Description: The purpose of this course is to provide the therapist with specific strategies and assessment tools to evaluate play in children and adolescents. Play is the main occupation of children and continues to be an important occupation throughout the lifespan. OTs and COTAs who work with children use play as both a therapeutic means and an end goal of treatment. Assessment of play through formal and informal methods can provide significant information about the child’s interests, motivation, and developmental skills, as well as an objective means to measure progress when play is a treatment goal. Multiple case studies are presented to illustrate the use of a variety of assessment tools.

Audience: OT, COTA 

Skill Level: Entry-level to Intermediate

Contact Hours: 14

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.

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

  • Describe the narrative approach to the assessment of play and use of the Play History as an assessment tool.
  • Discuss the clinical use of the widely used observational tool, the Revised Knox Preschool Play Scale, and the four dimensions of play: space management, material management, pretense-symbolic, and participation.
  • List and describe the elements of playfulness and develop a systematic way to assess playfulness and the way the environment supports the child’s play, using two observational assessment tools: the Test of Playfulness and the Test of Environmental Supportiveness.
  • Describe the importance of play and leisure in children and adolescents and develop knowledge of the use of self-report measures, including the Pediatric Interest Profiles.
  • Develop strategies for current occupational therapy practice to promote family-centered care, consideration of play within the context of the family life story, and help the child develop his/her role as a player using storytelling techniques.

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

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3. Section 1 - Narrative Contributions to the Play History

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4. Section 2 - Development & Use of the Revised Knox Preschool Play Scale

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5. Section 3 - Test of Playfulness

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6. Section 4 - Assessment of Play and Leisure in Children and Adolescents

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7. Section 5 - Family Narratives and Play Assessment

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8. Final Exam & Survey

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The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion