Plan for People Play

Building Early Social Communication Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Social Communication Difficulties

Plan for People Play
is the first booklet in the Make Play R.O.C.K. booklet series for parents of young children with autism.

This booklet offers simple, research-based ideas for building your child’s interaction and communication skills during “people games” – games that focus on interaction instead of toys.


Why Is People Play Important?

Games like Hide-and-Seek, Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Tag are well-known examples of people play or “people games”. These kinds of games rely on interaction between two or more people in order to be successful and fun, which is why they provide an ideal context for children to learn interaction skills.

During people games, children have the opportunity to develop a variety of social interaction skills, including:

  • Connecting with others for social purposes
  • Paying attention to others
  • Copying what others do
  • Taking a turn in an interaction
  • Waiting for others to take a turn
  • Using sounds, actions and words as part of the game

How Plan for People Play Helps

Plan for People Play helps you create enjoyable play situations that encourage your child to participate so that he can have the best possible opportunities to both have fun and build important social interaction skills.

Based on current research on what helps children with ASD learn best, Plan for People Play offers practical, easy-to-use strategies for:

  • Choosing the most appropriate people games for your child based on his sensory preferences.
  • Identifying the next skill your child can learn in a people game.
  • Using specific interaction strategies during people games to help your child develop more advanced social interaction skills.

What’s Inside

In Plan for People Play, you’ll find:

  • Examples of over two dozen people games with guidance on how to play them
  • Concrete examples and illustrations of parents using Plan for People Play strategies with their child
  • “Game Plan” templates to help you plan your next people game and how you’ll help your child learn new skills