18 Contact Hours

Description: The purpose of this course is to provide the occupational therapist with knowledge of current research and practice in improving a child’s occupation of play as a goal of intervention. Play is the main occupation of children and continues to be an important occupation throughout the lifespan. This course integrates case studies and practical interventions to improve play in family systems, early intervention, and the NICU. In addition, it details the development of play and guidelines for improving play in children with autism and cerebral palsy, including the use of assistive technology to address play.

Audience: OT, COTA

Skill Level: Entry-level to Intermediate

Contact Hours: 18

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA 

Teaching Methods: Course content includes text from, "Parham, Diane L. and Fazio, Linda S., “Play in Occupational Therapy for Children, 2nd Edition,” 2008.  Copyright 2008 Elsevier, Inc.  All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

Criteria for Passing: Each learner must complete all learning activities/handouts and pass a final exam to receive credit.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, each learner will be able to:

  1. Describe strategies the therapist can use to guide families who have children with disabilities in engaging and integrating the child in play.
  2. Discuss the occupational therapist’s role in improving parent-infant playfulness within the NICU environment.
  3. List the typical characteristics of play skills in the child with autism and describe differences in object play, relational play, functional play, symbolic play, sensorimotor play, and social play.
  4. Describe specific strategies to support play in children with autism, based on the child’s interests and needs. 
  5. Describe the limitations of cerebral palsy and its impact on play, and develop strategies to incorporate play into treatment and into the child’s life.
  6. Explain how the therapist can enhance a child’s play using low-tech and high-tech assistive technology. 
  7. Discuss how therapists can facilitate play in early intervention within natural environments through selection of toys and responsive interactions between parent and child.
  8. Describe the use of storytelling as a form of play and to address therapeutic goals in social emotional development.

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction

Please read the introduction to provide you with important information and tips about your course.

2. Course Objectives - Improving Play Skills In Occupational Therapy

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3. Coursework - Improving Play Skills In Occupational Therapy

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4. Course Final and Survey - Improving Play Skills In Occupational Therapy

Click to take final exam. Completion of coursework is required to access the final.


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion