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EXPERT TEACHES CHILDREN WITH AUTISM HOW TO PLAY

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Posted on January 11, 2011

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For children on the autism spectrum, play doesn’t come naturally. So a seminar led by the originator of the “Integrated Play Group” model will focus on teaching children with autism to play.

Presented by California University and Intermediate Unit 1, the introductory seminar is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Performance Center, inside the Natali Student Center.

The session is intended for educators, therapists, related practitioners and parents or family members of children with autism.

Program presenter is Dr. Pamela Wolfberg, an associate professor of special education and director of Project Mosaic, the autism spectrum graduate program at San Francisco State University.

Wolfberg originated the Integrated Play Group (IPG) model and founded the Autism Institute on Peer Relations and Play, which leads efforts to develop inclusive peer play programs worldwide.

She is the author of Play and Imagination in Children with Autism, 2nd Edition (2009) and Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children’s Socialization and Imagination (2003), and co-editor of Educating Learners on the Autism Spectrum: Preparing Highly Qualified Educators (2008). An active speaker, Wolfberg also serves as principal investigator on major research and training grants and as associate editor for Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice.

The seminar will address the complex challenges that children on the autism spectrum encounter in peer relations and play. Participants will become familiar with the principles and practices of IPG, a model designed to support children with autism as they enjoy playing with siblings and their typical peers at home, in school, or in community and therapy settings.

Based on award-winning research, the IPG model has been found to be effective in enhancing reciprocal social interaction, communication, play and imagination in children of diverse ages and abilities with autism, Asperger’s and related social-communicative needs.

Online registration is available.

Professional fee for the seminar is $50. Scholarships may be available for Early Intervention partners; for details, please contact kotchmanr@iu1.k12.pa.us.