Teaching Children with Autism, continued

Teaching Children with Autism, continued

In the PLAY Project, Solomon provides suggestions for play at each of Greenspan’s development levels:

Levels 1 & 2 play activities might include

Gently shaking arms or legs

Gently squeezing arms, legs, head

Swinging in a blanket

Gentle pressure

Gentle wrestling


Blowing on skin, hair, face

Opening and closing a door while playing peek-a-boo from the other side

Water play of all kinds

Turning the lights off and on

A “feeling box” (a shoe box filled with beans, or marbles, or Brillo pads, etc.)

Spinning the child on a swing or swivel chair

Building blocks up and knocking them down, with accompanying commentary

Dropping things, with accompanying “Boom”

Flipping pages of a book

Levels 3 & 4 play activities might include

All of the Levels 1 & 2 activities, plus

Chase: “I’m going to get you”

Get the bubbles, balloon, etc.

Rolling a ball back and forth

Very simple pretend play, such as phone to ear, feeding the dolly, cars crash and make a crashing sound

Finger painting


Play with farm animals, dump trucks, trains

Being silly

Song games such as “Wheels on the bus,” “Eensy weensy spider,” “Old MacDonald”

Building forts from cardboard boxes, tents from blankets over chairs, etc.

Ready-set-go games

Making choices about what they want to play

Getting in the way games (“It’s stuck. Can you open it?”)

Remember to follow the child’s lead.

Levels 5 & 6 play activities might include

Pretend: dress up, doll (or action figure) tea party, dinosaurs chasing each other

Hide and seek

Reading to the child (and vice versa) – probably mainly looking at the pictures and talking about what is happening in the story line

Drawing faces

Sequencing cards, objects, etc.


Musical chairs


Treasure hunts

Simon says

Board games: Snakes and ladders

Card games: Fish


I spy

More complex pretend games

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