects from Stage I.

Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage IV. Using the repertoire of objects from the previous stages. 2. 2. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 4. do the following: 1. 5. 5. Adding new symbols. 6. Stage V If the student is at Stage V of symbolic play development. 8. 7. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage III. 2. Maintain the repertoire of objects separately. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage V.42 - . Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage V before moving to Stage VI. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire.Symbolic Play Stage III If the student is at Stage III of symbolic play development. 7. Do the games shown in “Stage IV: 19-22 months” at page 29 or other similar games. 2. 7. 4. The repertoire should contain a least 20 different scripts. Stage IV If the student is at Stage IV of symbolic play development. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 5. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Do the games shown in “Stage V: 24 months” at page 31 or other similar games. 3. The repertoire should contain at least 50 different core scripts with a few variants each. 6. 4. Check the mastery of likeness capabilities and do not move to Stage IV until mastery is achieved. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 2. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage III before moving to Stage IV. 3. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage IV before moving to Stage V. Build a repertoire of very short play scripts appropriate for Stage III. 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 IV. Do the games shown in “Stage III: 17-19 months” at page 27 or other similar games. 7. Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage V. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. . Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. 6. Adding new symbols. do the following: 1. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. 8. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. 8. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. 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. 3. do the following: 1.

Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage VII before moving to Stage VIII. do not postpone move to Stage VII. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage VII by: 1. 2. If mastery fails. Combining similar scripts to obtain longer scripts (sequences). Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage VII by: 1. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage VI before moving to Stage VII. Create scripts that represent play sequences. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage VI-VII. The repertoire should contain no less than 150 different core scripts with a few variants each. 8. Stage VII If the student is at Stage VII of symbolic play development. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Adding new symbols. 6.43 - . 3. 2. 5. 2. Stage VIII If the student is at Stage VIII of symbolic play development. 5. 3. Create scripts that represent play sequences. 6. do the following: 1. Do the games shown in “Stage VI: 2 ½ years” at page 33 or other similar games. 7. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Combining similar scripts to obtain longer scripts (sequences). 5.. . Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage VIII before moving to Stage IX. 4. 6. 4. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 3. do the following: 1. 2. 4. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage VI-VII if mastery has failed at Stage VI. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage VIII. 2. 7. 2. Adding new symbols. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. 2.Symbolic Play Stage VI If the student is at Stage VI of symbolic play development. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Build a repertoire of short scripts appropriate for Stage VI. Adding new symbols. 2. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. 7. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. do the following: 1.

4. 4. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire. Build a repertoire of symbols by: 1. 3. 6. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage IX by: 1. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. 3. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage X before considering the stage mastered. 5. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IX.44 - . do the following: 1. 2. 2. Build a repertoire of scripts appropriate for Stage IX by: 1. Adding new symbols. 6. Check for mastery of all the verbal milestones corresponding to Stage IX before moving to Stage X. Teach the symbols necessary for the scripts in the repertoire.. do the following: 1. Teach symbolization at the level of Stage IX. 5. . 7.. 2. Teach the play scripts in the repertoire. Modify existing scripts to include hypotheses and problem-solving. Create new scripts in line with the stage. Create new scripts in line with the stage.Symbolic Play Stage IX If the student is at Stage IX of symbolic play development. 2. Augmenting the repertoire of symbols from the previous stage. 2. Check for mastery of imaginative play at this level. Modify existing scripts to include cooperative play. Stage X If the student is at Stage X of symbolic development.

speech therapy) so that the child with autism gains a harmonious and natural development as possible.45 - . 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. 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. verbal behavior. It proposes criteria to measure the quality of symbolic play and it offers guidelines to plan the training of symbolic play. . It shows the major stages of symbolic play development.

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

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