Add to your repertoire of creative therapeutic interventions with this original technique.
Please be sure to print this page as the technique below will be replaced by a new technique each month.
Printable form of current Featured Technique can be attained here.
CAUTION: THIS TECHNIQUE IS FOR USE BY MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WITH SPECIALIZED TRAINING IN CLINICAL WORK WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
Source: Robert Jason Grant from More Play Based Interventions for Autism,
ADHD, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Developmental Disabilities
Target Areas: Self Regulation Improvement, Anxiety Reduction, Focus
and Attention Improvement
Level: Child and Adolescent
Materials: Various Toys and Supplies
Children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and other
neurodevelopmental disorders often need to work on staying calm and maintaining
focus and concentration in situations that move quickly. This intervention provides
a fun and engaging way for children and adolescents to work on these skills.
The practitioner and client set up several activities to complete in the therapy
room. The practitioner discusses with the client that he or she will need to work on
staying calm and focused to be able to complete all the activities within the
specified time. Once the client completes all the activities, the practitioner and
client make a special award ribbon for the client that celebrates that client’s
accomplishment. Sample activities include: Keep a balloon in the air for 1 minute,
build something with blocks in 30 seconds, make something out of play doh in 60
seconds, run in place for 60 seconds, do not move for 20 seconds, name 5 emotions
in 60 seconds, and draw a picture of you using a safe anger management strategy.
The practitioner will want to make sure that the materials are available to complete
several activities prior to the start of the session. Typically around 5-6 activities per
session is an appropriate amount. Practitioners will want to challenge the client so
he or she can work on the skills of staying calm and focused but not make the
activities so difficult that the client cannot complete them. Practitioners will also
want to process these skills with the client. There should be time in the session to
celebrate the client accomplishing the activities and creating an award ribbon for
Dr. Grant is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor,
Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and Certified Autism Specialist. Dr. Grant
owns and operates a private practice clinic in Missouri. He is the creator of
AutPlay Therapy, an Autism treatment using Play Therapy, Behavioral Therapy
and relationship development approaches.
Dr. Grant serves as mentor and is a professional board member for The Southwest
Autism Network of Missouri and is a contributing writer for the Missouri Autism
Report. Dr. Grant is an international presenter and author of several articles related
to Play Therapy and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. He is the author of several
books including the best selling AutPlay Therapy Handbook. Website:
© 2014, Jose Colon. All Rights Reserved.